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Some 60 retailers and brands brought a record 276m Cotton made in Africa (CmiA)-labelled textiles to market in 2020 — a 120% increase over the previous year.

CmiA is an internationally recognised standard for sustainably produced cotton from Africa, connecting African small-scale farmers with trading companies and fashion brands throughout the global textile value chain. The initiative’s objective is to employ trade rather than donations to offer help for self-help in order to improve the living conditions of around one million cotton farmers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa while protecting the environment.

CmiA was also able to significantly expand within the textile value chain in 2020, with its global network of registered partners rising by 58% to reach a total of 217 spinning mills and fabric producers throughout 20 countries, including eight in Africa.

“This growing demand is especially good news because it gives us more resources for our work in the field. Our principle of providing aid through trade is paying off,” says Tina Stridde, the managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation, the parent organisation of CmiA.

Around 630,000 tonnes of ginned cotton from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Chad, and Uganda were produced in accordance with Cotton made in Africa’s criteria in the past year. More than 20 African cotton companies are working together with the Cotton made in Africa initiative to conduct agricultural training for small-scale farmers. The knowledge they acquire through this training enables the cotton growers to improve their harvests while cultivating this commodity in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way.

The CmiA initiative recently joined forces with the African Cotton Foundation (ACF) to promote socially and ecologically sustainable cotton cultivation.

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By GlobalData