Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) was founded in 2005 as a social business to protect the environment and support smallholder farmers and their families in sub-Saharan Africa. Cotton made in Africa cooperates with more than one million cotton farmers, 17 per cent of whom are women. Besides farmers, more than 11,000 factory workers in the African cotton processing industry are part of the initiative.
The label for sustainable cotton stands for environmental protection and training in sustainable and modern cotton cultivation. The training enables smallholder farmers to improve their working and living conditions through their own efforts. In addition, CmiA certifies the work in ginneries, the first step in the processing of cotton. In 2017 a record 90 million textiles, bore the CmiA label. This is a 79 per cent increase compared to previous year.
For each textile wearing the CmiA certificate, a license fee flows back into the project areas. Instead of transferring donations, the initiative has thus chosen a market approach. A total of 36 companies and brands currently order CmiA cotton. Smaller fair fashion brands also use CmiA certified cotton to set an example in the industry.