Aid by Trade Foundation Presents its Initiative at the House of Lords
Cotton made in Africa engages with fashion leaders at the Ethical Fashion Forum event in London
(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) - December 15, 2011 - Besides CmiA about 30 participants had been invited to the British Upper House to present the best fashion business practices in Africa. CSR, sourcing and buying professionals from retailers such as ASOS, Burberry and Roland Mouret, as well as representatives from industry bodies, networks, smaller businesses and entrepreneurs gave vivid insights into their work and experiences.
CmiA improves the living conditions of African smallholder farmers through trade. At the core of the initiative is a demand alliance of global textile companies that buy sustainably produced African cotton specifically for the world market. Stephan Engel, Managing Director at the Aid by Trade Foundation, who presented the approach of Cotton made in Africa said: “Exchanging ideas and practices with all those retailers and organisations was a fantastic opportunity for us to call attention to CmiA in Britain.” The initiative intends to take sustainably produced African cotton out of its niche and into the mass market. Abi Rushton, Associate Director to the Aid by Trade Foundation, commented: "The UK market is one of the leaders in ethical consumerism and offers great potential for the initiative and the smallholder farmers who work with it.”
At present, about 240,000 smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso, Benin, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire and Malawi are part of the Cotton made in Africa programme. In 2010, more than ten million garments produced from cotton by Cotton made in Africa were sold worldwide. The initiative is expecting sales of 15 million textile products for 2011.