Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.



Cotton Organisations

September 27th, 2014

Highlighting African textiles – being shown soon at the Future Fabrics Expo, 28-30 Sept

Over the years The Sustainable Angle have researched thousands of sustainable textiles sourced from hundreds of mills from around the world, many of which will be available to see at the 4th Future Fabrics Expo (28th-30th September, register here). However they have not until now had the opportunity to really showcase what Africa has to offer, essential if they want to show what the African industry is capable of.

Aid by Trade Foundation’s CmiA initiative and a range of CmiA fabrics will be included in the fast approaching 4th Future Fabrics Expo (28th-30th September, London), but before then they wanted to share with you everything you should know about Cotton made in Africa through a great interview. Here is a snippet:

The House of Lords recently hosted a roundtable event to discuss sourcing African-Made goods, which highlighted the fact that profit to Africa is decreasing, whilst value added abroad is increasing, even though in the last decade a number of the fastest growing markets have been in Africa. This imbalance coupled with volatile cotton prices is something that the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) aims to address with its Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative, working with small holder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa to improve social, economic and ecological living conditions.

TSA: Can you tell us more about the cotton industry in Africa?
CmiA: Almost 10% of the world’s cotton production is grown and harvested in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth largest cotton exporter worldwide. Following the USA, India, Australia and Brazil around 2.2million smallholder farmers in West and South-East Africa cultivate cotton. Often it is grown on small lots and in rotation with staple foods, such as grain, corn and peanuts, within the context of very diversified production systems. Although cotton is one major cash income, 80% of the African cotton farmers have an income per day of less than 1.5USD. By means of CmiA, the Aid by Trade Foundation tries to support cotton farmers. The initiative strengthens their resilience towards external effects like volatile prices and increasingly adverse climate changes that keep them from improving their living conditions and that of future generations ensure their food supply and preserve their health as well as the environment.

 

TSA: What are your plans moving forward?
CmiA: Our plan moving forward it to expand the positive effects of CmiA on the cotton industry to the textile industry on the African continent. We aim to use our experiences to support the establishment of a sustainable textile value chain in Africa. As major international textile retailers increasingly look to diversify their sourcing, we see many opportunities for Africa’s textile to capture parts of these markets. CmiA together with its partners are therefore pro-actively promoting the concept of “Textiles made in Africa” produced for African markets as well as for export

(Read the full interview here).

If you haven’t already registered to attend the 4th Future Fabrics Expoclick here to register now.

The expo will showcase a curated collection of hundreds of commercially available sustainable fabrics, from CmiA and sustainable cotton options, to organic silk, low impact leather, and innovations including recycled, cellulosic and man-made fibres, plus the latest sustainable fashion and textiles resources and tools from WRAP, The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and Historic Futures.

They will introduce fabrics for the future during their seminar, and through short films, background research on sustainability, and jargon free explanations of the sustainable fabrics and processes on show.

See more here: http://www.thesustainableangle.org/futurefabricsexpo/Home.aspx





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