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Cotton Made in Africa Recognized by Two Sustainability Standards

Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), an initiative for sustainably grown African cotton, has been officially recognized by Green Button and has been confirmed as an accredited source of raw materials for Cradle to Cradle certification.

The acknowledgement by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which administers Green Button, pertains to CmiA cotton as a sustainable natural fiber. In addition to meeting the human-rights and environmental-protection criteria of the government-run textile certification label Green Button 2.0, licensed companies must apply the meta-label approach to prove that they produce their products sustainably.

This recognition means that more than 90 companies are currently able to meet meta-label requirements by using cotton from CmiA. Without a recognized certification seal, products cannot bear the Green Button label. To enable consumers to better navigate the market, Green Button’s meta-label approach confirms only independent, exacting and relevant certification programs in the textile sector.

At the same time, the standards organization Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute recognized the requirements of the CmiA standard. Cradle to Cradle Certified is the global standard for products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. As a result, companies can use CmiA cotton produced through the Hard Identity Preserved (HIP) system to meet the Bronze-level requirements in the Material Health category of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard Version 4.0.

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By using CmiA cotton produced through the HIP system in their products, they can also meet the Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold-level requirements in three categories: Product Circularity, Water & Soil Stewardship and Social Fairness. Mass Balance material may be used to achieve the Gold-level in the two categories of Product Circularity and Water & Soil Stewardship, as well.

The CmiA initiative was founded in 2005 under the umbrella of the Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF). Its objective is to employ trade rather than donations to protect nature and improve the living conditions of around 1 million cotton farmers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Green Button is the government-run certification label for textiles manufactured in a socially and environmentally sound manner. Under Green Button, the entire company is audited to ascertain whether it acts responsibly.