Cotton made in Africa is helping U.K. retailers establish better environmental practices.
The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) initiative announced that it joined the U.K.’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) to increase sustainability in the U.K. textile industry.
U.K. brands and retailers that are part of the SCAP 2020 Commitment promise to source CmiA certified cotton and reduce their carbon, waste and water footprints. To date, more than 50 organizations and brands, including ASOS, Arcadia Group, John Lewis, New Look and Tesco have pledged to SCAP, which is led by WRAP, the U.K.’s resource efficiency experts.
“CmiA offers retailers and brands in the U.K. the unique chance to adhere to their commitment to SCAP to reduce their carbon and water footprint by 15 percent by 2020 due to CmiA’s proven track record in producing much lower carbon and water impacts,” said U.K. Aid by Trade Foundation associate director Abi Rushton.
Today, cotton is the most used raw material in global textile supply chains. Cotton made in Africa encourages sustainable production with its environmentally friendly growing and processing methods. Smallholder farmers that follow the Cotton made in Africa standard practice rain fed agriculture, build compost pits and harvest by hand. Unlike other farmers, CmiA farmers don’t use artificial irrigation or highly toxic pesticides when they grow cotton.
As a result of these sustainable practices, CmiA cotton is good for the environment. Compared to the global average, CmiA cotton conserves more than 2,100 liters of water per kilogram of cotton fiber. CmiA partner retailers also can conserve up to four bathtubs of water for one single T-shirt when they don’t use conventional cotton.
And according to a PE International study, CmiA cotton also emits fewer greenhouse gases per kilo of cotton fiber (up to 40 percent) than conventional cotton.
“We are pleased about the cooperation with SCAP and are eager to take an active part in SCAP’s aim to reduce resource use and secure recognition for corporate performance by helping SCAP hit the sector-wide targets of reducing carbon, water and waste by 15 percent by 2020,” said Aid by Trade Foundation managing director Tina Stridde. “Together, we offer U.K. retailers and brands, which are looking for a sustainable raw material, a simple solution with a major impact for their ecological footprint.”