In pursuit of increased consumption of sustainable fiber that uses only natural seed that we can call as “By Default Semi-Organic”: (CmiA)
The future of fashion is now more focused on sustainable products and circular economy with obvious reasons as we really need to focus on all our activities to reduce the carbon footprint and focus on activities that can save the Mother Nature so that we can leave a livable world for our future generation.
Among the notable sustainable initiatives on cotton that so far has been going on since last few decades, like; FT (Fair Trade), Organic, CmiA (Cotton Made in Africa), BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), MyBMP, LEEDS, etc. CmiA can be singled out that has a lot of potentials for the fashion value chain to work within the future.
CmiA follows the same principle of organic cotton production as far as seed is concerned. Like organic cotton, CmiA does not allow to use genetically modified seeds and uses only the natural local variety. To be a CmiA certified farmer, it is mandatory to be a small farmer as one of the most important purposes of CmiA initiative is to support marginal farmers who have to face big challenges to cultivate cotton and earn a living. As a matter of fact, CmiA works well with the cotton producing countries of African small farmers who are mostly marginal, as they don’t have to spend extra money to buy the genetically modified seed that is quite expensive and requires precious foreign currency.
One of the biggest advantages of CmiA cotton is that most of its origin’s quality is excellent. For instance, color grade and trash is 31-2 and better, Staple is 28.50 mm+, Average Mic is 3.80, GPT is 29 in HVI (High Volume Instrument) and Maturity is 88%+ (In AFIS), cotton is with low level of Neps, homogenous and good for both knit and woven yarn for medium count yarn (With a range of Ne 20- Ne 30). CmiA is not contamination free but the contamination level is lower than most of the sustainable cotton initiatives.
CmiA cotton has one of the highest yields that reduce the cost of yarn production. Yarn realization in carded and combed process is minimum 2-5% higher than other sustainable cotton initiatives.
Most importantly, CmiA cotton does not upcharge a single penny while other sustainable cotton initiatives charge minimum 0.50 to 30 cents per lbs of cotton when the spinner buys the cotton.
CmiA cotton can also be used as BCI cotton, provided the spinner has both CmiA and BCI certification.
CmiA not only has ‘Mass Balancing System’ same as BCI, but also CmiA has ‘Hard Identification Process’ or HIP that is actually a semi-alternative to Organic cotton with full traceability.
CmiA cotton growing origins don’t use any Genetically Modified Cotton Seed, even for producing Non-CmiA cotton and every farmer uses only natural seeds for growing cotton. Thus, it is historically evident that the cotton quality parameter for both CmiA and Non-CmiA of a particular origin is similar. CmiA cotton origins are therefore automatically immune to not use any genetically modified cotton seed. This is a plus point for CmiA cotton to encourage more use of CmiA cotton through HIP as a close alternative for organic cotton.
Currently, most of the CmiA cotton bought by spinners are being used as BCI as there is very high demand for BCI cotton due to the high level of commitment from major brands and retailers for BCI cotton. Brands and Retailers commitment to use CmiA cotton is lower up to now.
With the above discussion, we can easily understand the value that CmiA cotton can offer to the fashion value chain. And it would not be illogical to think that more and more requirement for CmiA cotton would come from brands and retailers eventually. If it happens so it would uplift the living standard of small African farmers, as well, it would contribute to a higher level of eco-friendly activities in the coming future. We leave it to the brands and retailers as well as the cotton value chain.