Cotton made in Africa -
Cotton with social and ecological value

Through specific demand companies and consumers can promote the sales of sustainable cotton from Africa while combatting poverty and supporting environmental protection. Prof Dr Michael Otto explains in an interview from July 2016 how this works and how it relates to current social challenges.


Interview with Prof Dr Michael Otto - only in German language available

Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) - the first initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation founded by Prof Dr Michael Otto in 2005 - promotes sustainable cotton in Africa. The aim is to sustainably improve the social, economic and ecological living conditions of African cotton smallholder farmers. CmiA's commitment is not based on donations, but rather on the principle of helping farmers to help themselves through trade by activating market forces. CmiA is now working with more than one million cotton farmers in nine countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

Find out more about Cotton made in Africa >

The WASH project: Access to clean drinking water

German retailer OTTO, together with CmiA, CARE International and the cotton company Plexus, is promoting a project in rural Mozambique to improve the supply of people with clean drinking water. As part of this project, more than 42,000 people in 20 villages have already been given access to fresh drinking water for the first time.

Video only available in German

Looking at the whole production chain, we have to keep as much of the value creation as possible in African countries in order to create jobs. This gives people the chance of a positive future.
– Prof Dr Michael Otto, Chairman of the Otto Group Supervisory Board and founder of the Aid by Trade Foundation

Video only available in German

Empowerment of women

CmiA advocates women's rights and their position in African society. Because female cotton farmers do most of the work in the field, manage the household and look after the entire family's welfare. Therefore, strong women are the key to sustainable development. 

More information > 


Fight against child labour

Long-term solutions to child labour provide more than anything, sustainable economic growth that leads to social progress and promotes education. CmiA supports the fight against child labour by improving the living conditions through higher incomes and through community projects.  

More information >

Video only available in German

Cotton made in Afrika - Kampf gegen Kinderarbeit


Helping farmers to help themselves through knowledge transfer

Training enables smallholder farmers to improve their living conditions and those of their families on their own and to grow cotton according to the Cotton made in Africa standards. More information >


Two transparent systems

There are two systems that guarantee a complete traceability from the cultivation of the cotton via the ginning plant to the spinning mill. Learn more about this in the video (English).




Sustainability Reports, Studies and Code of Conduct

Environmentally friendly cultivation of cotton (video only available in German)


Blog article on ottogroupunterwegs (German only)

Empower Africa and create perspectives >

Cotton made in Afrika - Arbeiter Spinnerei

NEWS - Laura Chaplin is ambassador of Cotton made in Africa

The designer and granddaughter of the world-famous actor Charlie Chaplin advocates for African cotton farmers. Read the press release here >

Laura Chaplin