Spinning for better lives

8 December 2015
ITC News
In Ethiopia, the cotton industry is experiencing a revival, helping provide sustainable jobs and incomes for more and more people.

Cotton production has long history in Ethiopia and the country still has much potential to expand its potential further. The country also has a long history of producing garments from cotton, and the last decade has since a rise in Ethiopian clothing designers making their mark in fashion: in Ethiopia, in Africa and beyond.

Since 2014, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has been working with the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) to support 40 women-owned businesses working in textiles and garments, focusing on cotton, silk and leather) sector. Five of these Ethiopian companies are also exploring possibilities of blending Mongolian cashmere and yak wool fibres with their home-produced cotton to target new, high-end niche markets.

Earlier this year, the award-winning photographer Petterik Wiggers visited the women entrepreneurs and their workers. Wiggers’ photoshoots also coincided with the visit of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the CAWEE projects.