The Otto Group, a multichannel retail and financial services company based in Hamburg, Germany, is shining the spotlight on the subject of sustainability and the Cotton Made in Africa initiative in a new TV commercial that began airing on Tuesday.

Otto will use the TV commercial to tell the story of sustainably grown cotton, the first time an advertisement has been produced on the issue. The film footage conveys impressions of Africa and Germany overlaid in colorful slow-motion footage and seeks to raise awareness of sustainable fashion among consumers.

The 30-second commercial will be accompanied by background information and videos on social media, YouTube and otto.de, including an interview with Michael Otto, founder of the Aid by Trade Foundation and supporter of the Cotton Made in Africa initiative.

“We want the campaign to call attention to the issue and engender a sense of responsibility,” said Michael Heller, a member of the Otto management board. “Otto has been backing Cotton Made in Africa for more than 10 years now and helps almost 700,000 African smallholders to grow cotton more efficiently and more sustainably. What is more, 75 percent of our own-brand products will be made with Cotton Made in Africa, and by 2020 the figure will have risen to 100 percent.”

The relevant products advertised on otto.de carry the burgundy Cotton Made in Africa label and the Good Product-Siegel label that verifies the credentials of all sustainable products at Otto.

“In promoting fashion from the Cotton Made in Africa initiative, we are not cutting back on quality or style,” said Anja Dillenburg, head of corporate responsibility at Otto. “But we are cutting greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. This is good, both in terms of preserving the natural resources and protecting the health of the people who grow our cotton. It is therefore a positive way to make consumers a little more conscious of sustainability as they go through life.”

Tina Stridde, managing director of Cotton Made in Africa, said in broadcasting this ad Otto is demonstrating the importance of the Cotton Made in Africa initiative for the company.

“It additionally shows that it offers the customer genuine value-added,” Stridde said. “Shining the spotlight on the concerns of smallholders in a large-scale advertising campaign is a major step forward for the future.”

Cotton Made in Africa is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation that helps smallholder cotton farmers in Africa to improve their living conditions.

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