CmiA cotton is grown exclusively using rainfed cultivation methods, meaning the smallholder farmers do without any form of supplemental irrigation. At zero cubic meters of freshwater per kilogram of cotton lint, this gives CmiA cotton a clear ecological advantage over conventional cotton with an index of five cubic meters per kilogram. Translated to the amount of cotton needed to manufacture a t-shirt, CmiA conserves around 2,000 litres of water through the sustainable cultivation of the raw material alone. The amount of freshwater used to grow cotton is measured as stress-weighted water consumption. This means that water usage in water-poor regions is given greater weight than that in water-rich regions.
Analysis of GHG emissions and water consumption were done using the life cycle assessment or ecobalance method as defined by the International Standarisation Organisation (ISO 14040:2006). The ecobalance method involves the systematic analysis of the environmental impacts of all stages – all products, methods and services — of a product’s lifecycle. These include all the environmental impacts resulting from production, use, and disposal or recycling, along with upstream and downstream processes such as the manufacture of raw materials, additives and fuel.