New Circular Fashion, Less Resources, More Sustainable Materials

C&A Sustainability: Strong Performance Towards 2020 Goals
Jun 27, 2018 4:00 AM ET
Article

Global fashion retailer C&A reports strong performance towards its 2020 sustainability goals. In its new ‘2017 Global Sustainability Report’, the company announces its achievements and commitments with focus on its products, its supply chain and employees.

Our progress in 2017 is a direct result of how sustainability is embedded into our commercial organisations. Sustainability is an important part of how we design and source our clothing by ensuring that it has been sourced and made in a way that respects people, animals and the environment,” says Jeffrey Hogue, C&A’s Global Chief Sustainability Officer.

Sourcing more sustainable materials: C&A world’s leading buyer of organic cotton

Given the impacts of raw material production, C&A has committed to source two thirds of its materials from more sustainable sources by 2020.  Currently, over 65% of the cotton C&A sources is either certified organic cotton or sourced as Better Cotton, up from 53% in 2016. C&A remains the world’s leading volume buyer of certified organic cotton.* Over 44% of the raw materials used in the company’s current collections – such as cotton, viscose and polyester – are sourced more sustainably.

In Europe and China, C&A has taken the bold step of committing to source 100% of its man-made cellulosic fibres from suppliers who have practices in place to prevent ancient or endangered forest products entering their supply chain. The company also recently introduced its first recycled nylon products: lingerie certified to the Global Recycled Standard.

Towards circular fashion: Over 1.3 Mio. pieces of C2C certified TM apparel brought to market

C&A has brought to market so far over 1.3 million pieces of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) CertifiedTM apparel globally, maintaining the most sustainable fashion collection currently on the market at this scale. “The Cradle to Cradle certification program provides the vision for our circular economy strategy.  Through the sourcing of Cradle to Cradle GOLD CertifiedTM garments we are offering the first collections in the industry that are produced at high social standards and with 100% safe and non-toxic materials, 100% renewable energy, 100% recycled water, and where each garment is designed for it’s next life,” says Hogue.

This year Ethical Corporation has awarded C&A’s innovative Cradle to Cradle GOLD CertifiedTM T-shirts with the ‘Sustainable Innovation of the Year’ award. C&A had developed these innovative T-shirts in cooperation with Fashion for Good. C&A and its corporate foundation are founding partners of Fashion for Good, which supports circular economy approaches and new technologies from innovative start-ups to accelerate the transition to a more sustaining fashion industry.

Reduced environmental impact: clarity on carbon and water footprint

C&A is one of the very few fashion retailers to disclose its entire greenhouse gas and water footprint. In 2017, C&A has reduced its carbon footprint by 15% and water footprint by 14%. C&A announced the aim to further reduce water in raw material production. C&A has also committed to creating ‘Science Based Targets’ to reduce the impact on climate change.

Increasing supply chain transparency: Map shows details of over 2,000 supplier factories

C&A’s supply chain encompasses more than 1 million people, employed through 757 global suppliers, who run more than 2,000 production units at tier-1 and tier-2** supplier level. C&A took the first step to increase supply chain transparency already in its 2015 report with the disclosure of names and addresses of its suppliers' tier-1 factories and added the tier-2 factories last year. Through a web-based tool, every C&A customer can easily identify the factories where C&A merchandise is manufactured.

Bringing Sustainability closer to consumers: C&A’s #WearTheChange campaign

To help its customers to make better informed purchasing decisions when it comes to the sustainability aspects of their clothes, C&A launched in its stores around the globe and online ‘#WearTheChange’, a global, multi-channel sustainability communications campaign. All products advertised under #WearTheChange are produced and sourced in a way that is more sustainable than conventional methods.

C&A Foundation: changing the apparel industry

The launch of the 2017 Global Sustainability Report coincides with the release of C&A Foundation’s 2017 Annual Report. In this year’s report, the foundation shares both highlights from its work in 2017, but also lessons from its grant-making.  Creating change at the scale and speed required is difficult and complex and demands new kinds of collaboration.  This is why the C&A Foundation Annual Report openly shares lessons learned from successes and failures in the hope of encouraging more organisations – particularly corporate foundations – to support the initiatives needed to create systemic change in the apparel industry.

Together, the two reports paint a picture of how C&A and C&A Foundation work shoulder to shoulder to make fashion sustainable and responsible, pushing the industry to become a force for good.

Online report now available in English. German and Portuguese available as of mid July 

The list of C&A’s suppliers’ factories can be accessed online at http://sustainability.c-and-a.com/sustainable-supply/. The company’s full 2017 Sustainability report is available at www.c-a.com/sustainability-report. The C&A Foundation Annual Report can be found at www.candafoundation.org/ar2017.

* Textile Exchange 2017 Organic Cotton Market Report

** Tier-1 factories are cut and sew production units and tier-2 factories provide printing, laundry, and embroidery services. Several of these tier-1 and tier-2 factories are fully vertically integrated and therefore also run tier-3 production such as fabric mills, spinning mills and dye houses.

Notes to the editor:

About C&A

With nearly 1,900 stores in 21 countries worldwide and around 51,000 employees, C&A is a leading fashion retail business. C&A welcomes and provides millions of visitors each day with good quality fashion at affordable prices for their entire family. C&A is an enterprise of COFRA Holding AG with a presence in Europe, Brazil, Mexico and China. For more information, see www.c-a.com.

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C&A Europe
Jens Völmicke
Phone: +49 211 9872 5264

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