C&A closes on 2020 sustainable cotton target

brett mathews | 21st June 2018

DUSSELDORF – Global fashion retailer C&A has upped its use of organic or BCI certified cotton to 65 per cent of its collections from 53 per cent in 2016. The figures are highlighted in its latest sustainability report, in which the company says it has committed to source two thirds of its materials from more sustainable sources by 2020. C&A remains the world’s leading volume buyer of certified organic cotton. Indeed, the company says more than 44 per cent of the raw materials used in its current collections – such as cotton, viscose and polyester – are now sourced “more sustainably.”

The business is also taking steps towards circular fashion having now brought more than 1.3 million pieces of C2C certified apparel to market.

Said Jeffrey Hogue, C&A’s global chief sustainability officer: “The Cradle to Cradle certification programme provides the vision for our circular economy strategy. Through the sourcing of Cradle to Cradle GOLD Certified garments we are offering the first collections in the industry that are produced at high social standards and with 100 per cent safe and non-toxic materials, 100 per cent renewable energy, 100 per cent recycled water, and where each garment is designed for it’s next life.”

In Europe and China, C&A has taken the step of committing to source 100 per cent 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.

“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,” added Hogue.

To help its customers to make better informed purchasing decisions when it comes to the sustainability aspects of their clothes, C&A last year 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 claimed to be more sustainable than conventional methods.