C&A Brazil has played a leading role in the Brazilian retail market, including on sustainability issues. We’ve reported on sustainability since 2010, and were the first fashion retailer in the country to report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. We were also the first company in Brazil to have an eco-store with LEED certification for sustainable buildings, and the first to disclose its supplier list. We have been monitoring our supply chain since 2006, and contributed to the creation of the ABVTEX (Brazilian Association of Textile Retailers) Qualification Program for Retail Suppliers, which aims to ensure suitable labour conditions for workers employed by suppliers and their subcontractors.
The Brazilian textile supply chain is complex, informal and fragmented, with hundreds of suppliers and subcontractors. Suppliers may work with up to 20 different sewing workshops, which reduces visibility into the extended supply chain. These subcontractors are often small entities operating in residential areas and lack strict building and fire safety practices. Some of them, especially in large cities, employ immigrant workers from Bolivia and Paraguay, who often work illegally in unsafe conditions, and without a full understanding of their labour rights. We’re working hard to ensure this does not happen in C&A Brazil’s supply chain.