Brazil 

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 fashion retailer to sign the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labour (Pacto Nacional pela Erradicação do Trabalho Escravo) and a founding member of InPacto, the institute that manages the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labour. We adhered to the ABVTEX (Brazilian Association of Textile Retailers) Qualification Program for Retail Suppliers, aimed at ensuring suitable labour conditions for workers employed by suppliers and their subcontractors.

newborn collection

 

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.

Sustainable Products

  • Although a high quantity of Better Cotton is grown in Brazil, few Brazilian retailers buy and use it in their clothes, so most of it is currently exported. Working with our biggest spinners, we became the first Brazilian retailer to work with Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and rapidly sourced 25.6% Better Cotton in just over a year, allowing Brazilian customers to benefit from the Better Cotton grown on their doorstep.  We see a big opportunity to lead by example and inspire other brands in Brazil to begin using Better Cotton.
  • In March 2016, we launched a More Sustainable Denim line within our regular denim collection and ran a special campaign to promote it. More than 36,000 pieces of clothing were offered to our customers and we engaged over 11 million people on social media. This special demin collection won the prestigious Eco Award from the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce.
    Read more about Better Cotton
  • Alongside Europe and Mexico, C&A Brazil will bring the revolutionary GOLD level Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedTM T-shirts to market. The T-shirts will be launched in-store in Brazil and Mexico in September.
    Read more about circular fashion and the Fashion For Good centre

Sustainable Supply 

  • C&A Brazil has had an audit programme since 2006. Today, we continue to work towards ensuring that our suppliers and all authorised subcontractors comply with the social and environmental standards in line with our Global Code of Conduct, which is sometimes higher than the local legal requirements. 
  • Many of our suppliers are small business owners. In 2016, we worked with nearly 1,000 domestic factories to implement the global Sustainable Supply Chain programme guidelines and audit process.
  • We are also part of a supplier certification programme managed by the Brazilian Association of Textile Retailers (ABVTEX), which monitors suppliers on social responsibility and labour conditions. And we continue with a 'green light' on NGO Repórter Brasil’s app 'Moda Livre' that monitors how Brazilian retailers improve labour conditions.
  • Suppliers and subcontractors from C&A Brazil’s supply chain joined C&A Brazil's Value Chain Programme in the second half of 2016. The course, supported by Instituto C&A and led by one of its local partners UniEthos, consists of 10 modules run over 18 months, teaching participants about management, leadership, finance and sustainability.
  • In 2016, Instituto C&A worked with local NGO partner, Missão Paz, to help 8,310  immigrant workers were assisted and 7,258 obtained the documents they need to work and live legally in Brazil.
  • We are the first Brazilian retailer to engage suppliers in chemical safety issues and we have already tested and audited around 10 wet process facilities, representing 51% of our sales volume. The next step is to improve their performance and the overall sustainability in our supply chain.
  • We work to reduce our environmental impact, and create a positive social impact. In 2016 we implemented a system to measure the waste produced by our C&A stores, offices and distribution centers.
  • In 2016, 3.3 tonnes of electronic goods were collected in our Brazilian stores, and 96 tonnes of hangers were recycled in our Brazilian stores. 

Sustainable Lives

  • In 2016, we were delighted to be recognised by our Brazilian customers as the most sustainable retail fashion brand for the second year in a row. 
  • We want to enable and inspire our employees to be responsible and ethical. We held a workshop with head office employees to discuss the concept of circular economy and we also asked them to help us explore how this concept can be applied to our business.
    Read more on learning and development for employees
  • A sample of 4,356 employees from Brazil participated in our Employee Engagement Survey and 93% of them said they were proud of C&A’s contribution to community, society and the environment.
  • 2016 was the second year of our flagship employee engagement campaign: Inspiring Women. Over 12,000 employees took part, representing 83% of our workforce in Brazil.
    Read more on inspiring women in Brazil
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