Europe 

We have a strong presence in Europe, with more than 1,400 stores across 18 countries. As the hub of our sustainability leadership, C&A Europe’s work in our products and supply chains is often adapted for other regions. As part of its sustainability work, our European region leads initiatives on driving supply chain responsibility and transparency, eliminating harmful chemicals and developing more sustainable products.

Sustainable Products

  • In August 2018, C&A Europe became the first retailer to introduce Gold level Cradle to Cradle Certified TM [1] jeans in Europe.
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  • In Europe, we have taken the bold step of committing to source 100% of our man-made cellulosic fibres from suppliers who have practices in place to prevent ancient or endangered forest products entering their supply chain, and in 2018, 100% of cellulosic fibre suppliers to Europe were verified as low risk of controversial fibre.
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  • In 2018, C&A Europe sold more than 300,000 items containing recycled polyester and 95,000 pieces containing recycled cotton.
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  • In 2018, we brought to market more than 1.1 million Responsible Down Standard-certified items in Europe.
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  • In 2018, we continued our Saving Water Programme, which features waterless finishing for denim production, and brought to market over 800,000 pieces for Men and Ladies.
  • We expanded our in-store take-back programme to additional countries in Europe, and launched an online take-back programme in Germany. The 'we take it back' programme is now available in 460 C&A stores in Europe.
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  • All our European products remain free from perfluorinated compounds, and we have eliminated chromium from our leather tanning process.

Sustainable Supply

  • Because most of C&A Europe’s suppliers are based in Asia, the region drives our work to source responsibly. C&A Europe works with various partners to strengthen environmental practices in our supply chain.
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  • Three years into the strengthening of human rights due diligence in our supply chain — using the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights to verify our Sustainable Supply Chain programme is fit for purpose against the C&A Supplier Code of Conduct — the third-party assessment has indicated C&A Europe’s programme is working effectively.
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  • We continue actively working with Ethical Trading Initiative, Fair Labour Association, and other brands to support the Syrian refugee workforce in Turkey’s garment industry, taking part in initiatives to help recruitment, raise awareness, and support social integration.
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  • We are working towards our aspirational goal of zero waste to landfill by developing a unified European approach to handling unsold inventory and emphasizing reuse wherever possible. We recycled 15,403 metric tons of cardboard boxes and paper, as well as 3,314 metric tons of hangers and other plastics during 2018.
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Sustainable Lives

  • C&A was recognised as the most sustainable retail fashion brand in the Netherlands and Germany in our fourth annual survey of more than 6,000 customers. Our use of Bio Cotton and other natural and organic materials remains one of the key reasons C&A is recognised as a sustainability leader in Europe.
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  • We also conducted an additional survey of six other European markets — Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland — to better understand customer perceptions of our sustainability performance and which issues are most important to our customers in those markets.
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  • #WearTheChange, our first global, multi-channel sustainability communications programme, launched in Europe in early 2018, across in-store, online, and print touchpoints. Since then, C&A Europe has nearly doubled the overall reaction rate compared to our average, demonstrating good engagement with consumers.
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  • During 2018, we communicated the specific sustainability benefits of our products through #WearTheChange, including gold level Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM items, certified organic cotton, recycled polyester, and chrome-free leather.
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  • In several European countries, 100% of C&A employees participated in our new Inspiring World campaign, launched in 2018. C&A Europe supported 39 charities with donations totalling €760,000. 
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  • Between March and December 2018, the C&A Together programme funded 142 initiatives in 18 European countries, donating €2.9 million. 
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  • In 2018, the partnership among C&A, C&A Foundation, and Save the Children reached more than 8 million people, of whom around 4 million are children.
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  • C&A Europe provided training for ‘we take It back,’ reaching all employees in the 460 stores running the programme, as well as C&A Germany employees, introducing them to online take-back.
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  • Almost 200 new C&A Europe employees participated in the 2018 orientation programme for new hires, which includes an introduction to our sustainability commitments and actions.
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[1] Cradle to Cradle Certified is a certification mark licensed exclusively by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

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