We engage with stakeholders to understand their perspectives on key issues in the apparel industry. Through this engagement we can work together to find solutions and to continually improve our strategy.
Our stakeholder engagement process consists of six steps:
Our key stakeholder groups
We have identified 64 stakeholder groups across eight main focus areas. These areas include sustainable sourcing, the circular economy, our environmental impact, safe and fair working conditions in our supply chains, and inspiring and enabling our customers to act sustainably and to engage our employees.
While this list includes many stakeholder groups that we engage on a regular basis, we invite anyone to start a conversation with C&A on any topic. To contact us, please click here.
|Business & Human Rights Center||Human Rights due diligence|
|Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)||Workers’ rights|
|Cividep||Workers’ rights in India|
|Clean Clothes Campaign||Workers’ rights|
|Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)||Workers’ rights and living wagee|
|Freedom Fund||Workers’ rights and bonded labour|
|Four Paws||Animal welfare|
|Greenpeace||Sustainable Chemicals Management|
|Human Rights Watch||Workers’ rights and freedom of association|
|Indian Committee of the Netherlands||Workers’ rights and migrant labour|
|IndustriALL||Workers’ rights and living wage|
|International Labor Organization (ILO)||Global partnership for workers’ rights|
|Responsible Sourcing Network||Cotton sourcing|
|Textile Exchange||Animal welfare and raw materials|
We involve our key stakeholders in setting the direction of major strategies and programmes, and keep them updated on our progress.
In 2017, we have expanded our engagement with stakeholders as we updated our Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) strategy. The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) reviewed and provided input for the development of the strategy. As they are a tripartite organisation, they also voiced the perspective of workers and civil society.
In the past year, our Sustainable Chemicals Management programme has evolved to become one of the core elements of our SSC strategy. We recognise that it is crucial to involve our key stakeholders, update them on the implementation of the programme, and discuss the lessons learned. Our first stakeholder dialogue meeting on chemicals management will take place in Spring 2018, aiming to gather feedback on the current strategy and create a platform for collaboration and dialogue between C&A and our key stakeholders.
The United Nations’ 17th Sustainable Development Goal recognises the value of global partnerships in creating sustainable development. Our partners are critical to helping us develop and achieve our sustainability ambitions and goals. We work with them to inform our strategy and to amplify our work, which aims to drive change across the broader apparel industry.
Our most significant partner is C&A Foundation, who have been on a mission to make fashion a force for good since 2013. They believe that fashion can be fair and sustainable, but that radical change is needed across the industry to reach this goal. Together, we deliver groundbreaking projects that make a real difference. The Fashion for Good innovation hub is the latest example: launched in Amsterdam in March 2017, it is an industry-wide initiative supporting the development of circular fashion, with other leading partners such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and sustainable trade initiative IDH.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s vision is of an apparel, footwear, and home textiles industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on the people and communities associated with its activities. It plans to achieve this through promoting supply chain transparency and pioneering assessment tools. Our industry focus as one of the founding members of the SAC has led C&A to become one of the main drivers of an update to the Higg Index – a key sustainability tool – which will benefit the apparel sector as a whole. Industry convergence by way of the widespread adoption of the Higg Index is key to the success of the SAC.
Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)
The ZDHC programme aims to advance towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in the textile and footwear value chain to improve the environment and people's wellbeing. The ZDHC programme includes a collaboration of 24 signatory brands, 53 value chain affiliates and 15 associates. Together, we are working to support implementation of safer chemical management practices. C&A was an early signatory to the programme and a founding member of the ZDHC academy.
ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation)
ACT is an industry-wide collective bargaining agreement working to ensure living wages for garment workers in key sourcing countries. Now in its second phase, the multi-stakeholder initiative is establishing programmes and developing responsible purchasing practices for the industry. C&A is a founding member.
The Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety
C&A are a founding member of the Bangladesh Accord. We were one of the first to sign the Accord, along with 220 other brands, international unions and NGOs in response to the Rana Plaza disaster. The Accord is an independent, legally-binding agreement, designed to create a safe and healthy garment industry in Bangladesh. We've played an active role in the steering committee since its inception, and in June 2017 we helped define how the agreement should be extended past its five-year anniversary.
Dutch Textile Covenant
In 2016, we joined the Dutch Textile Covenant, led by the Government of the Netherlands, industry, federations, labour organisations and civil society. The covenant works to address the most pressing issues in textile-producing countries, such as preventing child labour and improving conditions and wages in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Turkey.
German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Textilbündnis)
Since 2015, we have played an active role in sharing best practice and developing the agenda of the German Federal Government’s Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. This multi-stakeholder initiative seeks to improve social, economic and environmental outcomes across garment industry supply chains. In 2017, as part of our commitment to the partnership, we submitted our roadmap with specific goals.
Going forward, we would like to see such national initiatives co-ordinated at a higher level and incorporated in one Europe-wide initiative that co-ordinates national efforts and creates convergence in actions and resource allocation for greater impact.
CottonConnect is on a mission to transform the cotton industry for good. It works with brands and retailers such as C&A to enable them to develop a more robust and resilient cotton supply chain. In 2007, C&A and the Shell Foundation founded CottonConnect. CottonConnect promotes transparency in the supply chain, trains farmers in agro-economic practices and supports the enhancement of farmer livelihoods and strong farming communities. Before moving to Better Cotton, we ran the REEL programme with CottonConnect to improve conventional cotton growing through sustainable approaches. We continue to work with them to develop testing methods for organic cotton and improve conditions for the farmers.
|Collaboration or partnership||Since||Role|
|United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles (WEP)||2018||Signatory|
|Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute||2017||Board member|
|Fashion for Good||2017||First corporate partner Innovation committee member|
|Prince of Wales Cotton Communiqué||2017||Signatory|
|Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)||2017||Signatory|
|Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy 100 (CE100)||2016||Member|
Ellen MacArthur Foundation Make Fashion Circular
|Dutch Covenant for Sustainable Apparel and Textile||2016||Member|
|Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT)||2015||Founding member|
|Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)||2015||Member Buyer and investment committee member|
|Save the Children||2015||Sponsoring partner|
|The German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles||2015||Member|
|UN Global Compact||2015||Signatory|
|Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA)||2014||Founding member Board and investment committee member|
|Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety||2013||Steering committee member|
|Better Mill Initiative||2013||Member|
|Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)||2012||Member|
|Forum for the Future||2012||Member|
|Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)||2011||Board member|
|Brazilian Association of Textile Retailers (ABVTEX)||2010||Member|
|Partnership for Cleaner Textiles||2010||Member|
|Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)||2010||Founding member|
|Global Social Compliance Programme||2008||Member|
|Textile Exchange||2004||Board member|