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 any one to start a conversation with C&A on any topic. To contact us, please click here.
Who we are in dialogue with
|Greenpeace||Sustainable Chemicals Management|
|Clean Clothes Campaign||Workers’ rights dialogue|
|IndustriALL||Workers’ rights and living wage dialogue|
|Centre for Research on|
Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
|Four Paws||Animal welfare|
|Ethical Trading Initiative||Workers’ rights and living wage dialogue|
|Responsible Sourcing Network||Cotton Sourcing|
|International Labour Organization||Global Partnership for workers’ rights|
We involve our key stakeholders in setting the direction of major strategies and programmes, and keep them updated on our progress. In 2016, we held a stakeholder meeting in Zurich on ‘Transparency as a driver for change’. C&A aims to be a leader in sustainability through the proactive and transparent engagement of our stakeholders. After taking the first step – disclosing details of all our tier-1 factories for C&A Europe – we decided to invite key stakeholders to a half-day meeting in order to keep them informed and involved in our ongoing strategy on transparency. In a good and open conversation, stakeholders provided thoughtful feedback and posed questions on:
Through this process, we incorporated their feedback. The group agreed to meet together again during 2017 to follow up on progress and provide feedback.
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 ‘open-source’ 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 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 22 signatory brands, 24 value chain affiliates and 10 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.
Dutch Textile Covenant
In 2016, we joined the Dutch Textile Covenant, led by the Netherlands government, 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|
|UN Global Compact||2015||Signatory|
|Partnership for Sustainable|
|Better Cotton Initiative||2015||Member|
|Organic Cotton Accelerator||2015||Member, Member of the Board|
|Bangladesh Accord for Fire|
and Building Safety
|2013||Signatory, Steering Committee Member|
|Better Mill Initiative||2013||Member|
|Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)||2012||Member|
|Forum for the Future||2012||Member|
|Zero Discharge of Hazardous|
|2011||Member, Member of the Board|
|Partnership for Cleaner Textile||2010||Steering committee member|
|Sustainable Apparel Coalition||2010||Founding member, Chair of the Board|
|Save the Children||2015||Sponsoring partner|
|Water Footprint Network||2009||Sponsoring partner|
|Global Social Compliance|
Member, Member of the Board
|C&A Foundation||2013||Member of the Board|
|Fashion for Good||2016||Corporate partner, Member of Steering Committee|