Other raw materials Made with respect for people, nature and animals

Our clothing is made from a wide variety of raw materials, including natural fibres such as cotton, down, linen or wool, as well as synthetic fibres such as polyester, and man-made cellulosics like viscose. Ensuring they’re more sustainable means the materials are grown and manufactured in ways that use fewer natural resources, respect nature and people, and ensure the welfare of animals throughout the supply chain. We want our customers to feel good about the clothes they buy at C&A. We started our journey with more sustainable cotton – our most-used material – and are using what we’ve learnt to develop and implement best practice for other raw materials. 

newborn collection

 

Animal welfare

Responsibly sourced down

Polyester

Man-made cellulosics

Why we focus on man-made fibres

  • Man-made fibres account for nearly 80% of all fibres produced worldwide and more than 30% of the materials we use at C&A. 
  • 14.2kg of CO2 is generated to make one kilogram of polyester fibre [SOURCE: WWF] and demand has been growing rapidly since the 1990s at 7% every year. [SOURCE: Water Footprint Network]
  • 120 million trees are felled each year to make cellulosic fabric in the clothing we all wear. [SOURCE: Canopy]

Why we focus on animal welfare

Animal welfare is a key issue for our customers and C&A as a business. The mistreatment of animals is still prevalent across the world and materials can be hard to trace back to the farm where the animals were born and live. Animal materials appear in a number of our products, from the down in our jackets to the wool in our sweaters. We also offer our customers the choice to select a synthetic substitute and always have an alternative in-store.

Our 2016 actions

Work towards our 2020 goal for 67% of our raw materials to be more sustainable.

100% of our down is RDS-certified.

Develop our approach to sourcing viscose and polyester more sustainably.

Increase our focus on animal welfare.

Our 2016 performance

An animal welfare policy that captures the strength of our commitment

At the end of 2016 we launched our new comprehensive animal welfare policy to further our commitment to treating animals with care and respect. Building on our proven track record, we have developed principles that will build upon our strong buying and sourcing practices for animal based materials.

Read more about our animal welfare policy

100% Responsible Down Standard-certified down

We have achieved our goal to source 100% RDS-certified down, up from 40% in 2015. In October 2016 we launched a Europe-wide campaign to communicate this to our customers.

Read more about down and feathers

 

Water footprint of viscose and polyester

In 2016, we mapped the impacts of viscose and polyester – our two most important materials aside from cotton – to help us understand where to focus our efforts. We found that while water use is relatively low for man-made cellulosics and polyester compared to cotton, their water footprints vary considerably depending on the feedstock used to produce them and the industrial processing methods used to make the fibres.

 

Read more about man made cellulosics

Read more about polyester

Who we’re working with 

Four Paws, Textile Exchange, Canopy

Collaborating and re-evaluating to make sustainable raw materials the norm

To meet our 2020 targets around raw materials, we have formed or joined partnerships with leading industry stakeholders; seeking to build on their work to implement change faster and more effectively. We use tried and tested, independently audited initiatives to improve our performance. Once we have achieved those best practice standards, we seek to collaborate further, taking the industry with us along the way.

Our cornerstone goal on cotton has formed the basis of our approach and we have used our learnings to shape and adopt the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and the Canopy Style Initiative. 

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