Animal welfare Treating animals with care and respect

C&A has a long-standing commitment to high standards of animal welfare. We believe that animals should be treated with care, respect and dignity, as per the Five Freedoms. We work hard with partners and our suppliers to make this approach is standard across our supply chain. This involves focusing on all the raw materials involved in the production of our clothing. 

newborn collection


Our policy on animal welfare states that we:

  • Expect our suppliers to abide by the internationally-accepted Five Freedoms [SOURCE: Farm Animal Welfare Council] for animal welfare.
  • Never use products for which animals have been slaughtered or harmed in any way for their skin, fur or feathers. 
  • Strive to increase traceability from the farm to the final product.
  • Only use raw materials that come from animals used for meat production. 
  • Never accept materials from exotic, threatened or endangered species, as defined by the Convention on International in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species.

Our approach is collaborative, we work hand in hand with others who are tackling similar issues. We set, define and implement industry level solutions with animal welfare organisations, fellow brands, retailers, our suppliers and independent auditors. 

We also listen – welcoming challenges and criticism that can help us improve. Ensuring high standards of animal welfare means that the apparel industry must be accountable for the promises we make.  

Our animal welfare policy

For the last 10 years, we have worked hard to eradicate animal welfare issues from our supply chain. We started banning fur in the 1990s and have been a Fur Free Retailer since 2013. We spent much of 2016 reaching our target of 100% RDS-certified down. Our 2016 animal welfare policy brings our work together and underlines our strong commitment to how animals are cared for in our supply chain.

We have banned:

  • Live-plucking and force-feeding of animals that provide the down and feathers used in our products.  
  • The use of angora in our products, following concerns around the transparency of our supply chain in 2013. 
  • The practice of mulesing sheep kept for wool. More humane alternatives can be used to protect sheep from flies and illnesses. 
  • The use of real fur in our products. 
  • We do not accept bovine leather from India, or leather with hair attached from China or India. This came into effect with the new policy. All leather and skin should be sourced from producers that work according to good animal husbandry and humane handling practices.

Read our animal welfare policy here




Our 2016 performance

Making strides in policy and responsible down

We’ve made big strides in 2016, launching a new Animal Welfare Policy and achieving our goal of moving to 100% RDS-certified products globally that means we can ensure good standards of welfare in our down and feather supply chain.

Listening, investigating and taking action

We are constantly seeking to improve our practices. When legitimate concerns are raised, we take them extremely seriously. We listen and investigate to ensure the necessary action is taken. For example, when we discovered violations in our angora wool supply chain in 2013, we eliminated it from our entire product range because the supply chain was opaque and we understood that it would be difficult for us to ensure animal welfare in the process. Our Animal Welfare Policy seeks to make our standards and commitments clear. 

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