Man-made cellulosics including viscose, modal and lyocell Protecting endangered forests

Viscose (also known as rayon), modal and lyocell are derived from cellulose made from the dissolved wood pulp of trees. They are the third most used materials at C&A. We’re working with the Canopy Style Initiative to tackle the logging of the world’s ancient and endangered forests. In 2016, we continued our engagement with Canopy and are working hard to implement the initiative globally.

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How the Canopy Style initiative works

In 2015, C&A joined the Canopy Style initiative, alongside 100 other brand partners, and published a policy on protecting forests through fabric choices. To pilot the programme, C&A China mapped its supply chain to have a good understanding of which cellulosics producers they were working with. 

Going forward, C&A will eliminate fabrics made of pulp from ancient and endangered forests, illegal logging, or logging that harms indigenous people’s rights, and will give preference to suppliers using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified fibres. Nine of the world’s top 10 rayon-viscose producers, representing 70% of global production, have now publicly committed to end all sourcing from ancient and endangered forests. Some have also completed third party independent verification audits of their raw fibre purchases, tracking fibre back to the forests of origin and identifying and eliminating any risk of contentious fibre entering their supply chain. 

Our global commitment, led by C&A China, means we will assess our sourcing of cellulose based fibres and: 

  • Eliminate the sourcing of fabrics made from pulp from ancient and endangered forests or forests that are logged illegally. 
  • Show a preference for suppliers who are working to preserve endangered forests or use FSC-certified methods. 
  • Train and engage suppliers on the Canopy Style Initiative, encouraging them to adopt the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

C&A Foundation is supporting Canopy Style to help strengthen the initiative, so it can bring more brands on board.

Our 2016 performance

Working towards protecting endangered forests across our operations

C&A China is working towards the implementation of the Canopy Style Initiative. The next stage is identifying preferred suppliers with Canopy. All other C&A retail markets are developing roadmaps and will begin to source more sustainable viscose in 2017/18.

Understanding our water footprint

We have also completed a water footprint assessment for our viscose and polyester products which will allow us to minimise the water used in their production. The water footprint for viscose is much smaller than polyester and cotton. We’ll use this to inform our overall approach to sourcing raw materials more sustainably.

Protecting endangered forests all over the world

Old growth forests are increasingly rare and over 80% of the world’s original forests have already been logged [SOURCE: Canopy]. We have a responsibility to protect what is left. And we need to do it quickly – at current rates, 55% of the Amazon rainforest could be gone by 2030.

Helping create market shift

The Canopy Style initiative aims to shift the entire man-made cellulosics market and eliminate the sourcing of fabrics made of the pulp from ancient and endangered forests, or forests that are logged illegally. To achieve this, producers must go through the Canopy Style verification audit and publish their results. However, only a handful are currently going through the process. To reach the outcome we want and need, all producers must engage on this journey.

Where next?

A global commitment to the Canopy Style initiative

By rolling out the initiative worldwide through our regions, we continue to support Canopy in their efforts to get the top 10 viscose producers to take part in the verification framework. The market will only completely transform once all producers sign up and ensure that only more sustainable viscose is available. Alongside this, we will start to nominate producers that have already gone through the audit, to ensure we can live up to our commitment.

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