China 

C&A China, which began operations in 2007, has 70 stores — including one stand-alone store dedicated to Kids’ products — across 23 cities. Internet shopping is growing fast in China. C&A China launched its online platform in March 2014 with good results. Sales revenue increased fourfold after only three years. E-commerce represents 15% of our retail business in China, achieving a record 300,000 visitors to our online channel every day.

Sustainable Products

  • Only a small proportion of the cotton produced in China is organic. Working with C&A Foundation and CottonConnect, we have been piloting a project in Shandong Province to support farmers in their transition from conventional to organic cotton. During 2018, we expanded the project to a total of 300 farmers (from 105 in 2017), and purchased 90 metric tons of in-transition cotton to produce 144,000 T-shirts and 80,400 pairs of jeans.
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  • In China, we have taken the bold step of committing to source 100% of our man-made cellulosic fibres from suppliers who have practices in place to prevent ancient or endangered forest products entering their supply chain. 
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  • In 2018, 100% of cellulosic fibre suppliers to China were verified as low risk of controversial fibre. This is in keeping with our commitment to source all man-made cellulosic fibres from suppliers who have practices in place to prevent ancient or endangered forest products entering their supply chain.
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  • In China, we brought to market more than 157,000 pieces of Responsible Down Standard-certified down, which represented 100% of all down items sold by C&A in China.
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Sustainable Supply

  • 45% of the suppliers we work with in C&A China we share with C&A Europe. 15 of these suppliers provide 60% of our products in China. In 2018, we continued working to raise the standards across all of our suppliers.
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  • Although most of our climate-related impacts originate in the C&A supply chain, we are also working to be energy efficient in our retail stores. A 2017-2018 LED lighting replacement initiative at a large store in Shanghai are expected to deliver annual energy savings of 50% at store and could potentially be replicated at other C&A locations in China and elsewhere.
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  • C&A China has begun working with our other three regions to determine the feasibility of greater consistency for handling our unsold inventory and contributing to our global zero waste goal, and we recycled 133 metric tons of cardboard boxes and paper during 2018.
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Sustainable Lives

  • Beginning in April 2018, we strengthened customer engagement in our sustainability journey with #WearTheChange, our global, multi-channel sustainability communications platform. Implementation included a series of creative and localised approaches in China.
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  • C&A launched a graphic design competition featuring sustainability messages on T-shirts and canvas bags, resulting in more than 2,500 designs submitted by participants, then extended #WearTheChange engagement with colourful notebooks made from sustainable inks and paper and featuring the same graphics as the T-shirts and bags.
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  • During the year, we recorded numerous views of WeChat articles featuring #WearTheChange, more than twice the average for C&A articles, including 515,000 views by key opinion leaders.
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  • In the 2018 employee survey, 93% of employees in China told us they feel proud of C&A’s contribution on the community, society, and environment, an increase of 6 percentage points over the 2017 survey. 
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  • C&A China conducted e-learning on the Employee Code of Ethics, and 100% of new employees completed the online training and test, as well as 98% of headquarters office staff and 100% of store employees.
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  • In addition, 77 C&A China employees completed online and in-person sustainability training sessions in 2018.
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  • Throughout the region, 97% of C&A employees from retail stores and the head office participated in the first year of Inspiring World, generating €41,160 in donations for two organisations that support women’s livelihoods and empowerment.
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