Our 2017 performance Strong performance towards our 2020 goals

We made strong progress towards our 2020 sustainability goals in 2017. 67% of the cotton we source is now either organic cotton or sourced as Better Cotton. We developed our first global, multi-channel sustainability communications campaign, #WearTheChange, which launched in early 2018.

We continue to focus on strengthening our programmes across the rest of our supply chain to meet our 2020 goals for top-rated suppliers, particularly in relation to safe and fair labour practices and zero discharge of hazardous chemicals.

We remain committed to our sustainability goals and are determined to strengthen our efforts when it comes to leading industry-wide change.

Our performance overview

Sustainable Products

  • Over two-thirds of the cotton we source is certified organic cotton or sourced as Better Cotton, up from 53% in 2016 and 40% in 2015. We remain the world’s leading buyer of certified organic cotton. Read more
  • Over one-quarter of the cotton we source is sourced as Better Cotton, making us one of the largest contributors to the Better Cotton Initiative in the world. Read more
  • 44% of the raw materials we use in our collections – such as cotton, viscose and polyester – are now sourced more sustainably. Read more
  • In Europe and 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. Read more
  • We were the first brand partner of Fashion for Good, where we are collaborating to drive circular economy approaches into our supply chain with other leading brands by implementing new technologies from innovative start-ups. Read more
  • We are sharing our learnings from the development of our Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedTM products with the industry through Fashion for Good's Good Fashion Guide, an open-source roadmap. Read more
  • We have now brought over 1.3 million pieces of our revolutionary Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedTM apparel to market in Europe, Brazil and Mexico. Read more
  • We were recognized by Ethical Corporation with the Sustainable Innovation of the Year award for our Cradle to Cradle GOLD CertifiedTM T-shirts. Read more
  • We introduced our first recycled nylon products in early 2018: around 80,000 pieces of lingerie certified to the Global Recycled Standard (GRS). Read more
  • 100% of our down and feathers meet the Responsible Down Standard, and we are working to strengthen the standard. Read more
  • We are working with the Organic Cotton Accelerator, CottonConnect and C&A Foundation to improve the business case for organic cotton for 300 farmers in India. Read more
  • Following its successful launch in the Netherlands, we rolled out our in-store take-back programme to Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, and piloted a program in Brazil. Read more

Sustainable Supply

  • We disclose 100% of our tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers across all four regions. The names and addresses of the factories of our 757 suppliers are plotted on a supplier map. Read more
  • We continued to work with 24 suppliers through our Supplier Ownership Programme, covering 60,000 workers. Read more
  • We continued to deliver a strong and constantly evolving audit process on safe and fair labour. In 2017, nearly 55% of the workers in our supply chain work in top-performing, A- and B-rated factories that adhere to our high standards on working hours, minimum wages, discrimination, violence or abuse and undisclosed production. Read more
  • We are among the leading brands for remediation in line with the Bangladesh Accord. C&A was one of the first to sign the Accord, and five years on, 92% of the issues identified across C&A's supplier operations have been corrected. Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) are in place for the remaining operations. Read more
  • We are one of the only fashion brands to disclose our entire greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and cradle-to-grave water footprint. Read more
  • We completed our third hybrid Life Cycle Assessment to measure our carbon and water footprints from cradle to grave. Compared to our estimate for 2016, we have reduced our carbon footprint by 15% and our water footprint by 14% in 2017. Read more
  • In 2017, we committed to new global 2025 goals to reduce water in the production of our raw materials by 30%, and to further reduce the water we use in stores, distribution centres and head offices by 10% compared to 2015. Read more
  • Our facilities were given a Sustainable Chemicals Management performance score for the first time in 2017. 29% of facilities were already meeting our requirements, and the remaining facilities were given a clear timeframe for raising their performance. Read more
  • We are leading industry-wide convergence on a standardised environmental and social assessment tool called the Higg 3.0 Facility Environment Module (FEM) as part of our collaboration with other brands in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Read more
  • We were recognized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation as a 2017 winner of the Stop Slavery Award. Read more

Sustainable Lives

  • C&A was recognised as the most sustainable retail fashion brand in the Netherlands and Brazil in our third annual customer survey. In unprompted responses from over 6,000 customers, we also remained ‘top of mind’ for sustainability in Germany. Read more
  • We reached a key milestone in our sustainability journey with the launch of #WearTheChange, our first global, multi-channel sustainability communications campaign, in Europe, Brazil and China. The campaign will launch in Mexico later in 2018. Read more
  • 92% of employees in Mexico, and 87% in Brazil and China, told us they feel proud of C&A’s contribution on the community, society and environment. Read more
  • 13,920 employees in Europe and China took part in the third year of our Inspiring Women campaign. In many of our countries – including Italy, Switzerland and China – participation was above 80%, and we raised €574,000 for charities supporting women’s safety, leadership and voice. Read more
  • Over €408,000 was raised by customers to help refugees across Europe, and employees raised €6,000, matched by C&A Foundation, to help earthquake victims in Mexico. Read more
  • Between March 2017 and February 2018, C&A Foundation funded 142 initiatives in 18 European countries, donating €2.9 million through store giving. The recipients of the money were chosen by our employees via our C&A Together community giving programme. Read more

Progress towards our 2020 goals