Polyester is made from petroleum derived from crude oil, a finite non-renewable resource, and accounts for 19%of the material we use. Since the 1990s, demand for polyester has grown at a steady rate. Because polyester is an important material in our collections, we will increase our use of certified recycled sources over time and reduce the impact of extraction and processing of non-renewable resources.
Innovating products to use recycled polyester
In 2016, C&A recognised the need to increase our use of certified recycled polyester. In 2017, C&A Europe developed the first products with polyester certified to the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) or the Recycled Content Standard (RCS). Over 100,000 pieces were launched in stores in early 2018, in both outerwear and Ladies’ blouses. In 2018, we continued this development and sold more than 300,000 recycled polyester pieces in Ladies’, Men's, and Kids’. Most of the recycled polyester in our products is made from recycled PET bottles from multiple sources.
C&A China also explored recycled polyester in clothing during 2017 and 2018. And in 2018, C&A Brazil identified opportunities to work with recycled cotton and polyester, and with biodegradable polyamide. These will be further investigated for potential implementation in the domestic supply chain in 2019.
Increasing uptake of recycled polyester
We will continue to find ways of using more certified recycled polyester in our products, increasing demand for this more sustainable resource. For 2019, C&A China will use recycled poly-down for some poly-fill jackets as part of a new collection and plans to expand recycled poly-fill as availability increases in China.