We engage with stakeholders to understand their perspectives on key issues in the apparel industry. Through this engagement, we can work together to find solutions and to continually improve our strategy.
Our stakeholder engagement process includes six steps:
Our key stakeholder groups
We have identified a number of stakeholder groups across focus areas that include sustainable sourcing, the circular economy, our environmental impact, safe and fair working conditions in our supply chains, inspiring and enabling our customers to act sustainably, and engaging our employees. While this list includes many stakeholder groups we engage on a regular basis, we invite anyone to start a conversation with C&A on any topic. Contact us here.
|Our key stakeholder organisations|
|Business & Human Rights Center||Human rights due diligence|
|Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)||Workers’ rights|
|Clean Clothes Campaign||Workers’ rights|
|Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)||Workers’ rights and living wages|
|Freedom Fund||Workers’ rights and bonded labour|
|Workers Rights Consortium||Workers' rights|
|Four Paws||Animal welfare|
|Greenpeace||Sustainable Chemicals Management|
|Human Rights Watch||Workers’ rights and freedom of association|
|Arisa (formerly Indian Committee of the Netherlands)||Workers’ rights and migrant labour|
|IndustriALL||Workers’ rights and living wage|
|InPacto - National Pact to Eradicate Slave Labour Institute||Workers’ rights and bonded labour|
|International Labour Organization (ILO)||Global partnership for workers’ rights|
|Responsible Sourcing Network||Cotton sourcing|
|Textile Exchange||Animal welfare and raw materials|
|Changing Markets Foundation||Viscose production|
|German Textilbündnis and Dutch Covenant||Governmental organisations|
The United Nations’ 17th Sustainable Development Goal recognises the value of global partnerships in creating sustainable development. Our partners are critical to helping us develop and achieve our sustainability ambitions and goals. We work with them to inform our strategy and to amplify our work, which aims to drive change across the broader apparel industry.
C&A Foundation (now Laudes Foundation)
Our most signiﬁcant partner has been C&A Foundation, which in 2020 became part of the newly launched Laudes Foundation. Together, we continue to deliver groundbreaking projects that make a real diﬀerence. Fashion for Good – the world’s ﬁrst collaborative innovation platform for sustainable fashion — is one recent example: this industry-wide initiative was launched by C&A Foundation, with C&A as one of its ﬁrst brand partners. Fashion for Good drives the transformation of the fashion industry towards a circular fashion system with the support and collaboration of its leading brand partners. In 2019, we continued our support of Fashion for Good in their mission to transform the apparel sector by supporting the Fashion for Good Accelerator Programme for start-ups and the Scaling Programme to encourage adoption of innovations, as well as contributing to the creation of guides and toolkits, for use in developing Cradle to Cradle CertiﬁedTM apparel and in the Fashion for Good Experience — an interactive museum for sustainable fashion innovation.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)
The vision of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition is of an apparel, footwear, and home textiles industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on the people and communities associated with its activities. It plans to achieve this by promoting supply chain transparency and pioneering assessment tools. Our industry focus as one of the founding members of the SAC has led C&A to become one of the main drivers of an update to the Higg Module – a key sustainability tool – which will benefit the apparel sector as a whole. Industry convergence by way of the widespread adoption of the Higg Module is key to the success of the SAC.
Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)
The ZDHC programme aims to advance towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in the textile and footwear value chain to improve the environment and people's wellbeing. The ZDHC programme includes a collaboration of 28 signatory brands, 81 value chain affiliates, and 17 associates. Together, we are working to support implementation of safer chemical management practices. C&A was an early signatory to the programme and a founding member of the ZDHC academy.
ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation)
ACT works to ensure living wages for garment workers in key sourcing countries. Now in its second phase, the multi-stakeholder initiative is establishing programmes and developing responsible purchasing practices for the industry. C&A is a founding member.
The Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety
C&A is a founding member of the Bangladesh Accord. We were one of the first to sign the Accord, along with 220 other brands, international unions and NGOs in response to the Rana Plaza disaster. The Accord is an independent, legally-binding agreement, designed to create a safe and healthy garment industry in Bangladesh. We’ve played an active role in the steering committee, we are deeply committed to the good work of the Accord, and we believe it is the best way to address the Bangladesh apparel industry’s fire safety challenges.
In January 2020, the Accord Steering Committee signed an agreement with the Bangladesh Garment Employers’ Association (BGMEA) on the transition to an RMG Sustainability Council (RSC). The Transition Agreement outlines the principles and steps in the transition from the Accord to the RSC, which aims to bring together industry, brands, and trade unions to carry forward the significant workplace safety accomplishments made in Bangladesh.
Dutch Textile Covenant
In 2016, we joined the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (also known as the Dutch Textile Covenant or the AGT), led by the Government of the Netherlands, industry federations, labour organisations, and civil society. The covenant works to address the most pressing issues in textile-producing countries, such as preventing child labour and improving conditions and wages in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. The AGT 1.0 is scheduled to conclude at the end of 2021.
German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Textilbündnis)
Since 2015, we have played an active role in sharing best practice and developing the agenda of the German Federal Government’s Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. This multi-stakeholder initiative seeks to improve social, economic, and environmental outcomes across garment industry supply chains. In 2018, as part of our commitment to the partnership, we updated our roadmap and progress toward our stated goals.
Going forward, we would like to see such national initiatives coordinated at a higher level and incorporated in one Europe-wide initiative that coordinates national efforts and creates convergence in actions and resource allocation for greater impact.
Social and Labour Convergence Project (SLCP)
In our effort to support common industry standards to address current challenges, C&A is part of the Social and Labour Convergence Project (SLCP). This is the most thorough effort to create a converged assessment framework that promotes collaboration, reduces the number of audits suppliers receive, and frees up resources that will be redirected to support remediation and prevention throughout the supply chain. More than 200 members, including brands, multi-stakeholder initiatives, audit firms, and NGOs, support SLCP in its journey. We are coordinating efforts with other 15 brands to scale SLCP for greater positive impacts.
During the year, the SLCP expanded from its Light Operations programme to full operations at approximately 1,200 facilities. C&A's participation expanded in 2019 to 25 facilities, nearly double the previous year. We expect to include 150 facilities in the SLCP programme during 2020.
|Collaboration or partnership||Since||Role|
|Sustainable Fiber Alliance (SFA)||2019||Member|
|Make Fashion Circular||2018||Participant|
|United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles (WEP)||2018||Signatory|
|Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute||2017||Certification Standards Board Member & Board member|
|Fashion for Good||2017||First corporate partner and Innovation committee member|
|Prince of Wales Cotton Communiqué||2017||Signatory|
|Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)||2017||Signatory|
|Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy 100 (CE100)||2016||Member|
Ellen MacArthur Foundation Make Fashion Circular
|Dutch Covenant for Sustainable Apparel and Textile||2016||Member|
|Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT)||2015||Founding member|
|Amsterdam Coalition||2015||Founding member|
|Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)||2015||Member Buyer and investment committee member|
|Save the Children||2015||Sponsoring partner|
|The German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles||2015||Member|
|UN Global Compact||2015||Signatory|
|Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA)||2014||Founding member, Board and investment committee member|
|Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety||2013-2018||Member|
|Better Mill Initiative||2013||Member|
|Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)||2012||Member|
|Forum for the Future||2012||Member|
|Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)||2011||Signatory and Board member|
|Brazilian Association of Textile Retailers (ABVTEX)||2010||Member|
|Partnership for Cleaner Textiles||2010||Member|
|Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)||2010||Founding member|
|Global Social Compliance Programme||2008||Board Member|
|Textile Exchange||2004||Board member|