Helping our customers feel good about buying and wearing our products is critical: they support our work to create positive change in the apparel industry with their purchasing decisions. We strive to make products with respect for people, the environment, and animals. We want our customers to feel proud of the products they buy from us, and to help them make purchasing decisions that drive change.
Welcoming customers to our sustainability journey
At C&A, we have long believed that everyone should be able to look good, feel good, and do good, every day. Our customers deserve great quality, stylish clothes that have been sourced and made in a way that respects people, the environment, and animals – without compromise, and at no extra cost.
Since we began our annual insights survey, our customers have been telling us that they appreciate the steps we have taken to enhance sustainability in our supply chain and our operations, and they want to know more about the sustainability of the clothes they buy. In response, we created a customer-facing message that could bring sustainability to life in an uncomplicated and accessible way, helping customers find the products they want and be reassured that they have been produced and sourced sustainably.
Bringing sustainability to life with #WeartheChange
As part of our mission to bring sustainable products into the mainstream, #WearTheChange focuses on the needs of C&A customers. That means helping them find the products they want in a range of styles and colours to suit them, and communicating their sustainability credentials in a way that is clear, simple, and easily accessible for everyone. In 2019, sustainability communications continued globally with #WearTheChange in stores, online, and in print. We also updated our product hang tags where appropriate to give customers even more information about specific products.
All products promoted under #WearTheChange are produced and sourced in a way that is more sustainable than conventional methods. Each is backed by a verifiable sustainability claim, such as certified organic cotton or Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM. At the same time, it is important to note that #WearTheChange is not a certification or claim – instead, it serves as a way to help our customers identify and understand the more sustainable products we offer, and learn more about our sustainability efforts. Nevertheless, every product with a hangtag which says #WearTheChange must be backed by a verifiable sustainability claim.
Our #WearTheChange message is clear: every little step counts. We continue inviting customers to join our sustainability journey with an inspiring and optimistic message that it’s possible to look good and feel good, with no compromises.
Making innovative sustainable products even more available
We want all our products to be the best they can be: designed, sourced, and made with sustainability in mind. C&A is the world’s leading buyer of certified organic cotton and 94% of our cotton clothes are made with more sustainable cotton as of 2019.
Throughout 2019 we also continued our development of circular fashion products. Our Gold level Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products include T-shirts and jeans. We also offer a diverse array of additional Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products in Men’s, Ladies’, Teens’, and Kids’ options in Europe, Mexico, and Brazil. Also during the year we developed the world's first Platinum level Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM denim fabric in the fashion industry.
The path to transparency
Our customers want us to be more transparent about where their clothes come from, so they can trust that we are making the right choices for them. We’re tackling this through our communications online, such as by posting up-to-date lists of our suppliers’ factories. To make a real difference to many of the social and environmental issues in apparel, we need to play our part in shifting the entire industry – and the only way to do this is through collaboration.
Global and local communications
Our communication approaches are localised to ensure we are talking to our regional customers about issues they care about. We learned years ago that although there are some differences between countries, there are often core issues of importance to everyone. As a result, we initially launched our Gold level Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM T-shirt with similar campaigns across Europe and Brazil, followed by launch of our Gold level Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM jeans in Men’s and Ladies’ options. We have replicated this model in our ongoing #WearTheChange platform, developing core global messaging with light-touch adaptations, such as translations, as needed to effectively communicate with customers in our retail markets.
Enhancing communications through#WearTheChange
We launched #WearTheChange as a focal point for our customer-facing sustainability communications. Throughout 2019 we communicated the specific sustainability benefits of our products through this messaging, localised as needed for our retail markets. We also communicated in stores and online about the sustainability benefits of our Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM collections. But we know we have more work to do to make sure customers recognise the more sustainable nature of our #WearTheChange items, especially our innovative Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM options.
The results of our 2019 customer survey reveal the need for more multi-channel communications across our global markets, where social media is increasingly complemented by new channels such as mobile apps. We are developing a broader communications program for release later in 2020, with the aim of helping customers make even more informed decisions and fashion choices.