Sustainable materials - A commitment to responsible sourcing

Growing, manufacturing, and transporting the raw materials used to make clothes all have significant environmental impacts. From sourcing fibres to dyeing and finishing clothing, we're working to reduce water, energy, chemical use, and waste impacts.

More than a decade ago, we were one of the first major companies to take a lead in sustainable raw materials. We found we could make a positive difference with our purchasing decisions. Today, sourcing responsibly, with an emphasis on more sustainable materials, is part of our commitment to helping HER, our customer, look and feel good. In fact, sustainable materials not only help us reduce impacts, but also meet increasing customer demand for more sustainable clothing at affordable prices.

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The need for more sustainable materials

2,700 L

the water needed to make one cotton T-shirt, including the water used to grow the cotton.1

14.2kg

the CO2 generated to make one kilogram of polyester fibre.2

70 million

 

the number of trees felled each year to make cellulosic fabric.3


 

 

Innovation, inspiration, and invention in the industry

Europe: Reimagining the future of denim

As one of the biggest denim retailers in Europe, we encourage young design talent to imagine the future of this versatile material. In 2015, we held our annual C&A Design Challenge with Amsterdam’s Jean School, part of House of Denim. Eight students recreated traditional denim styles as affordable, contemporary pieces, using sustainable materials and environmentally friendly production practices. C&A Foundation is also supporting House of Denim’s new facilities at Denim City, an innovation campus that features an upcycling centre.

China: Towards more sustainable materials with a new fabric library

Today, C&A China sources fabrics from multiple suppliers. To gain a deeper understanding of the fabrics we use, C&A China is creating a ‘fabric library’. Not only will this comprehensive database drive more consistency in the fabrics we use in our products, but will also let us check each fabric’s quality and environmental credentials before placing the order. The fabric library will also incorporate our findings on each mill’s chemicals management performance so we can confidently source fabrics from the best-performing mills.

C&A Foundation: Innovation for a sustainable and fair apparel industry

C&A Foundation launched the online Fabric of Change challenge in 2015 with not-for-profit organization Ashoka. The three-year partnership fosters social entrepreneurs and their ideas to transform the fashion industry at all stages of the value chain. The winners earn €100,000 investment capital to test, refine, or scale their solutions.

Building a strong, collaborative network of problem-solvers is a tremendous step towards empowering everyone in the fashion value chain to creative positive change.

Diana Wells, President of Ashoka
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More sustainable cotton

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OUR 2020 GOAL
100%

of our cotton is more sustainable.

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Other raw materials

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OUR 2020 GOAL
67%

of our raw materials are
more sustainable.

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