Giving back to our communities 

Many C&A employees generously volunteer in their local communities, and we want to make it even easier for them to do so. In addition to the successful Inspiring Women campaign, employees were involved in their local communities and gave back in a variety of ways during 2015:

Mexico

For the eighth year running, Fundación C&A (part of C&A Foundation) hosted a volunteering day where C&A Mexico employees could support their communities. In 2015, more than 70 employees supported Galilea 2000 A.C., a hospital-based shelter for vulnerable patients and families. This included upgrading the children's area and bedrooms and printing t-shirts to be sold as fair trade items. 

Brazil

3,500 C&A Brazil volunteers carried out more than 1,800 volunteering activities for 105 partner institutions, helping 15,000 children. Some 250 of our 297 stores are participating, representing a 15% increase over last year’s event. Through Instituto C&A (part of C&A Foundation), the programme helps employees become more actively involved with child and adolescent education.

Europe

In partnership with Women on Wings and C&A Foundation, C&A volunteers from Belgium and France shared business and sustainability knowledge with two organizations, including GoCoop, India’s first online social marketplace for weavers and artisans. 

newborn collection

3,500 volunteers + 1,800 volunteering activities + 105 partner institutions = 15,000 children helped

Brazil: 3,500 volunteers + 1,800 volunteering activities + 105 partner institutions = 15,000 children helped

Volunteering has long been valued at C&A Brazil, where it’s become an important way to empower employees through citizenship. About 3,500 C&A Brazil employees volunteer to make a difference in society. In 2015, they focused on activities in the community as reading, storytelling, drama, music, and games with children from poor backgrounds. In Porto Alegre, for example, C&A volunteers supported the NGO Cirandar, reading to children in public libraries, volunteers in São Luís held a walk for peace, and employees in the remote rural area Marabá entertained kids with movies.

All told, volunteers and managers were more involved than ever before, with over 1,800 volunteering activities in support of 105 partner institutions, helping some 15,000 children.

Key to this success is C&A Brazil’s practice of encouraging volunteering during work hours and ongoing commitments from each store. Employee efforts are celebrated during an annual two-day national event for sharing best practices and recognising outstanding efforts. In 2015, more than 250 of our 297 stores took part in the awards, a 15% increase over the previous year.

Engagement comes from social participation, people’s desire to contribute to the common good. It is genuine, it is in the heart. From the moment the person has the desire, and they see their role to transform a community, and they join the cause that they believe in, they will make social transformation happen.

Daniela Pavan, Coordinator, Mobilisation and Participation, Instituto C&A

Europe: C&A volunteers collaborate with Women on Wings

Empowering entrepreneurs can boost local economies and help improve health, education, and quality of life in communities. Together with Women on Wings and C&A Foundation, we’re running a pilot to share our business knowledge with garment companies in rural India that have a large proportion of female workers. The goal is to help them expand and create new jobs and income for women, while improving working conditions and building skills and knowledge for employees.

In early 2015, the first group of C&A volunteers from Belgium travelled to India to begin working with Jharcraft, a social enterprise and textile company, on creating markets for its products. Later that year, C&A employees from France visited GoCoop, which works with 225 cooperatives supporting 60,000 weavers throughout India. They helped the company with ideas for reaching new markets, working with international retailers, strengthening sales and marketing, and implementing sustainability.

For more information on Women on Wings, visit their website.

I am very hopeful that we can take this agenda forward and more fashion brands and retailers will source handmade fabrics through co-ops.

Siva Devireddy, Founder and CEO at GoCoop

We worked on a new collection for fabrics and visited weavers in villages near Hyderabad. It was just an amazing experience. We too gained a lot from this visit.

Hatman Chaieb, District Manager at C&A France


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