C&A is a ‘Future Shaper’ for Sustainable Textile Production
‘Textile Exchange’, one of the world’s leading organisations for the promotion, analysis and certification of organic cotton and organic textiles, awarded C&A Europe the title of a ‘Future Shaper’ this year. This makes the fashion company headquartered in Düsseldorf one of only ten worldwide whose commitment to sustainable textile industry Textile Exchange has rewarded with this distinction.
“The award of the ‘Future Shaper’ title means a lot to us,“ said Phil Chamberlain, Head of Sustainable Business Development, C&A. “What began in 2004 as an organic cotton project, has developed since then into an integrated sustainability strategy which now shapes the entire textile value chain of our company.” In its reasons for awarding the distinction, ‘Textile Exchange’ commended the initiatives of C&A in the cultivation regions, for example India, and the company’s close cooperation with non-government organisations.
In recent years, C&A Europe has consistently ranked in top positions as a seller of fashion made of cotton produced by sustainable cultivation methods. The company is now the world’s Number 2 organic cotton buyer. “It was rightly noted by ‘Textile Exchange’ that we attach great importance to the long-term nature of our commitment,” Chamberlain said. “Only such a long-term strategy ensures that our commitment to organic cotton cultivation really leads to sustained improvement of the ecosystems in the cultivation regions and of the living conditions of the farmers working there.”
The sustainability strategy of C&A not only focuses on active environmental protection by reduced water and energy consumption, but equally important is the protection of people and nature by a substantial reduction in the use of synthetic chemicals and pesticides, a focus on reducing the amount of water used in cotton cultivation, and improving the living conditions of people working in cotton cultivation.
C&A operates some 1.500 stores in 20 European markets. The company reported sales of more than € 6.8 billion in Europe in the last financial year. During that period, the company sold some 32 million garments made of organic cotton. C&A aims to double that figure to more than 60 million items during the current financial year. By 2020, C&A plans to cease selling fashion made of conventionally grown cotton completely. “The entire C&A collection will then be made either of organic cotton or other forms of more sustainably grown cotton” Phil Chamberlain said. “That is not only part of our overall sustainability strategy, but also corresponds to the wishes of our customers.”