November 2012

C&A’s European Executive Board commissions further investigation into fire at Bangladeshi textile plant

“We feel a deep solidarity with the families affected”

C&A’s Head of Sustainable Business Development will travel to Bangladesh this week. The purpose of his visit is to gather further information first hand on the incident, and to discuss how best C&A can play its part in helping those families whose loved ones have died or have been badly injured as a result of this tragic fire. “It is of utmost importance to C&A to establish concrete facts surrounding the safety standards prior to the accident, as well as addressing the needs of the families”, said Thorsten Rolfes, Head of Corporate Communication of C&A Europe.

Yesterday it was reported that more than 100 people died and many others were injured in a fire at the eight-story textile factory of Tazreen Fashion. The company had been commissioned to manufacture 220.000 sweaters to be delivered to C&A Brazil between December and February. This was C&A’s first commission to Tazreen Fashion.

“C&A feels a deep sense of solidarity with the families of those who lost relatives at yesterday’s fire at Tazreen Fashion and of those injured during the accident”, Rolfes said.

C&A statement on fire at Tazreen Fashion in Bangladesh

The European Executive Board of C&A has been informed about a fire in a textile plant in Dhaka, Bangladesh. “The victims and their families are in our thoughts and prayers”, said Thorsten Rolfes, Head of Corporate Communications for C&A Europe. The European Board confirms a contractual relation between Tazreen Fashion and C&A, since the company had been commissioned to manufacture 220.000 sweaters to be delivered to C&A Brazil between December 2012 and February 2013.

C&A withdraws T-shirt from the sales floor in Mexico

  • Tests by Greenpeace confirm integrity of products for the European market, according to the current EU legislation
  • High amount of NPE in Mexican garment violates company’s environmental commitment
  • European Executive Board emphasizes C&A’s commitment to the Joint  Roadmap

C&A Mexico has announced to take a specific T-shirt off the market after laboratory tests, commissioned by the international non-governmental organization Greenpeace, had indicated an excessive amount of NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylates) in the respective garment. The T-shirt was produced in Mexico, designated for sale only in the Mexican market. NPE’s are part of a group of chemicals substances called APEO’s (alkylphenol ethoxylates). The compounds are used in detergents, cleaning agents, or chemicals used for textile or leather production.

Thorsten Rolfes, Head of Corporate Communication at C&A Europe, apologized since the product withdrawal may have caused uncertainty amongst C&A customers. “All test on garments, designated for the European Market showed results within the range regulated by law and by the corporate standards to which C&A is committed. We stand by our commitment to abolish the use of NPEs in order to contribute to a better environment”, Mr. Rolfes said.

Nevertheless the withdrawal by C&A Mexico was necessary, according to Mr. Rolfes. For NPE’s are regarded to be negatively influencing water quality. “Since degradation products from NPE are very persistent, they constitute a substantial threat to the environment”, Mr. Rolfes said. “If suppliers use chemical products that contain NPE, they are disregarding our specific request to substitute NPE-containing chemical products.” In January 2012, C&A has started an extensive dialogue with all contractual manufacturing partners with the message that they must comply with this requirement and to further communicate throughout their own supply chains the need to source NPE-free chemical products.

C&A has, alongside other brands, committed to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Joint Roadmap. “We have committed ourselves to the goal of zero discharge and NPE’s are a part of this pledge”, Rolfes said. “Until 2020, whenever available and viable from a holistic and sustainable perspective, substitution will be adopted.


C&A awarded as “Company of the Month”

C&A awarded “Company of the Month” by the international OEKO-TEX Association. For further information please click here LINK

Updated C&A Individual Action Plan In the Frame of the Joint Roadmap towards Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals by 2020

16 November 2012 – Disclosure, PFC and APEO Termination

C&A recognises the urgent need for eliminating industrial releases of hazardous chemicals. According to its approach based on prevention and the precautionary principle C&A is committed to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals associated with supply chains and the lifecycles of C&A’s products by 2020. In the interim period, whenever available and viable from a holistic and sustainable perspective, substitution will be adopted.

C&A Supply-chain disclosure

In line with C&A´s commitment to the public’s ‘Right To Know’, C&A is already taking or will take the following actions:

i. C&A is already publishing its Restricted Substance List, and will continue to update and to publish such updates.

ii. By the end of 2013, and in line with the development of the audit tools from the ZDHC Joint Roadmap activities, C&A will publish its environmental audit processes.

iii. C&A will set up public disclosure of discharges of hazardous chemicals in our supply chain with the following actions:

a. Individual facility level disclosure of discharge data to the public by the end of November 2013. C&A will work with 5 trial Chinese C&A supplier facilities for their releasing of discharges data, using an online platform, (using the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs platform and the data collection template agreed with same, or equivalent) , with as far as possible full facility transparency ( i.e. location and individual data of facilities) covering the 11 priority groups of hazardous chemicals described in the Joint Roadmap.

b. Report to the public the results of the APEO investigation, including the detection levels and substitute chemistry used (and how/why it was chosen – non-hazardousness profile).

Targets for Other Hazardous Chemicals

Beyond the 11 priority chemical groups listed above, we will participate in the Joint Roadmap activities that concern the following items:

i. Release of a comprehensive inventory of chemicals used in apparel/footwear manufacturing in early 2013.

ii. Assessment of the hazards of these chemicals through the hazardous screening methodology developed in the frame of the related Joint Roadmap project.

iii. Establishment of an apparel/footwear manufacturing sector wide list of hazardous chemicals by the end of 2013.

iv. Support for a transition to the use of preferred (greener) chemicals.

C&A’s APEO elimination strategy

C&A has communicated to all contractual manufacturing partners the requirement to source preparations that are APEO/NPE free. C&A will further elaborate its elimination strategy with the following actions:

i. We recognise there are multiple supply-chain pathways for potential APEO contamination (including chemical formulations) and will enhance both training and auditing of our supply-chain in conjunction with other ZDHC Joint Roadmap Members.

ii. To ensure our suppliers have the latest information on APEOs, C&A will conduct a review of APEOs use in the textile/apparel industry in conjunction with other ZDHC Joint Roadmap Members, highlighting where there is a risk that APEOs may enter into the undocumented contamination of chemical supplier formulations.

iii. C&A will work with our supply chain and other global industry leaders, to ensure the most current technological limits of detection are reflected via the lowest detectable limits within cost effective testing regimes.

C&A’s Perfluorocarbon (PFC) timeline for elimination

C&A commit to eliminate the use of all PFCs from all products C&A sells by no later than 1st Jan 2015. C&A’s elimination of all PFC use via all the products we sell will be supported by:

i. A rigorous system of control to ensure that no traces of PFCs find their way into our supply chain.

ii. A review of all uses of PFCs in our products.

C&A commits to work in partnership with its supply chain and other global industry leaders to accelerate its move to non-PFC technologies.

Implementing the Joint Roadmap – Third update

On 31 October 2012 – adidas Group, C&A, G-Star Raw, H&M, Levi Strauss & Co., Li Ning, NIKE, Inc., PUMA SE, and Jack Wolfskin released the 2012 Joint Roadmap Third Quarter Progress Report updating progress toward zero supply chain discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) by 2020. As part of the ZDHC programme’s commitment to transparency, this report highlights progress as joint roadmap signatories move toward achieving a new standard of environmental performance for the global apparel and footwear industry. You can view the update at