May 4, 2017

C&A calls upon fashion industry to join the journey towards circular fashion

C&A calls upon fashion industry to join the journey towards circular fashion

World’s first Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Gold fashion garments officially revealed

C&A, one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers, calls for other fashion brands to join its journey towards a future where circular fashion becomes standard reality. At the international media presentation of the company’s 2017 Autumn / Winter Collection in Antwerp, Belgium, Jeffrey Hogue, Global Sustainability Officer of C&A  said: “As an industry, we have an opportunity to move away from the current ‘take, make, waste model’ to a circular model. In practice, this means designing, developing and producing products with their next use in mind; extracting the maximum value from garments while in use, then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of use to give them another useful life.“

The call for action follows the company’s introduction of the world’s first Cradle to Cradle (C2C) CertifiedTM GOLD garments, a real circular collection of women’s T-shirts, available in C&A stores across 19 European markets as of June 2017. Two additional styles, one women’s and one men’s style, will be launched in Brazil and Mexico in September. Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is an independent, third-party verified certification program that assesses products and materials for safety to human and environmental health, design for future use cycles, and sustainable manufacturing.

These recyclable T-shirts are made of 100% organic cotton, with safe materials and chemicals and produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Independent testing proves that they can be even composted at home when no longer used. Composting can reduce the volume of organic waste quite significantly, while the compost produced can be used for agricultural and horticultural purposes.

“The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM collection is an important milestone for us – and the industry – as it demonstrates unequivocally that creating circular fashion is already possible. We’ve proved this is possible – and we want others to follow. That’s why we are making the design blueprint available to any manufacturer that wants to use it. This breakthrough is too important to keep to ourselves. The industry will need much more collaboration on circular economy approaches like C2C certification, including more brands agreeing to develop products for their next use”, said Hogue.

To drive this co-operation, C&A Foundation recently announced the creation of Fashion for Good, a global initiative that aims to connect brands and supports the scaling of technologies, processes and business models that have the potential to transform the industry. C&A’s goal is to foster the adoption of these innovations in the company’s supply chain to make change happen. C&A collaborated with Fashion for Good to develop the first Cradle to Cradle Certified™ GOLD fashion garment and plans to further intensify the collaboration going forward.

William McDonough, architect, designer, thought leader and author, said at the event: “Fashion for Good with its founding partner C&A and other industry players will expedite adoption more broadly in the supply chain, helping to overcome some of the greatest hurdles in aligning sustainability practices in a complex system of international vendors.  Meanwhile, the values of the organization will be able to infuse best practices deeply within the industry.”

“C&A wants to deliver stylish products that are at the same time more sustainable and ultimately meet the criteria of the Cradle to Cradle Certified TM Products Program throughout our ranges. We aim to continually increase the circular collections in our stores and online and we want to encourage others to join us on this journey,” concluded Hogue.

Read the press release here.

In the news

ATV (Belgium) 

“C&A Debuts First Cradle to Cradle Certified™ GOLD T-Shirts” Sustainable Brands.

“C&A Bows Cradle to Cradle Certified T-Shirts, Joins ‘Circular Fashion’ Industry” Environmental Leader.