Let’s give your clothes and shoes more than one life: C&A’s “We Take it Back” programme now also in Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland
Brussels, Belgium – February 8th, 2018 – C&A Europe is expanding its ‘We Take it Back’ apparel collection programme to Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Consumers in these countries can now bring the clothes and shoes they don’t want to wear anymore to their favourite C&A store to give them a new life. In return they will receive a 15% discount voucher for the purchase of their next favourite C&A item.
In collaboration with I:Collect (I:CO), a global solutions provider for the collection, sorting, re-use and recycling of used clothes and shoes, C&A will place collection boxes in its about 230 stores in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
Since 2012, C&A has been offering its customers in the Netherlands an option for their unwanted clothes. During that period, C&A Netherlands collected 278,000 kg of clothing in collaboration with I:CO ensuring these items will be reused or recycled.
After collection at a C&A store, I:CO organizes the transport of all collected items to a processing facility where every single piece of clothing is sorted by hand and categorized for its next best possible use following as a priority order the internationally recognized waste management hierarchy: Reusing before recycling. .
About 60 % of the collected items get a new life as second hand goods. Most of the rest will be recycled to become new products: Particularly absorbent textiles are used for the production of cleaning cloths. Other textiles are shredded into fibres and serve as raw material in the production of insulation materials, painters’ drop cloths or as stuffing for furniture or car seats in the automotive industry.
During the sorting process, metal items such as buttons and zippers are separated for use in the metalworking industry. Even the dust, produced during the mechanical recycling process, is pressed into briquettes for the cardboard industry. Very few textiles that are not suitable for any of these purposes are used as combustibles for energy production. A small part of the unwearable items can already remain in a closed loop within the textile industry: the recovered fibres may be re-spun into yarn to produce new fabric.
“Our approach is grounded in the idea that we must shift our industry from a model of ‘make, use and dispose’ to one where every apparel product is designed for its next life. Our Cradle-to-Cradle Certified™ items in our new #WearTheChange collection are a great example of this circular vision. The transition to a fully circular apparel industry will be challenging and will require time and a holistic systems approach. Important steps on this journey are the development of an effective collection and sorting system around the globe, the support of innovative start-ups, the development of new cycling technologies and the use of recycled materials in our clothing,” said Jeffrey Hogue, C&A’s Global Chief Sustainability Officer.
“We are very pleased with our enhanced cooperation with C&A because it proves we share the same vision: A circular economy for the textile industry where we can increase clothing utilisation in the short term and create endless flows of materials in the longer term”, said Axel Buchholz, CEO I:Collect. “Our collaboration with C&A will help to further reduce the amount of clothing ending up in landfills or incineration and consequently increase reuse and recycling rate so natural resources can be saved.”
With nearly 2,000 stores in 21 countries worldwide and around 60,000 employees, C&A is a leading fashion retail business. C&A welcomes and provides millions of visitors each day with good quality fashion at affordable prices for their entire family. C&A is an enterprise of COFRA Holding AG with a presence in Europe, Brazil, Mexico and China. For more information, see www.c-a.com
C&A’s 2016 Global Sustainability Report is available at www.c-a.com/sustainability-report .
I:CO, short for I:Collect, is a global solutions provider for clothing, footwear and other textiles collection, reuse and recycling. Through its innovative retail take-back system and worldwide infrastructure, I:CO aims to keep consumers’ used clothing and shoes in a continuous closed loop production cycle where these good can be reprocessed and reused again and again. This reduces waste preserves resources, and protects the environment. For more information, please visit: www.ico-spirit.com.
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