C&A is pleased to announce that it has signed the renewed Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (“Accord”) at today’s OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct in Paris. In 2013, C&A was one of the first brands to sign the Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety and has played an active role in the Steering Committee since the beginning. The Accord has made great progress in raising awareness on important safety measures, empowering and involving workers and driving real change in fire and building safety in the Bangladesh garment industry. In this light, C&A has signed the new Accord and is committed to working with labour unions and the industry to create lasting change in fire and building safety in Bangladesh. The new Accord is important to C&A because it extends independent, expert building safety inspections for three more years, ensuring that safety improvements achieved under the first Accord will be maintained and that any new findings in any factory will be addressed.
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C&A is to partner with system wholesaler, the Hamm Reno Group (HR Group) on the system business of its footwear departments. From September 1, 2017, the C&A footwear departments at a total of 292 C&A branches, including 233 branches in Germany and another 59 branches outside of Germany, will be managed by the HR Group.
“The HR Group’s great competence and market position in the area of footwear, and its lengthy experience of system business allows our C&A customers to choose from a comprehensive range of shoes of appealing quality,” explains Martijn van der Zee, Chief Merchandise and Sourcing Officer C&A Europe. “Thanks to this partnership, in keeping with our extensive fashion portfolio, our customers can look forward to an individual footwear collection at attractive prices.”
Both procurement and logistics at the footwear departments will in future be handled by the
HR Group. Apart from the inventory and furnishing of the footwear departments, the HR Group will also be responsible for the upkeep of the footwear departments.
The India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) has published a new report today on forced labour and the Sumangali scheme in Southern India. Referring to several fashion retailers, the report states that "approximately 30% of the south Indian spinning mills' yarn is used in the export factories in Tamil Nadu, who produce for brands like C&A, H&M, Marks and Spencer, Primark, Walmart, Zara and a lot of other brands".
C&A wishes to emphasize that it is committed to contributing to the improvement of workers’ rights in Southern India. In this regard, forced labour in general and the Sumungali scheme in particular is unacceptable and is a reason for termination of a business relationship with a supplier should we find that the scheme is exists in one of our suppliers’ operations.
C&A appreciates that Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) has shared the draft report entitled “Doing Dutch” upfront and engaged us regarding our position and perspective on a variety of issues relating to Bangalore. We value CCCs input and insight and view it as a support and complement to our ongoing efforts towards the improvement of worker’s rights in our sourcing countries.
C&A has been in multiple conversations with CCC and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) regarding this topic and we have provided a formal response to the report in May 2016.
Due to an incomplete representation of our formal response to the Clean Clothes Campaign back then in the final Dutch and English report versions, we decided to attach our original response to the Clean Clothes Campaign. We hope this can provide a higher degree of clarity around the efforts that C&A is taking to improve the working conditions in the garment sector.
In the recent Greenpeace Detox Catwalk report, C&A has received an ‘Evolution Mode’ rating, ranking us fourth out of 19 brands that were assessed. The third edition of the Detox Catwalk focusses on implementation, with brands being evaluated on their preparation and their ability to eliminate hazardous chemicals by 2020.