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C&A Foundation Calls for Apparel Industry Transformation

Reimagining fashion isn’t always a solo effort.

C&A Foundation, an organization that supports garment workers, along with its global initiative, Fashion for Good, called for the collective transformation of the apparel industry at a meeting in Amsterdam Wednesday. At the gathering, C&A Foundation asked fashion thought leaders to collaborate on innovations for a more sustainable fashion future.

“C&A Foundation is here to transform the fashion industry, and we recognize that to do this we need to completely change mindsets,” executive director Leslie Johnston said. “This kind of transformation can only be done with others, so today we are calling for brands, manufacturers, funders and innovators to join us and work together to realize our shared vision.”

As a worldwide effort, Fashion for Good brings industry leaders together to rethink how fashion is designed, made, used and regenerated. Fashion for Good currently works with major apparel brands, like C&A and Kering, to improve garment supply chains for a more circular economy.

The focus for this transformation centers on five core principles: good economy, good energy, good materials, good water and good lives. The initiative also has six programs to help fashion businesses establish eco-friendly supply chains, including an early-stage innovation accelerator, late-stage innovation program, apparel acceleration fund, good fashion guide, the launchpad exhibition and a circular apparel community.

To launch early-stage sustainability ideas, Fashion for Good, works with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play and funds eco-friendly business models with its apparel acceleration fund. Once startups pilot their greener fashion concepts, Fashion for Good’s late-stage innovation program offers them access to customers and capital.

For brands that want to reduce their carbon footprint, Fashion for Good established the Good Fashion Guide. This online resource provides brands with a self-diagnostic tool and a step-by-step guide to production, based on the creation of a Cradle-to-Cradle certified Gold T-shirt. Cradle-to-Cradle certification ensures garments are manufactured efficiently between five quality categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.

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Fashion for Good is also informing the greater community about apparel sustainability. In its historic building in Amsterdam, the group opened two floors to the public and The Experience Centre’s first exhibition will inspire visitors to think differently about garment production. At its headquarters, Fashion for Good also holds meetings with key organizations, including the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and ZDHC to pave the way for more circular fashion in coming years.