The industry has taken one step closer to a circular economy with C&A’s latest development.
Following an industry-wide call for more sustainable practices, the European retailer debuted the world’s first Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified TM GOLD apparel, a circular line of women’s T-shirts. The collection will be available in C&A stores this month, while two additional styles (one men’s and one women’s) will launch in Brazil and Mexico in September.
“The Cradle to Cradle Certified TM collection is an important milestone for us–and the industry–as it demonstrates unequivocally that creating circular fashion is already possible. That’s why we are making the design blueprint available to any manufacturer that wants to use it,” Jeffrey Hogue, C&A’s global sustainability officer, said. “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.”
The T-shirt collection, which is made with 100 percent organic cotton and safe materials, is produced according to Cradle to Cradle Certified standards. Products are evaluated on five categories—material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship and social fairness. Certification is designated at five levels, with Basic being the lowest and Gold the highest, and more rigorous requirements determine product placement at each level. A product’s overall score is determined by the lowest score in any quality category. Established by the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute, the system allows for products to be verified as sustainable and allows brands to collectively determine more eco-friendly materials to use to improve the greater apparel supply chain.
To further drive co-environmental efforts, C&A Foundation created Fashion for Good, a worldwide effort that works with major clothing brands, like C&A and Kering, to foster a more sustainable garment production process. C&A joined forces with Fashion for Good to create the Cradle to Cradle Certified GOLD fashion T-shirt and plans to continue the partnership.
“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,” Hogue said. “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.”