C&A Foundation new strategy concentrates on sustainable apparel supply chain
The C&A Foundation launched a new global strategy concentrating on the textle and garment supply chains at the November 11 Textile Exchange Conference in Portland, Oregon.
The foundation’s executive director, Leslie Johnson, outlinerd a strategy based on three pillars:
- Product, by helping smallholder farmers transition to more sustainable fibre;
- Supply, by supporting factory owners to improve the environmental impact of their operations; and
- Lives, by working to improve livelihoods across the apparel supply chain.
Specifically, she added, “we are focusing our initial efforts on two areas: sustainable cotton and improved working conditions.
- Sustainable Cotton – In 2009, C&A co-founded CottonConnect, a social enterprise working to help smallholder farmers transition to more sustainable cotton farming. Since its creation, CottonConnect has expanded its activities to support more than 20 retailers to source cotton from over 130,000 farmers across India, China and Pakistan, who have since reduced their chemical input and water use. As a shareholder and donor to the organisation, C&A Foundation supports CottonConnect in transitioning conventional farmers to certified organic cotton, ultimately improving their incomes and livelihoods.
- Improved working conditions – C&A Foundation designed and piloted the Sustainable Supplier Programme (SSP), an initiative aimed at improving productivity in garment factories, deepening worker dialogue and ultimately channelling some of the ensuing value back to workers. In the spirit of its open source approach, the foundation is currently sharing the results of the programme – both positive and negative – with other stakeholders.