By Brian Collett — The international fashion retailer C&A has published the details of all its suppliers in its efforts to achieve the most transparent supply chain.
The list, appearing in the latest global sustainability report of the Netherlands-owned group, gives the suppliers’ names and addresses and the number of workers in the factories where the textiles are cut and sewn and the production centres where garments are printed, embroidered and laundered.
The chain consists of 788 suppliers with more than 2,000 factories in 40 countries employing more than a million people.
The report says C&A decided to publish the list for three core reasons – to be completely transparent about the source of its goods, to improve the conditions of its suppliers’ workers, and to create a channel for solving serious labour issues.
At present C&A is concentrating on excessive working hours and failure to pay minimum wages.
The company has the additional aim to derive all its products from top-performing suppliers by 2020 and to engage all workers in its supply chain in encouraging transparency.
Jeffrey Hogue, C&A’s chief sustainability officer, said: “Transparency leads to more accountability and behaviour change. Our priority is to ensure that the working conditions in our supply chain are upheld to our standards and the social and environmental performance continually improved.
“By being transparent about where are products are made, our customers and stakeholders can feel confident we are making good choices in the partners we work with and how our clothing is made.”
The group assesses suppliers with the commonly used Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index, which takes “a holistic overview of the sustainability performance of a product or company”.
The supplier list publication is C&A’s second ethical initiative this year. In early 2017 the C&A Foundation, which was established by the group to advance the industry’s ethical standards, set up the Fashion for Good project to unite brands, retailers and manufacturers in promoting good practice.