Dutch retailer C&A is expanding its clothing recycling program ‘We Take it Back’ to Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. As s part of this program, C&A offers customers the chance to return unwanted clothes at 121 C&A stores. In return, customers gain a 15 per cent discount on future purchase. C&A reports the recycling program has been a great success, as C&A has collected over 2,78,000 kilos of clothing in collaboration with recycling company I:CO, in the last five years.
Jeffrey Hogue, Global Chief Sustainability Officer at C&A, exults, “Our approach is grounded in the idea that we must shift our industry from a model of ‘make, use and dispose’ to one where every apparel product is designed for its next life. The transition to a fully circular apparel industry will be challenging and will require time and a holistic systems approach. Important steps on this journey are the development of an effective collection and sorting system around the globe, the support of innovative start-ups, the development of new cycling technologies and the use of recycled materials in our clothing.”
Currently, about 60 per cent of the clothing and shoes collected by C&A is reused. A large part of the 40 per cent is recycled into new products. The C&A recycling initiative was launched in 2012 in the Netherlands. By 2020, C&A plans to offer the recycling program in all its 18 European retail countries including Brazil, Mexico and China.