C&A expands its recycling program to Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland

Dutch retailer C&A is expanding its clothing recycling program ‘We Take it Back’ to Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

'We Take it Back' collection points at C&A stores - Photo: C&A

As part of its ‘We Take it Back’ program, C&A offer customers the opportunity to return unwanted clothes at 121 C&A stores. In return, customers receive a 15 percent discount on future purchases. According to C&A, the recycling program has proven to be successful, as the retailer has collected more than 278,000 kilos of clothing in collaboration with recycling company, I:CO, in the past five years.

Jeffrey Hogue, Global Chief Sustainability Officer at C&A, said: “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.” At the moment, about 60% of the clothing and shoes collected by C&A is re-used. The majority of the remaining 40 percent is recycled into new products.

The C&A recycling initiative launched in 2012 in the Netherlands. By 2020, C&A plans to offer the recycling program in all its 18 European retail countries as well as in Brazil, Mexico and China.

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