Over the past five years, C&A Foundation has worked with more than 180 partner organisations to transform the fashion industry. United in our commitment, hope and shared purpose, we’ve made real progress and learned a great deal along the way. Here are just a few of the milestones in that journey.


2014 C&A Foundation History

Our journey begins

C&A Foundation launches as a global organisation, driven by the conviction that the apparel industry can be sustainable and that every single person who works within it can thrive. Throughout 2014, we invest €29 million in 26 initiatives and four multi-stakeholder initiatives.

2014 Partner Milestones

Accelerating organic cotton

At a time when less than 1% of the world’s cotton is organic, we become a founding funder of the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), supporting initiatives and farmers working to unleash the potential of the sector. Today, OCA reaches over 11,000 farmers and accounts for 70% of global demand for organic cotton by representing 12 brands, retailers, supply chain partners and civil society.

Reforming the RMG sector

We partner with the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law on The Living Wage Innovation Challenge, collaborating with advocates of fairer wages and conditions in the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector.

2014 Sustainable Fashion Drivers

#WhoMade­MyClothes goes global

Triggered by the Rana Plaza collapse and deaths of at least 1100 garment workers, Fashion Revolution launches a campaign for a clean, safe, fair, transparent and accountable fashion industry, encouraging people to ask #WhoMadeMyClothes. The campaign goes on to reach hundreds of millions of people on social media, with local teams of volunteers in 93 countries.

Transparency for Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety discloses fire, electrical and building safety information of 2300 factories – a landmark for transparency in the industry.


new partnerships

including partnerships with The Freedom Fund and CottonConnect


2015 C&A Foundation History

Uniting our foundations

C&A Foundation unites its strategy with the missions of the Brazilian Instituto C&A and the Mexican Fundación C&A, international allies in our work to make fashion a force for good. The collaboration builds on the deep experiences of both the Instituto and Fundación, founded in 1991 and 1999 respectively.

2015 Partner Milestones

Eradicating slave labour

We invest €2.4 million to support The Freedom Fund’s fight against forced and bonded labour in the apparel supply chain. Our first ‘hotspot’ targets are in Tamil Nadu, South India. Between 2015 and 2018, the prevalence of households in bonded labour falls on average from 56% to 11% in our 1100 target villages across North and South India – equivalent to 125,000 fewer individuals in bonded labour. We also learn that vulnerable migrant workers from other Indian states often replace local girls in positions of bonded labour, calling for a reevaluation of the approach to include a broader systems lens.

Standing together in crisis

C&A and C&A Foundation team up with Save the Children in an international alliance to support millions of families caught up in humanitarian crises. Together, we respond to over 80 emergencies in over 10 countries, and work with communities in five countries to build resilience and implement disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities.

Braver pilot partnerships

We pilot partnerships to increase transparency and accountability in the apparel industry. We invest in Better Buying, an initiative working with suppliers to rate brand purchasing practices in order to improve business practice and worker protections. We partner with BRAC University and BGMEA to launch a census-based initiative to map the entire RMG sector in Bangladesh. And we work with GoodWeave International to pilot their tested methods (in the rug sector) to eliminate child labour in India’s informal apparel supply chains. Five years on, Better Buying has rated 71 brands, 2526 factories have been entered into the publicly available version of Mapped in Bangladesh and GoodWeave is engaging with five brands in the homeworker sector.

A coalition for sustainable cotton

Convened by Forum for the Future, the Cotton 2040 platform is created to accelerate the progress of existing sustainable cotton initiatives by bringing together leading international brands and retailers, sustainable cotton standards and other stakeholders across the value chain. In 2018, the cross-industry initiative releases the CottonUp Guide, a practical resource for sourcing organic cotton. The platform continues to grow, garnering greater investment from brands as it focuses its work on climate adapation, sustainable sourcing and new business models.

2015 Sustainable Fashion drivers

Powering social innovation

In partnership with Ashoka, we launch the global initiative Fabric of Change to unlock the unique potential of social entrepreneurs to transform the apparel industry into a force for good. Our initiative ends, but the work of the social entrepreneurs continues – one of them goes on to become a Fashion for Good innovator.

2015 World Events

Paris promises much

The first-ever global, legally binding climate change agreement sets out a framework to limit global warming to below 2°C and pursues efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.


beneficiaries of our signature programmes


new partnerships


beneficiaries of humanitarian support


2016 C&A Foundation History

Learning with our partners

We release our first Partner Perception Survey, identifying two key areas for improvement: the transparency and efficiency of our processes, and the quality of relationships with our partners. We mark our progress with a second survey in 2019.

2016 Partner Milestones

A cotton revival

Partnerships with the Aga Khan Foundation and Action for Social Advancement help accelerate an organic cotton revival in India, with more than 25,000 farmers converting since 2015. In Brazil, the world’s fourth-largest producer of cotton, we launch a partnership with ESPLAR to promote agroecology practices, empower women and increase the production of organic cotton. According to a report by Textile Exchange, led by the initiative, the production of organic cotton increases by 16% in 2018.

Crucial journalism

We partner with Thomson Reuters Foundation to create the first news desk dedicated to local reporting on forced labour and trafficking across South Asia, increasing awareness of an underreported and misunderstood issue. The contribution from 2015-17 is prolific; in 2016, 494 articles account for 4.7% of all global conversation on the topic. The partnership continues to ensure increased coverage.

Transparency prevails

Fashion Revolution launches the Fashion Transparency Index to incentivise brands and retailers to disclose policies, practices and supply chains by ranking them on public disclosure. Fashion Revolution starts the index with 40 brands and grows it to 250 by 2019. Since 2017, 98 brand reviews show an average score increase of 12 percentage points – suggesting the initiative does encourage transparency. A regional index launches in Brazil in 2018, followed by another in Mexico in 2019.

2016 World Events

A new vision for humanity

The UN launches an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world by 2030. They include goals to eradicate poverty and take urgent action to combat climate change.


beneficiaries of our signature programmes

1 million

beneficiaries of humanitarian support


new partnerships


2017 C&A Foundation History

Stronger protection for Mexican youth

Our Forced Labour programme starts in Mexico. We work with REDIM to encourage awareness of child labour in the state of Guanajuato. In 2019, REDIM helps to strengthen the state’s Children and Adolescents Protection law.

2017 Partner Milestones

The launch of Fashion for Good

We are the founding philanthropic partner of Fashion for Good, the global coalition of brands, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders united in the ambition to make all fashion good and to scale sustainable innovations working towards a circular textile industry. By 2019, the innovation platform grows to 18 corporate partners and more than 80 innovators, catalysing innovation initiatives worth over €119 million. 

Innovation in Indonesia

Wage Indicator, one of our Living Wage Innovation Challenge winners from 2014, tackles the lack of compliance for minimum wages and labour laws in Indonesia by surveying workers on the conditions of their factories, and publishing the results for 121 factories on the Gajimu Garment website and app. As a result, 25 factories improve their conditions, benefitting 35,570 workers.

Empowering migrants in Brazil

25% of migrants in Brazil work in fashion, many in conditions akin to forced labour with severely diminished rights. We partner with Missão Paz, helping to pass legislation that ensures migrants have rights equal to Brazilian nationals. Its Centre of Migratory Studies works to publish subject knowledge, gain media presence and standardise paperwork for migrants, helping Missão Paz advocate for further policy improvements.

2015 Sustainable Fashion drivers

Governments wake up

The EU Parliament acknowledges the need to make the social and environmental impacts of all production transparent, and to suggest reforms for global value chains. In the same year – influenced by 2015’s UK Slavery Act – The Parliament of Australia opens an inquiry into modern slavery which paves the way for The Modern Slavery Act, while the French National Assembly adopts a Corporate Duty of Vigilance law.

2017 World Events

#MeToo spotlights gender-based violence in the workplace

After a series of abuse allegations in the entertainment industry, the #MeToo movement gains millions of followers and widespread media attention, sparking global awareness of abuse in the workplace. In the same year, our partnership with Thomson Reuters Foundation shines a light on the gender-based violence that women and girls endure in the fashion industry.


beneficiaries of our signature programmes


new partnerships

4.6 million

beneficiaries of humanitarian support


raised by innovators




corporate partners

Fashion for Good



2018 C&A Foundation History

A success for social responsibility

Partnering on the Inspiring World Campaign, C&A and C&A Foundation win the Employee Engagement Award for social responsibility. The annual campaign encourages employees to share stories of inspiration and raise funds for charity, engaging over 32,000 employees and raising €2,890,893 for 87 different organisations.

Commitment to gender, equity and inclusion

To combat the underlying causes of discrimination and exclusion, and confront the impacts of bias on our colleagues, partners and constituents, C&A Foundation publicly commits to institutionalising the evaluation and communications of our internal policies, practices, grantmaking and approaches.

2018 Partner Milestones

Growing partnerships

We collaborate with Diaconia to promote social inclusion of marginalised populations in Brazil through organic farming, nutritional security and stable community building. Over the next two years, the work scales to seven Brazilian states, benefitting over 1227 smallholder farmers.

2018 World Events

Making circular fashion a reality

Bridging the Gap launches to accelerate the uptake of circular business models in the apparel sector. The initiative’s five partners receive a combined €1.29 million and work together to exchange best practices and challenges. Beyond the launch, Bridging the Gap creates the Switching Gear platform to encourage more ‘recommerce’, and engages brands including adidas and Ted Baker to pilot rental models.

Fashion for Good inspires

The Fashion for Good Experience, the world’s first museum dedicated to sustainable fashion innovation, opens in Amsterdam. In the first year, over 53,000 visitors engage with the experience dedicated to inspiring and educating people about sustainable fashion and how they can each make a positive impact. You can join Fashion for Good on the journey here.

Celebrating trailblazers

C&A Foundation and the government of Madhya Pradesh co-host the first Cotton Trailblazers event in India. The occasion marks even closer collaboration between brands, retailers and farmer groups. Importantly, it shows the commitment of the local government, which announces its intention to create dedicated organic clusters and a Centre of Excellence for organic agriculture with a focus on seed research.

2018 World Events

One girl takes on the world

15-year-old activist Greta Thunberg skips school to protest the Swedish government’s lack of action on climate change, inspiring a generation of young people and sparking an international movement.


new partnerships

8.8 million

beneficiaries of humanitarian support


beneficiaries of our signature programmes

€6.2 million

raised by innovators


visitors engaged with the Fashion for Good Experience




corporate partners

Fashion for Good



2019 C&A Foundation History

Praise for our transparency

C&A Foundation receives the prestigious #OpenForGood Award, awarded by Candid (the result of a merger between Foundation Center and GuideStar) for our commitment to the transparent sharing of our evaluations, failures, lessons learned and results.

Looking to the future

In cooperation with sustainability and fashion experts, The Future of Sustainability in the Fashion Industry report launches. The report outlines 14 strategies for industry sustainability, evaluating and ranking each for its potential impact and timeframe. Experts paint a bleak future for a fashion industry continuing on its current path but agree that with courage, commitment and strategic interventions, a sustainable sector is possible within 16 years.

2019 Partner Milestones

A fund for fundamental change

The Good Fashion Fund launches as the first investment fund focusing on implementing innovative technologies in the apparel supply chain in Asia. The Fund, managed by FOUNT in partnership with Fashion for Good, has a US$60 million target and starts with two anchor investors: C&A Foundation and The Mills Fabrica.

A second celebration

Following the success of the first Cotton Trailblazers event, a second follows as part of the Organic Cotton Summit in 2019. In partnership with Solidaridad Network Asia, the event brings together delegates from the apparel industry, academia, research institutes, civil society and farmer groups.

Transparency for supply chains

The Open Apparel Registry platform launches an open-source tool that maps garment facilities worldwide and assigns them a unique ID, providing more transparency and facilitating collaboration between stakeholders. Today, the map plots over 30,000 facilities globally, based on over 170 data sources, including global brands, retailers and civil society organisations.

Tax for good

Supported by C&A Foundation, the Ex’tax Project Foundation publishes a case study on Bangladesh showing that tax reform could boost GDP and public investments while decreasing pollution. The initiative shows how bold fiscal policy can meaningfully incentivise social and environmental improvements.

Tracing organic cotton

Fashion for Good initiates the pioneering Organic Cotton Traceability Pilot, combining on-product markers and blockchain technology to test the tracking of organic cotton from farm to consumer – a first in the apparel industry. Multi-stakeholder collaboration plays an important role in its success, with partners including C&A Foundation, PVH Corp., Organic Cotton Accelerator, Kering and Zalando, and BEXT360 as a leading technical partner.

2019 Sustainable Fashion Drivers

Fighting workplace abuse

The International Labour Conference votes to adopt a new ILO Convention and Recommendation to address violence and harassment at work. This sends a clear message that no one, regardless of their contractual status, should be subjected to any kind of violence or harassment in the workplace. Together with four other philanthropic organisations, C&A Foundation endorses the statement as part of our commitment to a future with fair work.

2019 World Events

A mass wave of international protests

United across time zones, six million people join the Global Climate Strikes by walking out of schools and workplaces and taking to the streets to demand climate action. C&A Foundation provides employees around the world with information of where and when to strike and gives inspiration, resources and thoughtful recommendations for everyday climate action.

A Green Deal for Europe

The European Commission releases the European Green Deal, a roadmap to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.


new partnerships


beneficiaries of humanitarian support


beneficiaries of our signature programmes



€6.2 million

raised by innovators


corporate partners


visitors engaged with the Fashion for Good Experience

Fashion for Good



2020 World Events

COVID-19: A global pandemic

In late 2019, the new Coronavirus disease is identified in Wuhan, China and quickly becomes a global pandemic. As of May 2020, more than 4.3 million cases are reported worldwide. The virus changes daily life everywhere and impacts every industry, including the apparel sector.

A two-fold crisis

Mean global temperature is at 14.8°C, the warmest in tens of thousands of years. 600 million people are living in poverty around the world and inequality is deepening. World leaders gather at the 2020 World Economic Forum to discuss Stakeholder Capitalism: A manifesto for a cohesive and sustainable world.

2020 C&A Foundation History

Guided by the lessons and experiences of C&A Foundation, and in response to the dual crises of global inequality and climate breakdown, Laudes Foundation launches. Its goal is to redefine value by supporting brave action and challenging industry to harness its power for good.

Much of the work and partnerships of C&A Foundation continue as part of the fashion programme at Laudes Foundation.