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Our supply chain’s monitoring process

​​​​​We make efforts to prevent any type of illegal labor and seek the continuous improvement of labor conditions and environmental indicators in our supply chain. ​Infractions such as bonded or child labor are deemed unacceptable and lead to the immediate suspension of suppliers.

We select our suppliers aiming to ensure that safe and fair standards are met, by conducting strict audits in all plants that produce items for C&A. They are classified from A to E, with A being the highest rating. The rating is calculated based on the answers to the checklist and weighted questions.​The periodicity of SSC team’s visits to the companies and the type of audit to be carried out depend on the rating.​​​
Audits include an interview with employees in the plants. Pursuant to our guidelines, at least 5% of the employees of mid-sized and large companies should be interviewed in each plant visited; in small companies, the sample is 20%. Thus, the final sample ranges from 5 to 25 workers interview​ed. Interviews should be conducted in a private space, distant from the workstation, pursuant  to our Supporting Guidelines to C&A’s Supplier Code of Conduct​.
C&A classifies its suppliers as Tier 1, 2 or 3:

In 2017, C&A was the first fashion retailer in Brazil to disclose its supplier’s list, an important step toward transparency. Click on the following links to know our Tier 1 and 2 and Tier3 suppliers.


In 2019, we audited 650 production units, including suppliers, subcontractors and spinning and weaving production units, totaling about 1,033 audits. Approximately 150 items organized in 24 thematic blocks were checked, including labor conditions, compliance with labor legislation, safety and security of the facilities, transparency, and environmental issues.

‘Zero Tolerance’ questions have greater weight, and companies that do not comply with them are immediatelly rated ‘E’. Year-end data show that 2,064 infractions were identified in 2019, of which 3% were considered ‘Zero Tolerance’. They include inconsistent fire or operating permits, or their absence; inconsistent floor plans [SM1] (the construction project of a building) or their absence; and the installation of boilers and pressure equipment. 

The audits we did between January and December 2019 showed that 0.10% of our base are foreigners, whose documents (CRNM - National Migration Registration Cards) are renewed under the SSC team’s supervision, which oversees C&A’s social responsibility and supply chain audits. The breakdown by gender shows that 59.8% of our suppliers and subcontractors are women and 40.2% men. Our supply chain in Brazil and South America has almost 100,000 employees, of which approximately 68% in suppliers and 32% in subcontractors.

In the audits conducted by the SSC team, we look for labor-law violations related to gender in suppliers’ facilities, in accordance with our Supporting Guidelines to C&A’s Supplier Code of Conduct. The audits did not find evidence of such infractions in 2019.​​​

Regarding labor union freedom, C&A requires that suppliers allow their workers to assemble on their own or join a labor union for collective bargaining, pursuant to item 2.5 of our Supporting Guidelines to C&A’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which can be accessed on the link. According to our 2019 survey, 99.7% of the workers in our supply chain are unions members and are covered by collective bargaining. The remaining 0.3%, who do not have access to unions for collective bargaining in the cities they are in, follow state legislation and the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT).

Summary of Tiers 1, 2 and 3 findings

The most recurring findings in our audits are related to:

All audit findings are dealt with through the monitoring by our Supply Chain Development Officers and roadmap.

Supply Chain Development

In August 2016, we implemented a Supply Chain Development cell comprising members of the SSC department, who are dedicated to enable and support our suppliers to meet ​the action plans, allowing suppliers to play a leading role in their own development and promoting continuous improvement.

In 2018, we implemented the Supplier Ownership Program, designed to train suppliers for monitoring their own production network following the same auditing standards and systems as C&A’s. Since the beginning, 3 suppliers are participating in the Program, which includes constant training and supervision from the SSC team.

​C&A has already been awarded for its efforts to monitoring its supply chain. The evolution of this work was recognized by the ECO AMCHAM Award in 2017, in the processes Category, with the “Sustainable Supply Chain”: ​​How we build an ethical business environment that respects people”; and in 2019, also in the Processes Category, with the “C&A’s Supplier Ownership Program” case.

We have also developed a Handbook of Good Labor Practices​, which can be reached on the link. Targeting our supply chain, this ​is another effort to spread good practices and guide production units that directly or indirectly manufacture our products to connect with our purpose.

Sustainable Supply Chain Actions and COVID-19

Due to the unexpected time when we combat the novel ​​coronavirus pandemic and with the interruption of some activities, the SSC team has contacted its suppliers in Brazil, in order to understand the impacts of this situation.​

This initiative allowed us to understand each supplier’s context, in addition to gathering information for planning and preparing the resumption of item-traceability audits and pending action plans, remotely.

We also held two online webinars in order to explain the new actions and answer questions about the resumption of activities and what will be adapted. ​More than 270 participants attended the two editions of the event.

In order to continue supporting and contributing with the supply chain development, we have prepared the ‘Program of Resumption with a Positive Impact’, in partnership with Sebrae, targeted at micro and small companies in the industry, focusing on post-crisis planning and production process management.

Our Partnerships​

In 2011, we were the first fashion retail company to sign the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, and we have invited 40 suppliers to sign it with us. We are affiliated with Inpacto (the institute of the pact), a non-profit organization that mobilizes different industries promoting decent work. Learn more

​In 2010, we contributed to the development of the Brazilian Association of Textile Retailers (ABVTEX)’s certification program, to which we are full signatories, since 100% of our suppliers and subcontractors are certified by ABVTEX.  Being certified is a prerequisite for becoming a supplier of C&A. (click here to learn more about ABVTEX certification)

​Since its launch, in 2013, C&A has been green-lighted by the Moda Livre App, which rates brands that combat slave labor. Currently, it assesses more than 120 brands, and the rating for each company is calculated based on two tools: a questionnaire, which brands voluntarily answer, and a research prepared by the Repórter Brasil team, based on federal government audits. Click here for reference.

Updated on July 2020
Photo: Instituto C&A’s Tatiana Cardeal collection