Partner for the initiative is MBDC, firm founded in 1995 by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart. The company provides technical expertise to develop solutions around material health and reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness. It works with clients in various sectors and industries to provide scientific evaluations and push innovation.
C&A, Fashion for Good, and McDonough Innovation achieved their goal of producing these T-shirts by working with two India-based garment manufacturers (Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex) to develop and produce these two Cradle to Cradle certified shirts.
To achieve the Cradle to Cradle certification, products are evaluated and optimized by an accredited assessor appointed for checking the level of human and environmental health, recyclability or biodegradability, renewable energy use, carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness within the production process. MBDC served as assessor for this project and visited Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex to develop a baseline assessment of their factories against the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM criteria. By using renewable energy, offsetting carbon emissions, practicing social fairness for workers, and cleaning the water used in production, both manufacturers needed minimal improvement in these areas.
During the material health optimization process, MBDC identified opportunities to optimize the materials and chemicals used by both manufacturers, replacing potentially hazardous or uncharacterized chemicals with chemicals that have been positively assessed.
At the end of the process, C&A’s Bio Cotton clothing demonstrates the ability to be safe enough for home composting at the end of the use. “By providing our customers with clothing that is safe enough to return to the biological nutrient cycle, we are empowering the public to affordably purchase organic, socially responsible products that fully respect nature. These t-shirts are the first step in our long journey to circular fashion, and we’re looking forward to offering more Cradle to Cradle Certified products in the near future,” said Jeffrey Hogue, global sustainability officer, C&A.
“In nature, the ‘waste’ of one system becomes food for another,” said Jay Bolus, president, certification services, MBDC. “The two new T-shirts illustrate the possibility by which we can transform what is currently a take-make-waste industry to one that is regenerative and closed-loop to progress us toward a positive future. We worked closely with Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex and their supply chains to ensure the resulting apparel is not only attractive, accessible and affordable—but also a positive design.”
C&A will start producing 350,000 of the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM GOLD colored and designed shirts. They will be sold worldwide by C&A from June 2017.