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Industry Talk

Denim jeans production returns to Europe

Factory will initially make 400,000 pairs of jeans per year.

28th May 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  United Kingdom


This Autumn, C&A will open the Factory for Innovation in Textiles (FIT) in Mönchengladbach, Germany, to develop next-generation sustainable fashion, beginning with denim jeans.

The brand is working with the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, the Textile Academy NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia), RWTH Aachen University and various start-up companies on the implementation of FIT.

C&A’s investment underlines the reality that the textile industry here – in the heart of Europe – is once again generating new impulses

It will integrate highly automated processes in the sewing room and laundry and together with the Textile Academy NRW, C&A will hire and train around 100 co-workers to work at the COâ‚‚-neutral site. Initially, around 400,000 pairs of jeans per year will be produced in Mönchengladbach, to be expanded to 800,000 at a later stage.

C&A has set new standards in denims in recent years – in 2018 the company developed the world’s first jeans with Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Gold-level certification, and in 2020 its Beluga jeans achieved C2C Platinum certification.

The first denim jeans resulting from FIT will be available in 2022.

“Together with our partners, we want to set new standards in textile manufacturing,” said Giny Boer, CEO of C&A Europe. “We are thrilled to be producing in the heart of Europe again. C&A’s FIT will combine the digitalisation of processes with sustainability, creating new standards for global production. It will be more than just a lab for prototypes. It’s about producing in larger quantities, because sustainable fashion cannot just be a niche product.”

“C&A’s investment underlines the reality that the textile industry here – in the heart of Europe – is once again generating new impulses,” said Rolf Königs, chairman of the Association of the Rhenish Textile and Clothing Industry.

“C&A’s commitment is an important development for the textile industry in our region and a sign of other innovative projects to come,” added Detlef Braun of the Textile Academy NRW. “Textile production and trade once flourished in the Lower Rhine area. Now, after decades in which significant parts of the textile industry left the region, new opportunities are emerging.”

“Fast fashion is out, FIT fashion is in,” said Professor Maike Rabe, head of the Research Institute for Textiles and Clothing at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. “With C&A, we have a company that has over the years led numerous initiatives in the area of sustainability. We have been in an intensive exchange for a long time and are proud that the industrial workplace of the future is becoming a reality right on our doorstep. Students and researchers from Mönchengladbach and Aachen are thrilled.”

With over 1,400 stores in 18 European countries and more than 25,000 employees, C&A is one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers.

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