German budget-clothing chain C&A has launched a new eco plan dubbed 'We C&Are' to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 70,000 tonnes in 2008 and over 100,000 tonnes by 2010, just-style learned on Wednesday (19 December).

As part of the initiative, the Düsseldorf-based retailer will introduce efforts to cut energy usage in stores and logistic processes and introduce an organic apparel line.

C&A would not detail current emission levels or say against what annual levels the new targets will work. A spokeswoman could not immediately provide those details.

However, Andreas G Seitz, a spokesperson for C&A´s European executive board, said: "Naturally, our customers expect a well-defined position and action rather than just words. Especially when it comes to issues such as environment and climate change."

He added: "Our aim is to be among the five leading companies in mainland Europe's fashion retail sector in the fields of packaging and recycling, renewable energy, eco-store, transport and logistics as well as bio-cotton."

C&A will switch to renewable energy, provide recycled plastic bags or so-called bio-cotton bags (which donate sales proceeds to bio-cotton harvesting), reduce packaging material, re-use hangers and stamp eco labels on its clothes.

More ambitiously, C&A said it will use renewable energy to power 80% of all C&A stores by 2010, up from 50% now, and use more eco efficient lighting.

Moreover, C&A plans to open its first eco-store concept in Mainz, Germany in the second half of 2008, which it boasted will be carbon neutral, adding that more of these shops will be opened in future.

Finally, the 750-strong chain will launch the C&A bio-cotton collection in 2008 which will be made of organic cotton fabrics and will include jeans, T-shirts and baby clothes and will be available in all European C&A countries next year.

By Ivan Castano.