Pick a theme and learn more about the Heritage.



The seeds of growth through generations

Photographs of Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer


Hallmarks of an entrepreneurial spirit

C&A Brenninkmeijer poster, Summer 1902 (Draiflessen Collection)


Journeying to new frontiers

C&A Brenninkmeijer Store On Nieuwendijk In Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1893 (Draiflessen Collection)


Entrepreneurial endurance

Warehouse Filled With Ready To Wear Clothing By C&A (Draiflessen Collection)


Part of something bigger

An Early Ledger Belonging To Clemens And August



Part of something bigger


Meticulous, accountable, generous

Early philanthropy

It is perhaps because Clemens and August were dedicated to working responsibly together that such a meticulous record of primary sources still exists today. Many of these are on display at Draiflessen in the family’s original home of Mettingen. Among the artefacts is a shared ledger where Clemens and August kept a scrupulous record of their income and outgoings. It shows that gifts to the poor were made with the first profits at the very start of the enterprise.

DCM 109531 Kassenbuch 1841

1841 ledger of Clemens and August, noting "expenses for the poor"

20th century

Philanthropy over the years

A tradition of entrepreneurial support

Argidius is one of the oldest philanthropic foundations created by the family business owners. Set up in 1956 by Arnold and Egidius Brenninkmeijer, its mission was to address poverty by supporting entrepreneurship and helping small businesses grow. Argidius is still around today, helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in four focus countries – Kenya, Uganda, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Since 2013, Argidius has mobilised over EUR 700 million in finance for SMEs, supported almost 12,000 businesses and helped create around 13,000 jobs. Those supported include Maria Gricelda Sacalxot Ordoñez, who founded her own food company in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, where she cultivates organic oyster mushrooms.

Food Business Founder, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Argidius)

Food business founder, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Argidius)

21st century

A champion for the environment

C&A's sustainable momentum

The most definitive developments at C&A in the 21st century have been in the field of sustainability. Setting up the European Environmental Working Group (2007), opening a carbon-neutral store in Mainz, Germany (2008), becoming the No. 1 global retailer of organic cotton garments (2009), introducing electric delivery vehicles (2011), partnering with the Water Footprint Network to improve water sustainability in the textile supply chain (2013), and achieving the world's first Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Gold T-shirts (2017) – this is the steady heartbeat of a company that takes its environmental commitments seriously. In 2020, C&A published its Science Based Targets for climate change. It is one of only about a dozen apparel brands that have approved targets in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.

Picking Organic Cotton In Madhya Pradesh, India (Ben Langdon:Mile 91 For Laudes Foundation)

Picking organic cotton in Madhya Pradesh, India (Ben Langdon/Mile 91 for Laudes Foundation)


Tazreen and Rana Plaza

Responding to disaster

Two major disasters in Bangladesh – a fire in a clothing factory in Tazreen in 2012, and the collapse of a factory building in Rana Plaza the following year – focused attention around the world on working conditions in the apparel industry’s supply chains. The shock at what happened in Tazreen intensified C&A’s commitment to changing the industry. Caring was not enough. Action was needed. C&A was one of the architects of the legally binding Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, and one of the first brands to sign it in 2013. The accord was subsequently signed by over 190 other brands, covering two million workers in Bangladesh. It was renewed in 2021.

Tazreen and Rana Plaza also inspired the creation of C&A Foundation in 2014, and its campaign for a clean, safe fashion industry.

Garment Factory In Bangladesh (Shutterstock)

Garment factory in Bangladesh (Shutterstock)


C&A Foundation

Fashion as a Force for Good

In 2014, C&A Foundation was launched to contribute to a fairer and more sustainable apparel sector, and to help everyone touched by the industry to thrive. It grew out of a belief that fashion can and should be a force for good, and that the disasters at Tazreen and Rana Plaza should never be repeated. During the six years of its existence, the Foundation inspired a campaign for a clean, safe fashion industry. It revitalised the organic cotton sector. It collaborated in making supply chains more transparent. And it helped create Fashion for Good – the world’s first platform for collaborative innovation in sustainable fashion. Since 2020, the work of C&A Foundation has been continued by Laudes Foundation, which is driving C&A Foundation’s inspiring ambition to improve industry practices into sectors beyond fashion.

C&A Foundation

C&A Foundation


Leading responsibly

Bregal Investments signs UN Principles for Responsible Investment

The UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) is the world’s leading proponent of its kind. In 2017, Bregal Investments formalised its commitment to embedding good investment practice by becoming a signatory. All part of a broader strategy of values-based investment aimed at creating long-term value.

Leading Responsibly


Building sustainably

Developing a retail park according to cradle-to-cradle principles

The Leaf Shopping retail park in Ternat, Belgium is home to a variety of retailers. It is Redevco's most sustainable retail park, and aims to obtain a BREEAM Excellent rating. The sustainable materials were selected according to Cradle-to-Cradle® principles. The space incorporates green roofs and large areas with local vegetation. At the entrance to the site, a public park was created with a solar tree at its heart.

The Leaf, Belgium

The Leaf, Belgium

2020 onwards

Laudes Foundation

Systemic change, no less

In the days of Clemens and August, who founded C&A in 1841, poverty was the most pressing of many social problems. The challenges we face today are more complex and more universal. So, our aims have to be more ambitious. Laudes Foundation aims to address the key issues of our time – inequality and climate change – by changing industry practices. Through its focus on finance and capital, the built environment and fashion, it wants to redefine how we grow and distribute wealth for the good of all, in a way that protects and values people and planet. Among its many initiatives, Laudes is exploring the use of agricultural waste as material for textile fibres. It is helping partners decarbonise finance and investment in the built environment. And it is supporting innovative ideas about what our global economic system should look like.

Laudes Foundation

Laudes Foundation

2020 onwards

All Good: COFRA’s employee philanthropy programme

Helping our people live the values that inspire us all

COFRA’s businesses are committed to giving back to the communities in which they operate. This spirit of giving is one its people share deeply. Through COFRA Foundation, COFRA has a tradition of enabling employees to make a difference by supporting social causes close to their heart – whether it be by providing food to the needy, or disaster relief to the displaced. Its employee philanthropy programme matches their donations, invites them to propose projects for funding and facilitates volunteer opportunities. Employee philanthropy is just one way our people live and support our collective aspiration to support one another and contribute positively to the world we live in.

All Good Cofras Employee Philanthropy