Our History

Launched in 2020, Laudes Foundation challenges and inspires industry to harness its power for good.

Family owned and mission driven for six generations

Launched in 2020, Laudes Foundation supports brave action to inspire and challenge industry and business transition to advance a green, fair and inclusive economy. We tackle climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and social inequality.

Founded by the Brenninkmeijer family business owners, we build on six generations of entrepreneurship and philanthropy and work alongside a wider network of philanthropic organisations. 

A woman smiling at the camera in bright clothing against a dark wall

OUR HISTORY

1841

A force for good   

Brothers Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer establish their own linen and cotton fabric business – C&A Brenninkmeijer – in the town of Sneek, the Netherlands. Their commitment to be a force for good is clear from the beginning. Only months after launching the company, donations to vulnerable communities are recorded in their personal ledgers.    

Clemens And August Brenninkmeijers

1991

A local approach to grantmaking  

Instituto C&A launches to boost the philanthropic work started by the Family Charity Committee, established in 1976 when the first C&A store opened in Brazil. Driven by the subsidiary principle – which holds that social issues should be dealt with at the most immediate or local level – it focus its work strengthening local NGOs working with education and by promoting employee volunteer opportunities.  

small child reading a book

1999

Expanding corporate philanthropy 

When the first C&A store opened in Mexico, Fundación C&A is established with a focus on volunteer activities.

woman taking a photo of two children wearing facepaint

2014

Making fashion a force for good   

C&A Foundation launches as a global organisation, driven by the conviction that fashion can be a force for good. It combines the Brazilian Instituto C&A and the Mexican Fundación C&A with a singular mission to transform the fashion industry, the foundation commits EUR 29 million to 26 projects and four multi-stakeholder initiatives in 2014. 

woman wearing pink clothing and laughing

2016

Learning with partners  

We release our first Partner Perception Survey, identifying two key areas for improvement: the transparency and efficiency of our processes, and the quality of relationships with our partners. We track our progress with a second survey in 2019.  

close up on a woman looking serious

2017

Championing industry transformation   

We are the founding philanthropic partner of Fashion for Good, the global coalition of brands, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders. We are united in our ambition to make all fashion good and to scale sustainable innovations working towards a circular textile industry.   

Fashion for Good
fashion for good building flag image

2018

A success for social responsibility   

Partnering on the Inspiring World Campaign, C&A and C&A Foundation win the Employee Engagement Award for social responsibility. The annual campaign encourages employees to share stories of inspiration and raise funds for charity, engaging more than 32,000 employees and raising EUR 2.8 million for 87 different organisations.

portrait of a woman made up from hundreds of small images

2019

Award for transparency   

C&A Foundation receives the prestigious #OpenForGood Award from Candid for our commitment to the transparent sharing of our evaluations, lessons learned, failures and results.   

person walking through farmland water trenches

2020

Launch of Laudes Foundation   

In response to the dual crises of climate change and deepening inequality, and guided by the lessons and experience of C&A Foundation, Laudes Foundation launches to inspire and challenge industry to transition to a green, fair and inclusive economy. 

blue sky with a metal building in the foreground

2021

Accelerating the timber building transformation across Europe  

Laudes Foundation launches Built by Nature, a network and multimillion-euro grantmaking fund dedicated to accelerating the biobased material building transformation in Europe. It supports the building sector’s pioneering developers, designers, investors, asset owners and insurers, alongside policymakers and city leaders, in the journey to fully decarbonise the built environment and protect nature.  

Built by Nature
built by nature infographic

2022

Labora Fund  

Laudes Foundation, Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations launch Labora, a USD 8.5 million fund to advance the rights of urban and rural workers in Brazil who are most vulnerable to exploitation. The fund supports and scales the work on labour rights in Brazil that Laudes Foundation has nurtured over the past 10 years.  

2022 Labora infographic

2023

Fashion for Good unveils renewed strategy 

Fashion for Good announces its new five-year strategy to enable widespread adoption and scale of regenerative fashion innovations.  Since its launch, Fashion for Good’s Innovation Platform has piloted more than 150 projects, scaled 70 initiatives alongside industry partners, and leveraged over EUR 1.9 billion in funding for changemakers. 

Fashion for Good's strategy
fashion force for good building outside

2024

Accelerating the transition towards a green, fairer and more inclusive economy 

Laudes Foundation is strategically evolving to intensify our impact in response to the escalating urgency of the climate, biodiversity and nature, and inequality crises, and insights gained from our developmental evaluation. We have been designed for nimbleness and we remain committed to an adaptive strategy, informed by emerging evidence and the changing world around us. 

builder holding a wooden ladder

Governance

Laudes Foundation’s governance bodies guide our strategy and grantmaking, acting as stewards in our journey toward a just transition.

Governance

Our Team

Meet our diverse team of passionate professionals working towards a collective vision of a just and regenerative economy. 

Our Team