Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

In 2016, we proudly became one of the first Australian retailers to join the BCI. When you purchase our products, you are making a positive difference to support more sustainable cotton production. You can be confident that the Cotton On Group is committed to sourcing Better Cotton and investing in BCI Farmers.

Kenyan Cotton Initiative

In 2014, in partnership with Business for Development, Base Titanium and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we launched our own sustainable cotton program in Kwale County, Kenya. This initiative has helped to support and train over 1,500 local farmers on sustainable farming practices. The result? Many of our farmers have tripled their income since coming on board.

Cotton On Foundation water bottles

In 2017, we partnered with VISY to deliver recycled and recyclable water bottles, made in Australia from 100% recycled PET materials. What’s more? 100% of proceeds from the sale of a Cotton On Foundation product contributes to empowering youth through quality education.

Ethical Sourcing Program

In 2009, we established the 14 Rules to Trade that sets the standards for all our suppliers to adhere to. The policy covers important issues like working conditions, the prohibition of forced labour and child labour, environmental practices, bribery and corruption.

Audit and Corrective Action Plan

Each year, the Group conducts hundreds of audits to ensure its 14 Rules to Trade are upheld. One of the most important aspects of delivering our program has been to ensure a strong two-way dialogue with our production partners. We are in constant communication with our suppliers and hold face-to-face training and education sessions. These forums allow us to talk openly with suppliers on matters relating to ethical sourcing, while providing them with an opportunity to update us on the challenges they face and the steps they are making to bring about positive change.

Committed to the journey towards paying living wage

We are working collaboratively with global and market-specific NGOs, other retailers, trade unions, regulators and governing bodies to develop the tools and support necessary for the successful transition from minimum wages to living wages. As a proud member of Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT), the Group is committed to working with fellow signatories towards the establishment of industry wide collective bargaining to create positive change to the way wages and working conditions are set. This ground-breaking agreement between retailers and trade unions exists to transform the garment and textile industry with a goal of achieving living wages for all workers.

Community

We are committed to making a positive difference in people's lives. We do this through a number of projects; the Cotton On Foundation, our philanthropic arm which works directly with communities in need, delivering quality education projects around the world and Supre Foundation that funds projects that educate, support and empower young girls.

This is our journey of continuous improvement. One that we are committed to for the long haul.

Past:

2014: Established employee carpooling system
2015: Implemented recycling at Global Support Centre (Geelong)
2016: Introduced recycled boxes and shipping bags
2018: Commenced working toward goal of zero plastic shopping bags with recycled and recyclable paper bags
2018: Packing machine installed at Australian DC to reduce packaging waste for online deliveries
2018: Establish Manufacturing Restricted Substance List
2018: Establish Restricted Substance List

Future:

2019: Eliminate single-use plastic from Global Support Centre & transition to paper shopping bags
2025: Substitute more sustainable options for packaging throughout our entire supply chain

Reducing our carbon footprint

With 1,500 stores in 18 countries, we understand we have the power to make big change. This is why we are on a journey to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

100% supply chain transparency

Our commitment to ethical sourcing and transparency across all business operations is our priority. In 2016, we started publicly disclosing our supplier base and actively pursuing a goal of end-to-end mapping of all suppliers, including raw materials, by the end of 2018. Our responsibility to how our products are made, the people who make them and the materials used extends across the 1,900 factories we use and the 170,000 workers employed at them.

Ethical fashion

2009: Introduced 14 Rules to Trade
2011: Joined Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
2014: Signatory of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
2017: Joined the Alliance for Water Stewardship
2018: Joined SEDEX platform to share supply chain responsible data
2018: Joined ACT (Action Collaboration Transformation)
2018: Achieved an A grade in the 2018 Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Report