Cotton On is an Australian fashion retailer founded in 1991 by Nigel Austin. The multinational clothing-retail company creates fashion apparel for men, women, and children.

Cotton On makes clothing, accessories, and shoes under many brands such as Cotton On Body, Factorie, Typo, Rubi, and Supré.

It operates more than 1,500 stores and has 22,000 employees in stores, factories, logistics, brands, and subsidiaries across 18 countries where it does business.

Cotton On is positively leaving a mark and creating better choices for its customers. It aims to make a positive difference and commits to sustainability with big goals.

Cotton On is a fashion brand and clothing retailer based in Geelong, Australia. It makes apparel, footwear, and accessories and offers a collection of basics, activewear, denim, loungewear, knitwear, and outerwear.

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Sustainability Rating: 4/10

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Category: Clothing, accessories, shoes, bags

For: Women, men, children

Type: Basics, denim, knitwear, activewear, loungewear, outerwear, sandals

Style: Casual

Quality: Low

Price: $

Sizes: 2XS-XL, 0-12 (US), 2-14 (UK), 32-42 (EU), 4-16 (AU)

Fabrics: Cotton, linen, hemp, jute, lyocell, modal, viscose, acetate, polyester, nylon, spandex, polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylic, neoprene, polyurethane, rubber, leather, wool, silk

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: No

Recycling: Yes

Producing countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, UK, Turkey, Uganda, Vietnam

Certifications: GOTS, OCS, BCI, FSC

Sustainability Practices

Cotton On looks for more sustainable alternatives, prioritizes innovation, and supports eco-friendly methods to reduce water, energy, and waste at every stage.

Cotton On also supports small farming communities and helps create a sustainable agricultural program. It has committed to inspiring innovation to make a difference and wants its entire operations to be carbon neutral.

Cotton On uses a medium proportion of organic materials such as organic cotton or recycled materials such as recycled polyester and regenerated nylon.

It also uses synthetic petroleum-based fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and a small amount of semi-synthetic fibers or regenerated cellulosic fabrics such as Tencel lyocell, modal, acetate, and viscose.

Tencel is an eco-friendly fiber made with wood pulp from certified sustainable forests. But only a tiny proportion of the materials used by Cotton On are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Cotton On publishes a list of all its manufacturers on its corporate website, It aims to make sure its supply chain is equally ethical and sustainable.

The 2021 Fashion Transparency Index gave Cotton On a score of only 18% based on how much the group discloses about its social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts.

Cotton On manufactures its clothes in Turkey and many other East Asian countries where human rights and labor law violations still happen every day.

The Australian clothing retailer doesn't show any labor certification standard that would ensure good working conditions, decent living wages, health, safety, and other important rights for workers in its supply chain.

Cotton On has a code of conduct that applies to all its suppliers and subcontractors based on the regulations set by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Cotton On assesses compliance with its Code of Conduct by informal visits or third-party audits with or without notice. But it still works with suppliers that don't pay workers their legal minimum wage entitlements.

Cotton On doesn't use any exotic animal skin, hair, fur, or angora. But it uses leather, wool, and silk to manufacture many of its clothing pieces.

These animal-derived materials are cruel and unethical. They also harm the environment by producing greenhouse gases and waste. More sustainable alternatives exist.

Sustainability Goals

Cotton On has committed to reducing its energy usage, offsetting its carbon footprint, and increasing its renewable energy sources. It aims to become carbon neutral across its operations by 2030.

Cotton On aims to make 100% of its products with a sustainable attribute by 2030. It has committed to using 100% sustainably-sourced cotton since 2021.

Cotton On plans to source 100% of plastics, polyester, and synthetic materials made from certified recycled alternatives by 2025 and 100% certified responsible viscose by 2023.

Cotton On will switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. And it will make 100% of its denim using water reduction processes by 2023.

Cotton On plans to design 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. It will have a 70% recycling rate of plastics (recycled or composted) by 2025.

Cotton On aims to phase out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025. And all packaging will be made from 50% recycled content by 2025.

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What We're Up Against

Fast fashion groups overproducing cheap clothes in the poorest countries.
Garment factories with sweatshop-like conditions underpaying workers.
Media conglomerates promoting unethical, unsustainable fashion products.
Bad actors encouraging clothing overconsumption through oblivious behavior.
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