Ethical Retailing

At the Cotton On Group, we want our retail team members to be happy, engaged and informed as we ensure there is a true sense of belonging amongst our 20,000 people across the globe. It is our responsibility to create retail spaces that are safe for our people and our customers, and as kind as possible to the environment.


The Cotton On Group takes the safety of our retail team and customers seriously.

We have a dedicated safety team whose key focus is understanding our store procedures to identify potential risks and determine where improvements can be made.

Through our Safety Matters program, the Cotton On Group is educating our people on the importance of keeping the safety of themselves, their peers and their customers top of mind. Following direct feedback from our retail teams, the initiative has been tailored to deliver messages and tactics that will resonate with their day to day activities and promote best practice in regards to safety.

Retail Team Engagement

The Cotton On Group's retail team are the face of our business so keeping them engaged is critical to our success.

Our global retail teams are regularly kept up-to-date using new and innovative platforms that resonate with them in a meaningful way. Our new Tomorrowgram platform enables access to brand and Group information and encourages our people to interact with their global peers. Regular contact with Area and Brand managers also helps them stay connected with our activities and objectives and understand the important role they play in the Group story.

We've also implemented a number of programs designed to promote inclusiveness and a sense of belonging throughout our 1,300+ stores worldwide. Ideas for Tomorrow encourages team members to paint the global picture of the Cotton On Group by uploading photos representing the core Group values to a central platform. This gives us and our people the opportunity to capture the essence of who we are and where we're heading.

Our Health + Wellbeing Road to Wellness programs have also been established, challenging our people to make better choices for their health and wellbeing through sharing their journey, tips and recipes with the global team.

Additionally, our retail team play an active role in supporting the work of the Cotton On Foundation by communicating the Foundation's mission, promoting products in store and taking part in campaign activities.

Reuse, Renew, Recycle

The Cotton On Group wants to minimise its environmental impact and work towards a sustainable future for our planet. We have guidelines in place to encourage positive action throughout the organisation and expect our business partners, suppliers and everyone we do business with to do the same.

We are on the road of continuous improvement and see ethical and sustainable practices as pivotal to our future success. As we make progress, we will provide updates on new initiatives and our focuses to ensure all of our stakeholders have faith in our quest to contribute to a better world.

Some initiatives we are focused on include:

  • Exceeding regulatory compliance
  • Educating, encouraging and empowering our employees to be advocates for minimising our environmental footprint
  • Identifying new and efficient ways of using key resources including: water, energy, transport, raw materials and packaging
  • Jointly improving the policies of our major suppliers both domestically and internationally
  • Focusing on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle throughout our stores and office locations

Our Stores

The Cotton On Group is on a continuous road to improvement throughout its 1,300+ stores to reduce its environmental footprint and improve operational and practical efficiencies. We have guidelines in place to continually monitor our stores' environmental performance, review environmental objectives and identify opportunities for improved practices.

Currently, recycling across all our stores is a standard requirement and any unsold product is returned to our Distribution Centres for discount sale or given to charity organisations.

In our store redevelopments, we reduce the need for new materials where practical by retaining existing building fabrics and maintaining structural history. We place emphasis on having new shop fixtures and fittings made to order to reduce surplus, unused materials and minimise environmental impact.

Each of our stores retain and reuse their own plastic hangers whilst our Factorie stores have rolled out the use of  cardboard hangers. Our stores also use biodegradable plastic bags to reduce our impact on landfill.

Additionally, we endeavour to minimise our global energy use by fitting our stores with LED lighting. We encourage our retail team members to be mindful of how all key resources are used, including water and energy.

Our Headquarters

Reducing our environmental impact is the responsibility of each and every one of our head office team members.

Recycling is a standard requirement of our people and we encourage the mindful use and reuse of paper products in day to day activities. We also have benchmarked energy and water guidelines in place to govern our use of key resources and identify areas of improvement.

With our headquarters growing to accommodate our expanding head office team, any construction we undertake employs industry best practices in sustainability including the use of low volatility organic compound paints, local product preference and life cycle analysis. Where practical, we retain existing building fabric and maintain the structural history of sites and, by not overlaying new materials, reduce the ecological footprint of the redevelopment.

Other ecologically sustainable initiatives include:

  • Maximising natural daylight views with new glazed facades and skylights
  • Introducing exterior landscaping across the entire master plan to increase internal/external connection and reduce heat loads
  • Polishing existing concrete floors where possible, allowing the thermal mass of the concrete to be integral to the performance of the building
  • Using extensive recycled timber for wall paneling, doors, joinery and furniture items, sourced locally within Victoria.