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HoMie Pathway Alliance intern Khya in store at Cotton On.:
HoMie Pathway Alliance intern Hussien: has found new confidence through his experience at Cotton On.
HoMie Pathway Alliance intern Khya: with his new teammates at Cotton On.
HoMie Pathway Alliance intern Khya: with his new teammates at Cotton On.

Cotton On Group partner with HoMie to support Melbourne’s youth

22nd July, 2019

In 2017 the Cotton On Group began a partnership with Melbourne based streetwear clothing social enterprise, HoMie, whose work supports some of the most vulnerable people in the community: those experiencing homelessness.

HoMie was founded on the principle of destigmatising and humanising homelessness, with all profits earned by the brand going towards the cause through the funding of new clothing, education, training, and employment solutions for young people affected by hardship.

Known as the HoMie Pathway Alliance, the Group’s partnership provided an opportunity for these young people to take part in a paid internship during which they were supported through professional educational courses, personal development training and finding housing, before becoming trainees in some of the Group’s busiest Melbourne stores; several of these original trainees remain invaluable team members today.

After a successful initial partnership, the Group’s Recruitment team again joined forces with HoMie in early 2019 to help make a positive difference to the lives of youths doing it tough on Melbourne city streets.

In April, 10 candidates completed work ready training to prepare them to commence their part-time in-store sales assistant contracts in Cotton On Group stores.
This training saw each intern grow personally and professionally through face-to-face sessions covering team building, personal appearance, finding confidence, written and verbal communication skills, and mental health in partnership with the Resilience Project -.

On April 1, fresh from training and ready to take on the workforce, each HoMie intern was positioned at a Melbourne store chosen for its working environment and proximity to their living situation, where they received contracted hours with the same responsibilities of our current casual team including customer service, Point of Sale and stock replenishment.

Prior to their new team members starting in our stores, managers at these locations underwent their own training through HoMie, to equip them with the skills and the resources they need to best facilitate a meaningful experience for their new team members.

Almost four months into the program, current HoMie intern and Cotton On team member Khya tells us that all is going well:

Right now I find myself thinking about my job as one of the best things that have ever happened to me, I am always looking forward to my next shift…

My team is amazing, every struggle I’ve had growing in the workplace, the team was always been there to help guide me to do my best every day.