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Pink Shirt Day: NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern
Pink Shirt Day: Ambassador, Larissa Carlson
Pink Shirt Day: Ambassador, Larissa Carlson
Pink Shirt Day: New Zealand The Project TV show
Pink Shirt Day: New Zealand The Project TV show

Cotton On raise NZ$292k to stamp out bullying

21st May, 2019

Through a strong and successful partnerships program which has seen the Group collaborate with organisations along the likes of Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer and the Australian Football League and women’s competition, the Group was thrilled to take their community partnership platform across the sea to support the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand (MHF).

Cotton On was the exclusive retail partner of the MHF’s anti-bullying campaign: the Pink Shirt Day Campaign, and was privileged to spread awareness for the cause focused on mental health issues, specifically bullying in schools and the workforce.

New Zealand has some of the highest rates of bullying within schools and workplaces in the world. Through a survey initiated by New Zealand’s Education Review Office, released last week to coincide with Bullying Free Week, 11,085 students surveyed on their experiences of bullying showed that nearly half of primary school children and a third of teenagers reported being bullied in the past month.

The MHF used Pink Shirt Day, held on Friday, 17 May 2019 to raise awareness and understanding of the prevalence and impact of bullying on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Cotton On produced the unisex t-shirts (adult and kids) and sold them in select New Zealand Cotton On stores and Cotton On Kids stores and online at cottonon.com/NZ/ with free shipping thanks to the generosity of logistics company, Toll Group. As a result we were able to contribute 100% of net proceeds from each sale toward the MHF’s mission.

The MHF has delivered Pink Shirt Day Campaign since 2012, with the 2018 campaign resulting in 4,000 pink t-shirts sold for the cause. Releasing the t-shirts for sale to the New Zealand public on Monday, 29 April, the Group set out to sell 20,000 t-shirts for this year’s campaign.

The pink t-shirt which emphasised MHF’s motto of: Speak Up, Stand Together and Stop Bullying saw the uptake of 200 shirts sold per hour during the few days before Friday, 17 May.

In anticipation for the day, many New Zealand residents passionate for the cause took to social media, encouraging their community to get behind the day by purchasing a t-shirt. Influential spokesperson, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern also took to social media wearing her pink shirt in solidarity.

On the official Pink Shirt Day the country turned pink, or māwhero, as thousands wore their shirts in support of the cause. Throughout the day the t-shirts continued to fly off the shelves with an average of 400 shirts sold per hour across the region, ending the day with close to 20,000 shirts sold during the campaign timeframe.

New Zealand TV show, The Project exclusively revealed the campaign results on Friday evening whereby Cotton On Group NZ Country Manager, Kerry Ashford handed over the official cheque to Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive, Shaun Robinson for the amount of NZ$291,999.

Kerry was thrilled to provide the MHF with the cheque, reflecting on the day by saying:

“We’re incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and Toll Group for last Friday’s Pink Shirt Day. With the support of the community, our team members and local businesses we were able to contribute NZ$291,999 to support MHF’s bullying prevention work around New Zealand. We were thrilled to sell close to 20,000 t-shirts and we hope that our support of the campaign has meant more people are aware of this very important cause and raise awareness around mental health issues.”

The Group, alongside their Cotton On brand were thrilled to contribute such a significant amount toward the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, the largest corporate contribution to the organisation to date, particularly in the first year of our partnership to aid in eliminating bullying in schools and workplaces across the country.