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8th February, 2022

Since 2007, Cotton On Foundation has made an impact across the globe in the quality education space in a unique partnership with supported communities, Cotton On Group team, and customers. Now, it’s ready for its next big commitment.

Cotton On Foundation is a community of changemakers like no other. It’s a group united by a collective desire to create positive change in the world around us, with a vision to empower a generation to create a world where everyone can thrive.

The model is simple but unique: life-changing products sold online or through the Cotton On Group’s global network of stores, with 100% of proceeds dedicated to projects across the globe.

Since its inception in 2007, actions taken by customers have supported Cotton On Foundation to raise over AUD $140 million, contributed to quality education projects in Uganda, South Africa, Thailand and Australia. In that time, Cotton On Foundation has:

  • Built 24 schools across Uganda, South Africa and Thailand, creating 213 classrooms and supporting 18,000 students from marginalised backgrounds to receive a quality education.
  • Opened the Ross Langdon HIV Education Centre in Mannya, Uganda to provide education, testing and treatment services in the fight against the virus. Over 35,200 HIV tests have been conducted since the centre opened in 2012, lowering the HIV positivity rate to 3.7% from 9% when we first started working with the community.
  • Launched the Nutrition Mission program in Uganda and South Africa to empower communities with knowledge and education around food, to create positive eating, cooking and food preparation habits with a focus on long-term solutions to food security. To date, 3,677 participants have completed the training, with the most engaged participants becoming Nutrition Mission leaders, with the goal of spreading the program further into the community.
  • Opened its first school in South Africa, Ethekwini Primary in KwaMashu, Durban, creating 1,280 educational places. Infrastructure of the school was redeveloped, with additional classrooms prioritised to ensure that children could complete their final year of primary school, Grade 7.
  • Opened its first school in Thailand, Bwe K’Lar Learning Centre in Mae Sot, creating 150 educational places. Students are now supported with learning materials in their native language, as well as in English, and teachers are supported with a full salary.
  • Partnered with six Yolŋu-owned and run organisations in Yirrkala, in the Northern Territory of Australia, with a focus on supporting Yolŋu youth through connection to culture and identity. Supporting 65,000 years of culture through community programs, Cotton On Foundation partners with the following organisations: The Mulka Project, Yirrkala School, Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation and Yirrkala Homelands School.
  • Funded more than 18.8 million school meals for children in Uganda, South Africa and Thailand through our School Feeding Program, so that kids don’t have to learn on an empty stomach.
  • Established its Pathways program, distributing more than 550 scholarships across Uganda and Thailand to enable children and teenagers to further their education beyond the school gates through tertiary education, vocational training and traineeships.
  • Made commitments to local wellbeing organisations LifeChanger and Strong Brother Strong Sister and will continue to build connection to self-identity and resilience.

Over the next five years Cotton On Foundation aims to raise another $150 million to impact supported communities across the globe to create even more impact. Still hands-on. Still full of heart.

This activity will focus on three key areas identified as essential to achieving its vision. These areas (or pillars, as they will be known) are Holistic Education, Mental Health and Environment.

“At the Foundation we started off with a passion to empower youth around the world to make a difference, and for customers to help other young people across the globe to create a better future. 14 years later, we know this model works,” says Tim Diamond, Cotton On Foundation General Manager.

“Now is the time to really amplify Cotton On Group as a business that’s a vehicle for good. The next chapter for Cotton On Foundation delivers more schools, more quality education, and more pathways to employment to combat inequality.

We’re also going big with wellbeing, and spotlighting mental health. This involves advocacy on a global scale, ambitious fundraising goals and exciting new partnerships. We’re also going to do our bit to tackle the climate crisis, delivering new partnerships to help solve the single greatest challenge facing human-kind today. We will introduce practical and exciting new environmental projects to activate our communities and contribute to the change. Finally, we’re going to work hand-in-hand to fundraise over $150M to deliver this incredible impact.”

The Pillars

Holistic Education

Through the delivery of quality education from early childhood to further studies, we will nurture active citizens and contribute to a world that dispels inequity and prejudice.

Quality Education 

We will build inspiring schools and deliver a holistic education across Uganda, South Africa and Thailand.

Pathways to meaningful employment 

We will support every young person to find their right pathway and support them to find meaningful employment.

Opportunities for girls 

We will make sure no girl misses out on an education and that they have every opportunity to follow their dreams and contribute to society at every level.

Mental Health

We will collaborate with experts to deliver activities that support optimum mental health, while promoting resilience and the discovery of identity, to empower a global community of safe, happy and healthy people.


We will use our platform to reduce stigma, share resources and advocate for the improvement of mental health and wellbeing of young people.


We will partner with experts to strengthen early interventions, including early detection and early treatment.


We will partner with experts to improve access to formal mental health services for all young people.

Connection to culture

We will support cultural activities and workshops to foster connection to identity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.


We are committed to joining forces with those who are delivering powerful, measurable, sustainable impact to protect our oceans, land and wildlife – to create a tomorrow we can all be part of, and proud of.


We will take action to preserve oceans, protect reefs and marine wildlife to maintain diverse ecosystems.

Forest and farming 

We will create opportunities for carbon removal through reforestation, sustainable farming practises and innovation projects.