Cotton On Group

Cotton On is an Australian retail chain, known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children. It has almost 1,500 stores in 12 countries and employs 17,000 team members in Australia and internationally.[1]

Cotton On also operates Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Rubi Shoes, Typo, Lost, T-bar and Factorie and owns Supré.


Cotton On was founded in 1991, with the first store being opened in Geelong, Australia.[2] As of 2013, the Cotton On chain has over 1000 stores worldwide.[3] As of 2011 the company employed around 5,500 people.[4]

The company, was established by Nigel Austin in Geelong, Australia, at the time it only sold women’s clothing. Since January 2006, it had expanded with Cotton On Body and Cotton On Kids in 2007. It expanded to Typo (stationery and gifts), and also Rubi Shoes in February 2008. Natalie McLean is the new chief retail officer of Cotton On Group.[5]

The design team in the company’s Australian office controls the steps of production from merchandise planning to establishing specifications, and production is outsourced to approximately 150 factories in Europe and Asia. These facilities are used for horizontal division of labor rather than being integrated.

After the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in April 2013, Cotton On, along with other major Australian retailers, became the focus of a campaign by Oxfam Australia to get the company to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord.[6]

In 2013, Cotton On acquired Australian fast-fashion brand Supré and plans to expand the brand internationally.

Cotton On hired Australian TV personality Lara Bingle to be the spokesperson of their One launch, which offered comfortable cotton basic shirts offered in a variety of necklines including V-neck, scoop and crew. Lara Bingle has also designed swimwear for the Australian Brand under their Body label.

As of November 10, 2016 Cotton On, through the COAR: range, will be the on and off-field apparel sponsor of the Geelong Football Club.[7]

All playing and training equipment as well as all licensed apparel and hats for the AFL Women’s eight clubs are manufactured by COAR, a division of Cotton On.[8]

The company worldwide

Number of stores as of September 2016[9][10]


  • Brazil (5)
  • United States (121)


  • Malaysia (36, Nov 2017)[11]
  • Singapore (64)
  • Hong Kong (6)
  • South Korea (1)
  • Japan (1)
  • China (2)
  • Philippines (28)
  • Thailand (13)
  • Indonesia (17)

Middle East and Africa:

  • UAE (12)*
  • Lebanon (1)*
  • Oman (1)*
  • South Africa (100)



  • Australia (875)
  • New Zealand (150)

[*] – Denotes that it is only a “basic” Cotton On shop.

The Cotton On Foundation

The Cotton On Foundation was launched in 2007,[12] with a mission to develop 20,000 educational places by 2020.[13]


In December 2012 Cotton On was fined $1 million for selling highly flammable children’s sleepwear misleadingly labeled as low fire danger. The discount clothing retailer, which has more than 900 outlets across the country, was fined $400,000 for selling more than 1000 nightdresses that breached Australian fire safety standards, and a further $400,000 for selling more than 1000 unsafe pairs of girls’ pajamas, between September and December 2010. It was fined a further $200,000 for false and misleading labels on both sets of clothing items which claimed they were low fire danger.[14]


  1. ^ Oliver, Melinda. “Cotton On snaps up fast-fashion brand Supré amid influx of overseas retailers”. Smart Company. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  2. ^ “Cotton On About”. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  3. ^ “Cotton Store Locations”. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  4. ^ “About Cotton On” Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ “Cotton On Group pins growth on new categories, mega-stores”. Financial Review. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  6. ^ “I support the Bangladeshi factory workers”. Oxfam Australia. Sydney. 27 May 2013.
  7. ^ “Cats link with Cotton On Group”. Geelong Cats. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  8. ^ Navaratnam, Dinny (10 November 2016). “New uniforms unveiled for AFL Women’s comp”. AFL Media. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  9. ^ Cotton On About Us Archived 21 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^
  11. ^ Store Finder Cotton On, 2017
  12. ^ “Our Story”. Cotton On Group. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  13. ^ “Our Story”. Cotton On Foundation. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  14. ^ “Cotton On fined for selling flammable kids pajamas”. ABC News. ABC. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2014.