Cotton On

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Cotton On Group
Type Privately owned
Industry Fashion
Founded Geelong, Australia
Founder(s) Nigel Austin
Headquarters Geelong, Australia
Area served Worldwide
Key people Peter Johnson (CEO)
Nigel Austin
Products Clothing, cosmetics, kids clothing, house decor
Divisions Cotton On Body
Cotton On Kids
Rubi Shoes
Subsidiaries Supré

Cotton On is an Australian retail chain, known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children. It has almost 1200 stores in 12 countries and employs 17,000 staff in Australia and internationally.[1]

Cotton On also operates Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Rubi Shoes, Typo, 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. The original Cotton On offer has expanded to intimates, sleepwear and activewear with Cotton On Body, children’s fashion with Cotton On Kids, footwear with Rubi shoes, and gifts and stationery with Typo.[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 also operates 6 other brand names.

  • Cotton On Body - women's lingerie and sleepwear
  • Cotton On Kids - childrens clothing
  • Rubi Shoes - shoes, bags, jewellery and accessories
  • Typo - homeware, craft and stationery
  • T-bar
  • Factorie


The company worldwide[edit]

Number of stores as of 8 May 2013[12]



Middle East:


North America:


South America:

The Cotton On Foundation[edit]

The Cotton On Foundation[13] Goal is to educate 20,000 people from Southern Uganda by the year 2020.


In December of 2012 Cotton On was fined $1 million for selling highly flammable children's sleepwear misleadingly labelled 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' pyjamas, 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".
  5. ^ "Cotton On takes street monopoly". Fashion Source (Melbourne). 9 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "I support the Bangladeshi factory workers". Oxfam Australia (Sydney). 27 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Cotton On Australia Home Page". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Typo Home Page". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Factorie Home Page". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "T-Bar Home Page". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "RUBI Home Page". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Cotton On About Us
  13. ^ "Empowering Youth". Cotton On Foundation. 1 November 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Cotton On fined for selling flammable kids pyjamas". ABC News. ABC. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2014.