Cotton On Group

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Cotton On Group
Privately owned
Industry Fashion
Founded 1991; 26 years ago
Headquarters Geelong, Australia
Area served
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. 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.

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.[5]

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.[6]


Cotton On also operates 8 other brand names.

  • Cotton On Body - women's lingerie,sleepwear and active wear
  • Cotton On Kids - children's clothing
  • Rubi Shoes - shoes, bags, jewellery and accessories. Most of the items are made from Sifang (China) and Johor Bahru (Malaysia).
  • Typo - homeware, craft, stationery and gifting
  • T-bar - custom print T-shirts
  • Factorie - youth fashion
  • Supré - party wear
  • Free - tween apparel
  • COAR: - activewear and sportswear, acronym of Cotton On Active Range

The company worldwide[edit]

Number of stores as of September 2016[7]



Middle East and Africa:



[*] - Denotes that it is only a "basic" Cotton On shop.

The Cotton On Foundation[edit]

The Cotton On Foundation[8] Goal is to educate 20,000 people from Southern Uganda by the year 2020.


In December 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.[9]


  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. ^ "I support the Bangladeshi factory workers". Oxfam Australia. Sydney. 27 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Cats link with Cotton On Group". Geelong Cats. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Cotton On About Us
  8. ^ "Empowering Youth". Cotton On Foundation. 1 November 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Cotton On fined for selling flammable kids pyjamas". ABC News. ABC. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2014.