Koton Joins Global Leaders at UN Climate Change Conference COP28

Renowned for its standing in the ready-to-wear industry, Koton marked its presence at the COP28 event in Dubai. The panel was graced by key figures including Yılmaz Yılmaz, Chairman of Koton; Şahika Ercümen, the face of Koton’s Respect for Water Collection; Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University’s Climate Change Communication Department; and Burak Kuyan, CEO of Galata Wind Energy.

Koton, a trailblazer among Türkiye’s fashion brands, is actively engaged in initiatives focusing on gender equality and sustainability.

Yılmaz Yılmaz, Chairman of Koton’s Board of Directors, has been a driving force in the company’s escalating sustainability efforts. Speaking at the “Story of Us” panel at COP28, he highlighted Koton’s initiatives, “In 2020, we launched our sustainability manifesto titled ‘Respect for Life,’ comprising four key elements: Respect for Our World, Society, People, and Business.

‘Respect for Our World’ has seen us become the first Turkish retail brand to join the ‘Better Cotton’ initiative in Türkiye. In 2022, about 25% of our products were from sustainable sources, and we’re aiming to raise this to 50% by 2025 through Better Cotton. This shift is projected to save around 8 million cubic meters of water, reduce chemical use by 5 tons, and boost cotton production efficiency by about 1100 tons by 2025. This translates to enough cotton for an additional 4 million T-shirts,” he explained.

“72% OF OUR EMPLOYEES ARE WOMEN”

Yılmaz further noted, “Under ‘Respect for Society,’ our ‘Handmade’ Collection is a significant initiative. Started in 2016, it employs women in Southeastern Anatolia for tasks often done cheaper by machines. This project has reached 6,000 women in disadvantaged conditions so far.

‘Respect for People’ focuses on an equal, inclusive culture valuing diversity. Approximately 72% of our staff at Koton Group are women, with women constituting 54% of our managers. Supporting women’s initiatives in all life aspects is a priority. As part of our commitment to being a women-friendly company, we are signatories of the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles and were awarded the Great Place To Work certification in 2023.”

“SUSTAINABILITY IS A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR TÜRKİYE”

“Sustainability poses both significant challenges and opportunities for Türkiye. Our proximity to Europe and advanced local production capabilities offer substantial advantages. In our sector, we aim to boost the proportion of sustainable products by 2024. By 2026, we plan to halve the use of single-use plastics, increase recycled packaging usage by 50%, and enhance our sustainable product range. In 2022, we achieved a 22% reduction in plastic waste compared to the previous year. Starting from the second half of 2023, we ceased using plastic bags in our Türkiye stores,” Yılmaz stated.

“PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION CRUCIAL AT COP28”

Yılmaz Yılmaz also shared his insights on COP28: “The involvement of the private sector is essential in such gatherings. The influence of companies is significant. Every year, COP’s scope broadens, attracting more attention from the private sector, countries, and individuals. This growing interest significantly impacts the decisions made at the summit.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *