Supre Sustainability
Supre Sustainability


Better Denim Shouldn't Cost the Earth

Denim is one of the most universally loved fashion items, but it can come at a serious cost to the
environment. The main reason? Resources—and lots of them. Denim is typically made from
cotton. Conventional cotton is grown with harmful fertilisers and pesticides, and requires huge
amounts of water to produce. Add to that fabric production and washing processes, and the
impact on water, energy and carbon is staggeringly intensive. That has to change.

Our planet deserves better

As a fashion brand, it’s a non-negotiable that we need to be part of the solution. That means using
our scale, reach and platform to advocate for positive change, drive down the costs of
sustainability, and lead with a responsibility mindset as the only way to do business. The new norm
for the fashion industry can not only be more sustainable—it has to be. Doing better recognises
that where we’re at isn’t good enough. We have a long way to go, but it’s a journey we’re
committed to—forever.

You deserve better

So what does better denim mean? For us, it’s denim that you’ll want to live in, day after day. Tried
-and-true fits. Washes that get better with wear. Denim made with care and made to last. We want
to take you behind the seams, so you can track our progress and be part of the journey. After all, it’s
you that makes our denim look good! Wear better. Love longer. You deserve it.

Better denim from start to finish

What the numbers mean

We’re focusing on the areas where we can make the biggest sustainable impact, not just the
biggest numbers in the short-term. When it comes to denim, some brands may only focus on a single step
within product production. For example, they might invest in water-reduction initiatives at the washing
stage. However, when you look at the overall production process, that only accounts for the smallest
percentage of the total water usage. On average, about fifty-percent of the environmental impact of
denim product production—in terms of water, energy and carbon—happens at the raw material stage.
1 That’s why we’re looking from start to finish, to see where we can reduce our impact in a meaningful way.

Reducing our water usage

Reducing our energy usage

Reducing our carbon emissions

Impacts are calculated using average data and supplier’s self-reported data

One pair of better denim jeans does more with less

How we’re reducing our impact

Global supply chains are complex and involve areas both within and outside of our direct control. Our
impact reduction efforts aim to address both. We support our suppliers to challenge traditional
processes, explore new technologies and innovations, and invest in equipment and processes that
reduce the overall impact in a big way. Since 2016, we’ve supported responsible cotton production
through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a global industry leader aimed at making cotton production
better for the people who produce it, the environment it grows in, and the sector’s future. And we’ve set
sustainability targets across the entire Cotton On Group, among which include materials and water
processing goals that relate to denim. You can learn more about it in our Good Report. Here, we’ll focus
on three high-impact areas within denim production and how we’re reducing our impact.

Stage 1: Raw material

Our goal: 100% sustainably sourced cotton, forever

Over the past few years, we’ve transitioned into using more sustainable raw material sources for many
of our products, which we call our Responsible Materials. In 2021, we reached our goal of 100%
sustainably sourced cotton across the entire business. We want to make sure it stays that way—forever.
That means only sourcing cotton that’s produced in a way that’s kinder to the planet and improves the
livelihoods of the people who produce it. This includes supporting responsible cotton production
through our partnership with BCI, sourcing certified organic cotton, and sourcing certified recycled

Today, all our new denim is made with 20% recycled cotton. We first introduced recycled cotton into
our denim in 2019 with 10% recycled cotton from post-consumer waste. Recycled cotton has
contributed to most of our water impact reduction and typically comes from old clothes or leftover factory
fabric scraps. It uses less water, pesticides and energy compared to virgin cotton fibres. We
partner with suppliers who are certified to the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) or Recycled Claim
Standard (RCS) to verify the sustainability claims of our fibres and materials, from raw material through
to the final product. Working with what current technologies can achieve today, we believe we can
develop denim with up to 50% off without losing out on quality. So watch this space!

Stage 2: Fabric production

Fabric production involves a number of processes like weaving, dyeing and fabric finishing. Our
suppliers are taking the steps to make impact-reduction improvements to preserve and
resources. Today, this includes renovating and upgrading equipment, installing solar systems, harvesting
rainwater, and improving steam recovery. We’re committed to supporting them in a process of
continuous improvement, as new technologies are developed and introduced.

Stage 3: Washing

Our goal: 100% of denim washed using water reduction processes by 2030

Traditional industrial denim washing processes use a lot of water—a resource we can’t afford to waste.
We’ve worked closely with our key denim suppliers to explore innovative technologies that can achieve
the same final result with a much lower environmental impact. These include:

Ozone wash - G2 Ozone technology uses oxygen to generate ozone gas, which has natural bleaching
capabilities. It substantially reduces the consumption of water, energy, chemicals, enzymes and stones.

Laser - This technology can achieve precise, repeatable bleaching and can replicate wear effects
without water, chemicals or stones. It also helps to eliminate harmful processes that affect workers’
health, such as sandblasting, hand sanding and potassium permanganate sprays.

Nanobubble - Also known as e-Flow system, this technology transforms oxygen into nanobubbles of air
that act as a carrier to apply various finishing effects with minimal amounts of water and chemicals.

Natural drying - Rooftop drying systems that help to reduce the need for machine drying, which uses a
lot of energy. This is done by using integrated hangers that move garments around to dry them.

Towards ever better

For us, the roadmap for better products has to be responsible. We recognise that the well-being of our
community is directly tied to us making lasting, sustainable changes that have a positive impact on our
planet and future generations. The initiatives and goals we’ve set in action help to shape our
commitment today, but we’ll always look to do more. For an even better tomorrow.

Our data source:
We partnered with RESET Carbon, a specialist supply chain and environmental consultancy, to measure and analyse the environmental
impact of Cotton On denim against industry average denim that uses conventional cotton and washing methods. The results were
calculated based on the average weight of all denim garments in our July 2022 range, which equalled 160g. We selected the Long Straight
Jean and High Mom Short in the women’s denim range to best represent this average across denim jeans and denim shorts.

1. Based on our calculation of the baseline jeans in which suppliers’ and industry average data are used.