Monday, March 4, 2024

Koton’s Involvement in UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai

Koton, a key player in the global fashion industry, participated in the COP28 conference held in Dubai. The panel was attended by Yılmaz Yılmaz, Chairman of Koton; Şahika Ercümen, representing Koton’s Respect for Water Collection; Anthony Leiserowitz from Yale University; and Burak Kuyan, CEO of Galata Wind Energy.

Koton, a leading fashion brand from Türkiye, is deeply engaged in initiatives for gender equality and sustainability.

At COP28’s “Story of Us” panel, Yılmaz Yılmaz, Chairman of Koton, discussed the company’s dedication to sustainability. He stated, “Our 2020 sustainability manifesto, titled ‘Respect for Life’, focuses on four main pillars: Respect for Our World, Society, People, and Business.

‘Respect for Our World’ is demonstrated by our initiative to be the first Turkish retail brand to adopt the ‘Better Cotton’ project. By 2025, we aim to boost our production of sustainable products from 25% in 2022 to 50%, leading to significant environmental savings. This includes saving approximately 8 million cubic meters of water, reducing chemical drug use by 5 tons, and increasing cotton production by about 1100 tons, enough to produce around 4 million more T-shirts,” he elaborated.


Yılmaz continued, “Our ‘Respect for Society’ pillar is exemplified by our ‘Handmade’ Collection. Launched in 2016, we’ve provided work to 6,000 women in Southeastern Anatolia, opting for manual labour over cheaper machine embroidery.

‘Respect for People’ underlines our commitment to an equal, inclusive, and diverse working environment. With approximately 72% of our employees and 54% of our managers being women, we focus on empowering women in all aspects of life. Our adherence to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and receiving the Great Place To Work certification in 2023 highlight our commitment to being a women-friendly company.”


“Sustainability is both a challenge and an opportunity for Türkiye. Our proximity to Europe and advanced local production capabilities provide significant benefits. Our objective is to increase the percentage of sustainable products in our total product range by 2024. By 2026, we aim to halve single-use plastics, increase recycled packaging by 50%, and enhance our sustainable product line. In 2022, we recorded a 22% decrease in plastic waste compared to the previous year, and from the second half of 2023, we have stopped the use of plastic bags in our stores across Türkiye,” Yılmaz stated.


Reflecting on COP28, Yılmaz Yılmaz said, “The participation of private sector companies is indispensable at such summits. Companies have a significant role to play. As the scope of COP widens each year, the involvement of businesses, governments, and individuals becomes more crucial. This growing participation is pivotal in influencing the decisions taken at these conferences.”

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preece
Elliot is the Editor at ABCMoney. He manages a team that writes and contributes to many leading publications across a number of industries.

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