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Koton’s Presence at UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai

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

Türkiye’s esteemed fashion brand, Koton, remains dedicated to gender equality and sustainability initiatives.

Speaking at the COP28’s “Story of Us” panel, Yılmaz Yılmaz, Koton’s Chairman, shared the company’s sustainability vision, “Our ‘Respect for Life’ manifesto, launched in 2020, focuses on four areas: Respect for Our World, Society, People, and Business.

‘Respect for Our World’ marks our role as the first Turkish retailer to join the ‘Better Cotton’ initiative. By 2025, we plan to increase our sustainable product output from 25% in 2022 to 50%. This effort is projected to save approximately 8 million cubic meters of water, reduce chemical usage by 5 tons, and improve cotton production by around 1100 tons, which is enough for about 4 million more T-shirts,” he stated.

“72% OF OUR EMPLOYEES ARE WOMEN”

Yılmaz continued, “Our ‘Respect for Society’ pillar includes the ‘Handmade’ Collection, initiated in 2016. We engage women in Southeastern Anatolia for tasks that could be done more cheaply by machines, impacting 6,000 women living in disadvantaged areas.

‘Respect for People’ reflects our commitment to an equal, inclusive, and diverse work environment. About 72% of Koton Group’s employees and 54% of our managers are women. Supporting women’s initiatives across all facets of life is integral to our mission. We proudly uphold the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and received the Great Place To Work certification in 2023.”

“CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN SUSTAINABILITY FOR TÜRKİYE”

“Sustainability is both a significant hurdle and a tremendous opportunity for Türkiye. Our proximity to Europe and our robust local production are key assets. We aim to increase sustainable products’ share by 2024. By 2026, we intend to cut single-use plastic by 50%, enhance recycled packaging by 50%, and further expand our sustainable product range. In 2022, we managed to cut our plastic waste by 22% compared to the previous year. From the second half of 2023, we have eliminated the use of plastic bags in our stores in Türkiye,” Yılmaz explained.

“THE VITAL ROLE OF COMPANIES AT COP28”

Yılmaz Yılmaz also reflected on the importance of COP28: “Private sector participation is essential at these summits

, as businesses play a pivotal role in environmental efforts. The reach of COP has been expanding annually, attracting more attention from businesses, governments, and individual actors. The growing interest and participation in COP is a key factor influencing the decisions and outcomes of the summit.”

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