Koton, a prominent player in the ready-to-wear fashion industry, took part in the COP28 conference in Dubai. The event featured Koton’s Chairman Yılmaz Yılmaz, Şahika Ercümen representing Koton’s Respect for Water Collection, Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University’s Climate Change Communication Department, and Burak Kuyan, CEO of Galata Wind Energy.

As one of Türkiye’s top fashion brands, Koton continues its engagement in key areas like gender equality and sustainability.

Yılmaz Yılmaz, Chairman of Koton, emphasized the brand’s commitment to sustainability at the “Story of Us” panel at COP28, stating, “Our 2020 sustainability manifesto ‘Respect for Life’ has four foundational elements: Respect for Our World, Society, People, and Business.

‘Respect for Our World’ includes us being the first Turkish retail brand to sign the ‘Better Cotton’ initiative in Türkiye. In 2022, approximately 25% of our products were produced from sustainable sources,” he said.

“72% OF OUR EMPLOYEES ARE WOMEN”

Yılmaz added, “In the ‘Respect for Society’ pillar, our ‘Handmade’ Collection, started in 2016, has been empowering women in Southeastern Anatolia, engaging them in tasks typically done by machines, benefiting 6,000 women in disadvantaged situations so far.

Under ‘Respect for People’, we foster an environment of equality, inclusion, and diversity. Around 72% of our workforce at Koton Group are women, with 54% in managerial positions. Advancing women’s initiatives is a key priority. Our commitment to being a women-friendly company is underscored by our adherence to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and our achievement of the Great Place To Work certification in 2023.”

“SUSTAINABILITY: A DUAL CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR TÜRKİYE”

“Sustainability presents both notable challenges and opportunities for Türkiye. Our geographic advantage near Europe and advanced local production capabilities give us a competitive edge. We are focused on increasing the sustainable product share in our total product lineup by 2024. Our 2026 targets include reducing single-use plastics by 50%, increasing the use of recycled packaging by 50%, and augmenting our sustainable product offerings. In 2022, we achieved a 22% decrease in plastic waste compared to the previous year. In addition, starting in the second half of 2023, we stopped providing plastic bags in our Türkiye stores,” Yılmaz detailed.

“THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF CORPORATE PARTICIPATION AT COP28”

Reflecting on COP28, Yılmaz Yılmaz stated, “The participation of the corporate sector is critical in such forums. The impact of companies is significant. Each year, the scope of COP expands, with increasing involvement from businesses, national governments, and individuals. This heightened engagement is instrumental in shaping the decisions and directives of the summit.”

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Sam Allcock

Sam Allcock is the founder of PR Fire. He helps small to medium-sized businesses land coverage in publications like BuzzFeed, Metro, The Huffington Post, and The Telegraph through smart press release distribution....

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