Koton, a leader in the fashion sector, showcased its commitment to environmental issues by participating in the COP28 conference held in Dubai. The panel included Koton’s Chairman Yılmaz Yılmaz, Şahika Ercümen representing Koton’s Respect for Water Collection, Anthony Leiserowitz from Yale University’s Climate Change Communication Department, and Burak Kuyan, CEO of Galata Wind Energy.

Koton, Türkiye’s eminent fashion brand, continues its active involvement in gender equality and sustainability initiatives.

Yılmaz Yılmaz, Chairman of Koton, speaking at the “Story of Us” panel at COP28, outlined the company’s sustainability strategies, “Our 2020 sustainability manifesto, ‘Respect for Life,’ encompasses four main areas: 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.


Yılmaz added, “Our ‘Respect for Society’ includes the ‘Handmade’ Collection, initiated in 2016. Instead of cheaper machine embroidery, we employ women in Southeastern Anatolia, benefiting 6,000 women in disadvantaged conditions to date.

‘Respect for People’ involves promoting an equal, inclusive, and diverse workplace culture. Around 72% of Koton Group employees and 54% of our managers are women. Advancing women’s initiatives is a key focus, aligning with our aim to be a women-friendly company. We’re proud to be signatories of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and received the Great Place To Work certification in 2023.”


“Sustainability represents both a major challenge and a significant opportunity for Türkiye. Our close proximity to Europe and the advanced nature of our local production are major advantages. In our industry, we are focusing on increasing the proportion of sustainable products by 2024. By 2026, our goal is to cut single-use plastic usage by half, raise recycled packaging usage by 50%, and further expand our sustainable product offerings. In 2022, we managed a 22% reduction in our plastic waste compared to the prior year. Moreover, from the second half of 2023, we have stopped the use of plastic bags in our stores across Türkiye,” Yılmaz elaborated.


Yılmaz Yılmaz also reflected on COP28: “The participation of the private sector is vital in such forums, as companies wield considerable influence. The scope of COP is continuously widening, drawing more interest from the private sector, nations, and individual participants. This increased interest plays a pivotal role in shaping the decisions made at these summits.”