A couple of mornings ago I received a surprise email from Cotton On Body, regarding their new summer range, and an invite to their tropically themed breakfast. I met some lovely people that morning, felt happy about all the body-positivity that was being emphasised in their 80’s inspired swimwear range, but my eyes were opened to a not-so-advertised side of Cotton On.

One of the most innovative movements that has started to snowball, is buying a material bag for grocery shopping, with the goal of keeping several in your car at all times, hoping to eliminate the need for plastic bags entirely. Cotton On sells these material bags for next to nothing, right by the till along with several other trinkets that have underestimated value to the ordinary customer. There are bracelets that make excellent gifts to friends, as well as bottled water, among other things. What makes these items different, is that all the proceeds go directly to the foundation. Cotton On does not retain a single penny, and as someone that wants to see where I am making a difference, this is always the best thing to hear when donating to a worthy cause.

Now, the facts.

The focus of this portfolio is to give back to underprivileged communities, with ten years behind this foundation, they have narrowed their focus to health, education, sustainability and infrastructure – a common goal of each of their projects. The Cotton On Group is working in Uganda, South Africa, Thailand and Australia, with longterm projects at work and new ones in the pipeline.

Being South African, I read up on the project at work in my country. Ethekweni Primary School is one of the oldest running schools in KwaMashu and with Cotton On’s help, they plan to expand with 1280 classes. Within the Educational focus, they train teachers, focus on happy students while developing leadership skills, literacy and numeracy classes and maintain their Quality Educational Model. The proceeds from everyday products that you would find yourself buying at a general grocery store, such as bags, mints, water and tissues, go towards funding these programs – 100%.

They educate parents with short courses on sustainable living, called Nutrition Mission KwaMashu. This 8-day course covers a variety of topics, with the goal of staying within the Department of Basic Education’s national feeding scheme, have a functioning kitchen at the Primary School and help parents feel more equipped to raise their children within the ever changing environment.

I am so happy that a fashion giant like Cotton On is embracing the self-love movement, promoting women of all sizes and working with role models like AnyBODY Co. I do not want to say they are challenging society’s view of what a woman should look like, I think they are just two best friends who are helping a lot of woman feel strong and confident about themselves and having fun while doing it. The campaign was shot by The Great Barrier Reef, an attempt at raising concerns about coral bleaching and using fashion to do so. Go check out what they have been working on here. The swimsuit prints were designed by in house designers to flatter every body type, and after fitting mine, I was so excited to see how long my legs looked with the cut and how the inner support also hugged my waist, instead of just making me a box silhouette.

My main focus of this post is the foundation, since I felt that resonated with me more on that Spring morning and I had to know more, I hope you experience the same feeling and go read more about the good we can do for those less privileged than us. At the same time, I want to acknowledge the groundwork that has been done for an inclusive of all body types range, I love my vibrant yellow (how did they know I love yellow??) swimsuit and look forward to wearing it this summer!