The Cotton On Foundation was set up to both fundraise and oversee education projects in under-resourced regions. It aims to reduce poverty and improve the lives of those in need.

Instagram stars Anelisa and Asanele Sobekwa, better known as the Sobekwa Twins, have pledged their commitment to fashion with a conscience. The twins, along with other influencers, Tidimalo Sehlako, Tarien Joubert, Lisa Harrison and Lee Charles, joined the Cotton On Foundation, the philanthropic wing of the Cotton On Group, in celebrating more than R1 billion raised by consumers for educational projects in South Africa, Uganda, Thailand and Australia.

We know that our responsibility goes far beyond selling clothes. The Foundation was set up to both fundraise and oversee education projects in under-resourced regions,” says Tara Stretch, South Africa Manager of the Cotton On Foundation. “It’s a powerful partnership that has enabled us to prioritise quality education for communities in need.”

Situated in KwaMashu, Ethekwini Primary School was previously only able to cater to students from Grade R to four. The 16 new classrooms built by the Foundation will allow learners to complete grades five to seven without having to leave their community. Further upgrades to the school include 37 new ablution facilities, two kitchens, a staffroom, tuckshop, two fully equipped playgrounds, as well as a new admin block for staff.

Conscious consumers can support the Foundation’s projects by purchasing affordably priced goods at any one of the Cotton On Group’s stores. “All proceeds from these items go towards the Foundation and its projects,” says Stretch. “Every accessory, bottle of water, tote bag, tin of mints and pack of tissues has a lasting impact on the lives of kids around the globe.”

While corporates routinely plug money into social projects, it is unusual for a retail group to have founded their own fully fledged and staffed non-profit. The set-up allows the group to take on long-term projects and tackle big problems that are pertinent to their customers, such as youth education and health.

The Foundation has developed a model which delivers quality education through multi-faceted, scalable and sustainable educational projects and programmes. “Our child-centric project model focuses on delivering quality education and removing the barriers to education that children currently face,” says Stretch.

Working in partnership with customers and team members around the world to have a positive impact on young people, The Cotton On Foundation aims to reduce poverty and improve the lives of those in need. For more information on the impact of their projects, visit

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