At BIG W, we care about today and tomorrow's families.
We want to make a real difference for the future of our planet and communities.
We will continue to listen and learn from our customers, team and suppliers.
We acknowledge we are at the beginning of our sustainability journey,
but we are committed to continuing to improve and lead a change for BIG W and the broader community.
As part of the Woolworths Group, we are aligned with the Woolworths Group 2025 Sustainability Plan. We want to share our focus and progress so far and recognise we have more work to do.
Respecting Human Rights
Our Responsible Sourcing Program is the way we respect human rights in our supply chain so that human rights issues are understood and upheld. We expect our business partners to adhere to ethical business conduct consistent with our own, and are committed to working with them to fulfil this common goal.
All our suppliers are bound by the Woolworths’ Group Responsible Sourcing Policy and suppliers’ of BIG W branded products undergo further checks aligned with our Responsible Sourcing Standards which make the following mandatory:
- All workers must be treated with respect and dignity.
- Suppliers are to provide workers with a safe place to work, and respect workers’ rights to freedom of association.
- Workers’ grievances are to be heard, appropriately investigated, and any required remedial action taken, in addition to building capacity and awareness around social and labour practices.
Updates on our Responsible Sourcing Program are available in the Woolworths Group 2020 Modern Slavery Statement.
We are committed to transparent reporting on each of our factories and provide an updated list of all BIG W active apparel and textile factories here.
In February 2020, BIG W joined Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT) to address living wages in Bangladesh. ACT is an agreement between global brands, retailers and trade unions to achieve living wages for workers.
Collective bargaining at industry level means that representative organisations of employers and trade unions make a binding agreement on wages and working conditions that covers all their members, both workers and employers, in a certain sector or industry.
Read more about BIG W’s membership to ACT.
Sustainable sourcing of products is a key commitment under our planet pillar. Our current focus is on apparel, home textile products and removing single use plastic from key lines. Below are some examples of the work we’re doing to offer our customers a more sustainable choice:
BIG W announces partnership with the Better Cotton Initiative
We are proud to announce that BIG W is now a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainable practices and products, we have committed to a partnership with BCI to ensure we work towards a brighter future for the cotton industry and those whose lives depend on it.
Partnering with BCI means we will continue the journey to source more sustainable cotton across our entire business, starting with our own brand clothing, bedding and towel ranges.
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a global not-for-profit organisation and has the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. BCI exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future. BIG W is committed to improving cotton farming practices globally with the Better Cotton Initiative.
To read more about BCI, you can visit their site here.
MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX®
When you see the Made in Green by Oeko-Tex® label, you can be assured your product has been made with materials that have been tested for harmful substances in environmentally friendly facilities and in socially responsible workplaces. You can see Oeko-tex in our bed linen and towels.
For more information on the Made in Green program, click here.
REPREVE® by UNIFI®
When you see a REPREVE label at BIG W, this means the product contains a minimum of 30% of the REPREVE fibre. This REPREVE fibre is made using recycled materials including plastic bottles. Making it a more sustainable alternative to virgin polyester.
You can find Repreve in our activewear and swimwear ranges in store and online.
To learn more about the U TRUST® verification program and how it provides customers with the highest level of transparency visit https://repreve.com/
We are creating partnerships with our suppliers and industry to support the delivery of our commitment to use cotton which has been produced sustainably and responsibly in our own-brand products. We encourage the use of recycled and reclaimed cotton where possible.
Work towards eliminating single use plastics
We are committed to a national approach to reducing single use plastics and replacing them with reusable and non-plastic alternatives.
In July 2018, BIG W was one of the first discount retailers to remove single use plastic bags from our stores. Together with Woolworths Group, BIG W has contributed towards eliminating 6 million bags over the previous two years.
We removed plastic straws from our stores in 2018, and removed all single use plastic cutlery from our range in 2020. We have also had all of our plastic cutlery tested to ensure it is able to be washed in the dishwasher for 125 cycles .
In September 2020, we introduced non-plastic alternatives in our tableware range including wooden cutlery and plates made from naturally shed palm sheaths of the Areca Palm.
Working towards Zero waste with our charity partner Good360 Australia
We have been supporting and working with Good360 for over three years to ensure all our products have a ‘first life’ with nothing left unused, reducing landfill significantly. We donate our unused brand-new goods to Good360, who match them to families in need Australia wide. When a disaster hits, we find the items that families may need to get through a challenging time, including heaters, blankets, appliances, back to school items, and books.
Together, we have donated over $66M worth of goods, which is over 7M new items to communities in need over the last 3 years.
See more about the great work that Good360 does here.
Paper & Timber Products
We are working towards sourcing all products and primary packaging from independently certified legal and sustainable sources with certified Chains of Custody, or recycled sources.
85% of our current own brand paper/ timber products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) this includes
- 100% of Christmas wrap, cards and gift bags
- 100% of our stationery/back to school range
The FSC is a global, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. FSC defines standards based on agreed principles for responsible forest stewardship that are supported by environmental, social, and economic stakeholders. To learn more visit www.au.fsc.org.
When a product carries the FSC logo, it means that the timber and paper materials used in the product have been responsibly sourced and that it is certified to FSC’s standards.
FSC certified products are a better choice for the environment, helping take care of forests and the people and wildlife that call them home.