Sustainability

We're big on blue. We're also big on green.

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 have made pleasing progress towards our goals on our sustainability journey over the past 12 months, but we recognise there is still much to do. We are committed to continuing to improve and lead change for BIG W and the broader community. Further details on our commitments and progress to date are outlined in the Woolworths Group Sustainability Report 2021."

Our People

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 2021 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.

ACT: Action Collaboration Transformation

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.

Our Products

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.

 

BCI: Better Cotton Initiative

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.

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.


OEKO-TEX Inspiring Confidence. Made in green.

Certified Fibres

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.


Recycled

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.

Repreve

Recycled

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/

Prepreve: The Process

Cotton Ranges

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.

Our Planet

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. 

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.

Toys for Joy

We’re excited to bring you ‘Toys for Joy’, our new Toy recycling program, it’s designed to not only declutter your home of old, broken or unwanted toys, but also to help contribute to a joyful future, like helping to create new play experiences. What’s more, it also helps stop old toys being sent to landfill.

We’ve partnered with TerraCycle, who know a thing or two about how to turn old toys into something wonderful. Old toys will now have a second life, including being turned into play experiences, so more kids in need can enjoy more play.

Toys for Joy

Toys for Joy will run across 41 participating BIG W store locations, so drop your old toys into the Toys-for-Joy chest in store, where all donations will be passed onto TerraCycle for recycling. Click here to see what to donate. 


Good 360: Goods for the greater good

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.


The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation

As the largest book retailer in Australia, we feel a responsibility to extend our reach to the communities that need it most. BIG W’s partnership with Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF)  is one way for us to make a real difference for families who have limited access to resources and support to improve literacy outcomes.
ALNF is a national charity assisting people in our most marginalised communities to gain vital language, literacy and communication skills.  

ALNF Logo

ALNF’s specialised and innovative programs address the needs of a diverse range of individuals and communities – specifically targeting First Nations, refugee and other vulnerable Australians.


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.  

FSC: The mark of responsible forestry

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.


Animal Welfare

As part of the Woolworths Group, we are committed to protecting the welfare of animals in our supply chain.

Animal welfare is fundamental to our business because our customers trust us to do the right thing and good animal welfare results in quality products. BIG W does not have any fresh food or animal products in our range except for pet food and confectionery.

The Woolworths Group Animal Welfare Policy and all related Farm Animal Welfare policies unless explicitly stated, set out our minimum sourcing requirements and expectations for our Own Brands. Read more about the policy here.