Cotton Ginny’s comeback

After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, Mississauga, Ont.-based Cotton Ginny is trying to reinvent itself. New president/CEO Tony Chahine wants to bring the brand back to the earthy image it sported in its early days in the '70s.

After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, Mississauga, Ont.-based Cotton Ginny is trying to reinvent itself. New president/CEO Tony Chahine wants to bring the brand back to the earthy image it sported in its early days in the ’70s.

‘We kind of lost who we were,’ explains Laurie Dubrovac, Cotton Ginny’s director of marketing and communications. ‘Canadians are concerned about the environment – organic makes sense. It’s the right way to do business.’

Efforts include moving towards using only organic cotton (it has launched a new 100% certified organic line called Eco-Ganic), supporting ethically grown cotton (and working with PR agency Hill & Knowlton to lobby the government to remove tariffs on fair trade cotton), and setting up a program to encourage employees to volunteer in the community.

Cotton Ginny’s fall campaign, done in-house, includes print ads in mags like Chatelaine and Green Living, and a DM piece going out to people in the Cotton Ginny database. All efforts focus on the brand’s shift towards organic.

To date, 10 of the 137 locations across Canada have been redesigned for a more contemporary look to better reflect its new brand identity, with the other stores set to follow in the coming years.

Dubrovac stresses that the green makeover won’t happen overnight: ‘This is going to be a journey for us. This is going to take us a long time.’