The Story Behind Our Australian Cotton Chino

Famous for a reason

For decades, we’ve worked hard to perfect our signature Chino. Since its initial release in the summer of 1984, our team has continued to work on fit, durability and fabrication to achieve its classic look, feel and quality.

While constantly striving to perfect our most-loved styles, we also aim to support Australian growers and improve our environmental impact by partnering with innovative suppliers around the world. It is these special partnerships that allow us to bring the Chino to life. Our Chino range is now transitioning to Australian cotton verified by Oritain thanks to our relationship with our supplier, Kenpark.

Our partner in innovation, Kenpark

Kenpark is part of the Hirdaramani Apparel group, a supplier committed to being world-leading in its sustainability approach. In 2008, Hirdaramani opened Mihila, which in 2012 became Asia’s first CarbonNeutral® apparel factory. The Mihila factory—along with other Hirdaramani facilities—has LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, an internationally recognised symbol of sustainability excellence and green building leadership. Buildings that are LEED certified are designed to reduce carbon emissions, energy, water and waste and can result in improved indoor air quality for employees. Hirdaramani continues to implement groundbreaking initiatives such as rolling out LEED certification across all its facilities in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ethiopia.

In Bangladesh, where our Chino is produced, the company’s various philanthropic initiatives support education, health and community development, and include providing a paid scholarship for five employees annually to further their education at the Asian University for Women. The Kenpark facilities in Bangladesh have LEED certification, recycle up to 80% of water used, and divert at least 90% of waste from landfill. In the manufacture of our Chino, Kenpark’s Regency 4 facility employs a low water garment wash system to reduce the amount of water used in the finishing of the fabric. The system also measures and reduces the impact of garment finishing in terms of energy consumption, chemicals and worker health, with our Chino consistently receiving a low impact score across most categories.

Supporting Australian growers and responsible farming

We source our Verified Australian cotton from a small number of Australian farms. Using responsibly grown Australian cotton supports local farmers and their communities, who in turn contribute to the economies in the regional areas where they live and work. Australia is widely recognised as a global leader in responsible cotton production; Australian growers farm drought-resistant cotton varieties and adjust the area of cotton they plant each year in line with changing seasonal conditions and water availability. As the result of research over decades, the Australian cotton industry has achieved a steady increase in yield and now produces yields three times the world average, meaning more cotton fibre can be produced using less water per hectare.

Working with Oritain to verify the origin of our fibres

Oritain carries out independent, scientific sampling and analysis to create the ‘chemical fingerprint’ of our Australian cotton. When a Country Road product is marked ‘Verified’, it means it can be scientifically traced back to its claimed origin—in this case, the Australian farms which grow our cotton. Achieving this verification requires close collaboration with our suppliers, who collect yarn, fabric and garment samples throughout the production process to send to Oritain for testing. Having manufactured our Chino since 2017, the team at Kenpark began to work with us in February 2022 to achieve Oritain verification, a collaboration intended to improve both the environmental impact and integrity of our iconic design.

We’re working to verify every colour of our famous Chino, a process that takes at least six months. This means that there may be Verified Australian cotton and non-Verified Australian cotton items in store as we work through existing stock.

We’re proud of what we have achieved for our Chino so far by collaborating with Oritain and Kenpark, and look forward to sharing more about this journey in the future.

Our Famous Chino