UK-headquartered fast-fashion retailer Primark has unveiled a fresh set of commitments that aim to reduce fashion waste, halve carbon emissions, and provide better wages for its workers.
The new strategy expands its existing pledges to offer consumers more sustainable clothing choices while keeping them at an affordable price.
The company’s new commitments include ensuring all its clothing is made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials. As of today, this accounts for 25 per cent of all clothes sold. As a next step, all entry price point t-shirts will transition to being made with sustainability-sourced cotton next year.
Aside from using more sustainable materials, the company has partnered with Ellen MacArthur Foundation to ensure all clothes are recyclable by design and help reduce fashion waste.
In addition, the brand stated it would improve its clothing durability so consumers can wear it for longer. The company is working with UK charity Wrap to define new industry standards on durability and accelerate the fashion sector’s move to circularity.
“Our ambition is to offer customers the affordable prices they know and love us for, but with products that are made in a way that is better for the planet and the people who make them,” said Paul Marchant, CEO at Primark.
According to Marchant, this isn’t the beginning of the company’s sustainability journey, as it has been working to become a more sustainable and ethical business in the past 10 years.
“We don’t have all the answers, and we know we can’t do it alone. We’re committed to working with the industry to drive real change at scale.”
The company also pledged to work with its suppliers to cut emissions by half throughout its value chain and eliminate single-use plastics in its operations.
Furthermore, Primark will expand its Sustainable Cotton Programme, which trains farmers to use more regenerative farming practices, using less water and fewer chemicals. Together with CottonConnect, they will implement the Reel Regenerative Code to improve biodiversity, adapt to climate change, and improve workers’ livelihoods.
“We believe that sustainability shouldn’t be priced at a premium only a minority can afford,” Marchant added. “Because of who we are, we believe we have the opportunity to make more sustainable fashion choices affordable to all.”