Primark has pledged to make all of its clothing from recycled or more sustainable sources within a decade, promising the strategy will not drive up prices.
The retailer has also pledged to make clothing that can be “recyclable by design” by 2027. Only a quarter of the clothing it sells is made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials.
Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods, intends to start making its entry-level t-shirts for men, women and children with sustainably sourced cotton within the next year.
The chain is also committed to making its clothes more durable, so that they last longer, as part of its pledge to “make more sustainable fashion affordable for all.”
In addition, it plans to work with its suppliers to halve carbon emissions throughout its supply chain, while eliminating single-use plastics from its operations by 2027. Primark is also committed to seek a living wage for workers in its global supply chain by 2030.
Its Managing Director, Paul Marchant, said: “Our ambition is to offer customers affordable prices that they know and love us for, but with products made in a way that is better for the planet and the people who make them. . We know this is what our customers and colleagues want and expect from us.
Marchant called on the fashion industry to do more to improve sustainability. “We don’t have all the answers and we know we can’t do it alone. We are committed to working in partnership with industry to drive real change at scale, ”he said.
The retailer, which typically accounts for £ 1 in every £ 14 spent on clothing in the UK, recently confirmed that its sales picked up after its stores reopened after the spring closed.
Although it does not sell any of its products online, Primark is the largest clothing retailer by value in the UK, according to market analysts GlobalData, although it briefly lost first place in 2020 to Marks & Spencer after closing its stores for extended periods during the pandemic.
Patrick O’Brien, UK retail research director at GlobalData, said most consumers were still focused on price. “It is notable that [Primark’s] the announcement is not aimed at its customers, but its investors, ”he said. “Investors are the ones pushing companies to be more sustainable in order to meet their own sustainability criteria, rather than buyers.
“While surveys show this to be a growing concern for consumers, there is little evidence that, at least yet, sustainability and other ethical concerns are price-tagging. as primary buying engine, ”he said, adding that Boohoo’s sales were left untouched by disclosures last year about the treatment of workers in its supply chain.