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Primark Cares…But Is It Enough?


Fashion-Enter Ltd’s patron, Lord Young of Norwood Green, has been a staunch campaigner for Made in the UK, sustainable fashion production. He has been behind Fashion-Enter’s efforts in parliament, and proactive in fighting for local businesses that support employment, skills growth and the economy.

As Vice Chair of the Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion APPG, Lord Young recently received a letter from the fashion chain Primark regarding their annual Sustainability and Ethics Progress Report.

Since launching its new sustainability strategy ‘Primark Cares’ in 2021, the chain has openly shared its strategies within the supply chain including an outline of the achievements made over the past twelve months. 

As part of this, Primark unveiled nine commitments it is working to achieve by 2030. These commitments include:

+ Making all clothes from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials by 2030, halving carbon emissions across the value chain and pursuing a living wage for workers.

Some of the report’s highlights include:

• Today, 55% of all clothes sold in the last year contained recycled or more sustainably sourced materials, an increase of 10% in 12 months.

• Cotton is Primark’s most used fibre in its clothing. This year, 46% of cotton clothes sold contain cotton that is organic, recycled or sourced from the Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme (PSCP), up 6% on last year.

• Primark’s commitment to halve carbon emissions across the value chain by 50% by 2030 has been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative. 70% of Primark stores are now powered by renewable or low-carbon electricity and 141 stores have switched to energy-efficient lighting.

This year, 2023, Primark also launched a new Circular Product Standard: a design framework for products to ensure they can be re-loved or recycled at the end of their life. Additionally, in a commitment to pursue a living wage Primark is using the Fair Labor Association’s Fair Compensation Toolkit to collect wage data in factories across Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Turkey.

The full Primark report can be found here: https://corporate.primark.com/en-gb 

Fashion-Enter Ltd CEO Jenny Holloway comments: “I wonder how much carbon is saved by 55% recycled or more sustainably sourced materials than in 2022 compared to flying fabrics around the globe and then making in Bangladesh, where garment workers are paid 81 cents an hour and it’s now known that 51% of all garment workers in the world today are paid less than the minimum wage. Well shame on you Primark if you think this is impressive because I certainly don’t!

“You should be supporting the UK economy and make in the UK and then you would be really reducing your carbon emissions plus you would be building up an economy in the UK saving jobs and safeguarding the industry. 

“The commitments are a start but as a major player in the retail market is it really enough?”

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