Fashion giant Primark has announced that it is to make its lowest priced t-shirts from more sustainable materials as part of its mission to make ethical shopping more affordable. All of the lowest priced t-shirts in Primark’s ‘essentials’ range will come under the Primark Cares label, indicating they are made with recycled or more sustainably sourced materials, from this month.
And, moving forward, the company says all of the cotton in the lowest price t-shirts from its menswear and kidswear ranges will come from Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme, the largest of its kind of any fashion retailer.
It comes as new research commissioned by Primark shows that more than one third (35 percent) of UK consumers say they are worried the cost-of-living crisis will prevent them from shopping more sustainably. This rises to 45 percent amongst 18 to 34-year-olds.
Less than 40 percent of Primark clothing is currently made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials, but the fashion retailer has committed to increase that to 100 percent by 2030.
It has also committed that 100 percent of the cotton in its clothes will be recycled, organic or sourced from Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme by 2027. Some 27 percent of the cotton in Primark’s clothing is currently sourced from its Sustainable Cotton Programme, up 13 percent since the launch of Primark Cares last September.
The fashion retailer has also launched a new product fibres glossary to help customers make more informed choices by showing them what’s behind the labels in their clothes.
Primark Cares Director Lynne Walker said: “We know not everyone can afford or wants to, pay more for more sustainable clothes – nor should they have to. Now more than ever, customers shouldn’t have to choose between affordability and sustainability.
“That’s why nearly 40 percent of our clothing is already made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials and why we’re bringing all our basic t-shirts under our Primark Cares label – and growing our Primark Cares essentials.”
Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme trains farmers on using fewer chemical pesticides and fertilisers and less water, thereby reducing environmental impact while lowering input costs and improving profits for the farmer.
Earlier this year, the retailer revealed it was adding another 125,000 smallholder farmers to the programme, taking the total number to more than 275,000 by the end of 2023.