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Kelly-Ann Carroll, Head of Buying for Health and Beauty


Behind The Scenes Of The Development Of Our New Reusable Pads

We caught up with the Head of Buying for Health and Beauty, Kelly-Ann Carroll, who shares her insights into developing our reusable pads range.

As we phase out the sale of disposable cotton pads from our stores and replace them with a new range of reusable pads, Kelly-Ann tells us why Primark has made the change, the process of developing the product range, and her top tips for using reusable pads.

1. What made you want to stop selling disposable cotton pads as a business?

At Primark, we want to do more to reduce waste across our business and encourage our customers to do the same. As a team, we are continuously challenging ourselves to create alternatives that will help to reduce waste, and one of the ways we’re doing this is by phasing out the sale of disposable cotton pads and replacing them with a range of reusable pads.

Our motivation stems from the positive response we saw to the Glow Set, which features reusable pads for a three-step routine that allows customers to remove, cleanse and exfoliate their skin.

Building on this momentum, we ran a trial across 100 stores, removing disposable cotton pads and only offering reusable options to customers. The results gave us the confidence that people are ready to make the switch and we are now so excited to offer even more choice in store.

2. Did it take long to develop reusable pads that are as effective as cotton pads?

The development of our reusable pads range took 18 months of collaboration between our Primark Buying and Quality team and our trusted suppliers. We wanted to ensure that our reusable pads provided a great alternative to disposable cotton pads, which involved working on the quality of material, its performance in makeup removal as part of a skincare routine and durability, so they can be used time and time again.

Our goal was to offer a range of options to meet our customers’ different needs: from three step sets that remove makeup, cleanse and exfoliate, to a black set for those that don’t want to see makeup residue, to ten-packs that are the ultimate replacement for your disposable cotton pads, so you’ll never be caught short when some are in the wash. We are also so proud that all reusable pads are made from a minimum of 50% recycled polyester, forming part of our Primark Cares range.

3. Do you think customers are ready to make the switch? What do you think the barriers could be?

Based on our trial and customer research, we think they are ready to make the switch. However, we know there could be some hesitation. From our research we know our customers main concerns were the cost of reusable products as well as a lack of understanding on how to care for them.

To address this, we’ve created content on our website and social channels to show customers how to get the best results with reusable pads and how to care for them. We also understand the importance of value, and we’re excited about bringing quality reusable pads to our customers at affordable prices, starting at £2.00 for a 10-pack of reusable cleansing pads.

4. What are your top tips for using reusable pads?

Using reusable pads is simple and effective. They work much like disposable cotton pads but can be rinsed and reused, rather than throwing them away.

For makeup removal, try pairing our 10-pack reusable pads with our PS…Gentle Micellar Water with Vitamin E and rose water - this combination will help remove your make up gently and cleanse your skin.

For those self-care moments when you have a little more time, use the original three-pack Glow Set, as it provides a complete skincare regimen of removal, cleansing and exfoliation. I would finish by applying one of our PS…Skin booster serums – my personal favourite is the Hyaluronic Acid to boost hydration after cleansing.

Caring for your reusable pads is easy; I use a couple of sets throughout the week and then place them into my Primark wash bag. I simply add the bag into my normal wash at 30 degrees.

5. What’s next for the beauty department in terms of new products and innovation?

There are so many exciting products and innovations still to come for Primark. We’re eagerly anticipating the restock of our Pro Bond Hair range this Autumn and our expansion into more hair care products – with the rise of ‘skinification of hair’ trend. As well as this, the viral success of cosmetic products earlier this year, such as the Prep and Perfect Moisture Barrier primer, PS Pro Cream and Bronzing wands, gets us excited as they become available in more markets this year. The fantastic response and demand from customers inspire us to continue to develop and launch new and innovative products.

Primark Reusable Cleansing Pads

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