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Terms we use in Primark Cares

We know sustainability is complex and can be confusing, so we’ve created a guide to help you learn more about the terms we use within our Primark Cares strategy.

Circular: A definition inspired by our partner the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, circular products are made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials and designed with the future in mind. This means they have a longer lifespan when in use and can be recycled into new materials or clothes at end-of-life.

Digital Sampling: The use of 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology to create digital samples instead of physical samples through the clothing development process. This ultimately reduces the need for physical samples and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting and making them.

Durability: The amount of wear or use that a customer can get from a product over a period of time.  An item of clothing is durable if it remains functional and wearable without requiring too much maintenance or repair, when faced with the challenges of normal wash and wear over its lifetime.

Emotional durability: A step further from physical durability, emotional durability is the attachment felt by the wearer of an item of clothes over time. With high emotional durability; the item is more likely to be cared for, re-worn and repaired over time.

End-of-life: When a garment reaches end-of-wear.

Interlining: Interlinings are generally materials that add more structure and body to garment components like collars, waistbands, and cuffs.

Modular design: Designing clothes using interchangeable parts that can be disassembled into different parts and then reassembled. This design strategy can also support repairability, remanufacturing and recycling.

More sustainable packing: Using sustainably sourced materials in the manufacture of packaging for our products, as well as removing single-use plastic where possible and replacing with cardboard or other recyclable materials here.

Pocketbags: A piece of fabric which can be seen on the inside of your garment to create a pocket.

Pre-loved: Vintage, second-hand or re-loved clothing that has been owned before but still has plenty of wear.

Recyclable by design: Clothing designed for the possibility that it can be recycled into new clothes or into new fibres when it reaches end-of-life. For example, that might mean making products from one single fibre, or making trims (like buttons) easily removeable.

Repair: Mending an item to bring it back to a usable state.

Reuse: To give clothing another life, whether it's reworked into something new in your wardrobe, given to a friend, donated to charity, or sold on a second-hand platform.

Reworked: Restyling or customising clothing using techniques like sewing, dyeing, or crafting to give it a new look.

Rivets: The metal pieces that reinforce an area on a garment, usually jeans, that gets a lot of pull or wear. You’ll typically notice them near the openings of pockets. They help reinforce the multiple layers and hold them up through wear, but can be removed through smart design.

Textile Takeback: Is a scheme provided in some Primark stores where customers can donate any brand of pre-loved clothing, textiles, footwear and bags at collection boxes. Each donated item is sorted and graded by our recycling specialist Yellow Octopus to be re-loved by someone else. If it can’t be given a second life, the clothes or textiles will be recycled into materials such as mattress filler or insulation. Read more here.

Trims: Trims on clothing are elements that are added to the main garment. They can have functional use, like buttons, zips or waistbands, or can be added for aesthetic reasons.

Versatile design: Ensuring the clothing has more than one use and can be styled in many ways, helping to extend its life. This will allow the garment to be used for different occasions and functions or by multiple users.

Zero waste pattern cutting: The clever use of space through the pattern cutting process, creating a product that uses 99-100% of the fabric or avoids waste altogether.

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