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Nicholas Lambert - Circular Product Lead

Behind The Seams

Launching Our Circular Product Standard

Nicholas Lambert is the Circular Product Lead at Primark. He talks about Primark’s new collection based on this framework, and our ambition to become a more circular business.

“A Circular Economy begins with good design.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

It was these words that helped inspire and focus our goals as we set out to create Primark’s Circular Product Standard (CPS) more than two years ago. Primark's CPS is a set of design principles that will live and grow in our business as we strive to give our clothes a longer life. It's built on the vision for a circular economy for fashion by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a global thought leader on circularity, and by climate action NGO WRAP. These principles are part of the overarching Primark Cares strategy, our ambition to offer more sustainable fashion that's affordable for all.

To help translate theory into practice, we've worked extensively with designers and buyers throughout Primark, as well as consulting with suppliers and industry experts.

Last year, we tested the CPS with some of our Product Teams and key suppliers; their feedback proved invaluable in helping us get to this point today.

To take this forward, we're launching a custom circular design training program later this year. It will educate more of our Product Teams and key suppliers on the theory and practice of a circular economy. The CPS is at the heart of this, helping enable its application throughout our business, from design to the making of our clothes. The CPS also supports our customer education program on clothing repair, and our efforts to improve the durability of our clothes.

Read more from Nicholas Lambert, Circularity Lead at Primark

"Overall we hope the CPS will provoke a broader discussion in the industry so we can agree on the definition of what makes a circular product, discussing how we can integrate circular design in every business in the fashion industry – in addition to sharing opportunities and challenges in this space. We also hope it will support future legislative decisions around eco-design in the key territories we currently operate in, including the EU, UK and US.

Personally, I'd like to thank all my colleagues, suppliers and partners that supported our ambition to drive this forward. This includes our industry partners: the circularity think tank Circle Economy, and the nonprofit sustainability educator Sustainable Fashion Academy, as well as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF).

To move a business the size and scale of Primark isn’t easy, but I'm proud of where we are today. We know this is just the first step, and we don’t have all the answers yet. But to make a fresh start, you have to start with the end in mind. We welcome and invite collaboration, so together we can learn, encourage innovation, and support our ultimate goal: that old clothes can become new clothes. As this space continues to evolve and move forward, we plan to update our CPS periodically – and we look forward to sharing our progress with you all."

Nicholas Lambert
Circular Product Lead

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