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Organic, Recycled, Sustainable Cotton. All Affordable: Primark Cares


Organic, Recycled, Sustainable Cotton. All Affordable

Primark organic, recycled and sustainable cotton

Love the feel of cotton as much as we do? Clothes made from cotton are soft, breathable and versatile, and there are so many styles to pick from. That’s one of the reasons why it’s the main natural fiber used by our suppliers to make our clothes. You’ll find cotton in more than half of Primark's clothes, from our tees and jeans to towels and babywear.

Cotton: Better for our Planet, Better for You

We all want to live in a world that’s sustainable. That’s why we're transforming our business to be better and do better. The materials we make our clothes from play a big role in this. And one of our key commitments is around cotton. We want to use cotton that's grown and processed in a way that has a lower impact on the environment. Here’s the problem: there's not much of that to go around. That’s why we're helping the farmers who grow the cotton use more sustainable farming methods. It's better for the Earth, but also improves their yields and therefore their livelihoods.

By 2027, we'll ensure all the cotton in our clothes is organic, recycled or sourced from our Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme (PSCP).

Our Primark Sustainable Cotton Program

We’re building on a strong foundation. Since 2013, we’ve been working with our partners CottonConnect and on-the-ground partners in India, and more recently in Pakistan and Bangladesh, to train farmers to grow their cotton more sustainably.

Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme (PSCP) is the largest of its kind of any fashion retailer in the world. And it’s just one of the programs we run to support the people who make our products. The results have been even better than we’d hoped. Our program has helped farmers reduce their use of water, chemical pesticides and fertilizers – and we've already expanded it. Today you’ll find PSCP cotton in a third of the cotton clothes we sell. But we know we can go further.

We've now trained almost 150,000 farmers in more sustainable farming practices under this program, and are committed to expanding it by another 125,000 by the end of 2030. This will bring the total number of farmers in the program to over 275,000.

Through CottonConnect we’re running a pilot to teach some of the existing farmers in our Sustainable Cotton Programme more regenerative farming practices to improve farm-level biodiversity, while also seeking to use water more efficiently. Our goal is to have all of our PSCP farmers trained in using more regenerative agricultural practices by 2030.

What’s more, we’ve gone the extra mile to ensure that when we say a product is made using sustainable cotton, grown by farmers in our PSCP, it definitely is. That’s why we're working with a company called Oritain, which uses forensic science to verify the source of cotton, to work with our dedicated in country team on the ground. We were one of the first retail chains to partner with Oritain and use this technology at this scale.

Recycled Cotton

There's a second strand to our cotton commitment: we want to use more recycled cotton. We’re right at the start of this process, but excited about the possibilities. We're partnering with a Spanish company, Recover,™ that produces recycled cotton fiber for our suppliers. Recover™ manufactures recycled cotton from fabric offcuts. The discarded fabric from production waste is mechanically chopped and transformed into new fiber, which is used to make more sustainable yarn – and some of that becomes your Primark clothes!

The recycling process is part of what’s called a “closed loop” system, designed to eliminate waste. These recycled fibers, however, tend to be shorter – which means they aren’t as strong. That’s why recycled cotton is always blended with virgin cotton or other fibers to maintain the high quality of our products.

Organic Cotton and Our Future

The third strand of our commitment is organic cotton. While PSCP cotton is grown using fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides, often from genetically modified seed, organic cotton uses no chemical fertilizers or pesticides and isn't grown from genetically modified seed. Organic cotton currently makes up only about 1% of all the world’s cotton grown, making it more difficult for Primark suppliers to source. So in order to make the affordable clothes our customers want, we also need to use other types of cotton.
It's through big changes like these that we’re committing to make 100% of our Primark fashion from recycled fibers or more sustainably sourced materials. And we’ll do it through collaboration and by using our scale for good. Because we believe fashion shouldn’t come with a high price tag for people, or our planet.

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