Primark has always been about offering amazing fashion at amazing prices. That’s who we are. We are proud of how far we have come over the years, expanding into new markets and offering more and more new product ranges. But we realise that as we have grown, so has our impact on the environment. We know our low prices cannot come at a high cost to the planet or the people in our supply chain and that we have an opportunity to change our business and use our scale for good.
So, we are committing to changing the Primark business for the better: we want to give the millions of Primark customers around the world the opportunity to make more sustainable choices at prices they can afford. To do this, we are changing how our clothes and products are made. We have set out nine new commitments that reach across our business with the aim of reducing fashion waste, halving our carbon footprint, and improving the lives of people who make Primark clothes and products.
We will do all of this while keeping the same amazing prices our customers know and love us for, but with our clothes and products made in a way that is better for the planet and the people who make them. That’s what we know customers, colleagues and our partners want and expect from us.
We know not everyone can afford or wants to, pay a lot of money for a more sustainable pair of jeans – nor should they have to. Customers shouldn't have to choose between affordability and sustainability. Primark Cares is designed to meet that need. This is more sustainability built-in as standard, not an optional extra that costs more.
This is a new and exciting chapter for Primark, but it’s not the start of our journey. We’ve been quietly working towards becoming a more sustainable and ethical business for over 10 years. Our sustainable cotton programme, launched in 2013, is now the biggest of its kind in the fashion industry. We have already grown our Primark Cares range of clothes made from more sustainably sourced and recycled materials, to be a quarter of all our clothing sales.
But we know we need to do more, to reduce our impact on the planet and go further to improve the lives of the people who make our clothes and products. Our new commitments mark a significant acceleration in the pace and scale of change in our business.
It means we will have to think differently about how we do business and how our clothes are made. To make fashion more circular, we need to create clothes that are recyclable by design. This will be a big change for us but it’s a challenge we are excited to rise to.
We also know we don’t have all the answers and can’t do this alone. The fashion industry needs to work together to drive real systemic change. We will play our part in this, using our position to influence our industry for the better.
This will be a long journey and I don’t think there’s a finish line. We must strive for continuous improvement. When I look to the future, I see huge potential for even more innovation and change. Our Primark Cares strategy sits at the very heart of this change. This is the next evolution of the Primark brand and we will be sharing our progress openly and honestly as we move forwards.
Chief Executive Officer