- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Primark has launches its first ever range of women’s jeans made from 100 percent sustainable cotton, as the budget-fashion retailer continues to make steps forward towards its aim for all cotton used in their products to be sustainably sourced.
The skinny jeans, which come in the three different washes, indigo, black and light blue, are made with cotton from Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme, which launched in India in 2013. The programme helps farmers grow cotton using more natural farming methods, including minimising the use of chemical pesticides and reducing water consumption, whilst also increasing their incomes.
Launched under the Primark Cares initiative, the jeans are Primark’s latest sustainable staples following its recent collaboration with Alice Liveing, which featured a top and leggings set made from recycled polyester, as well as two biodegradable water bottles, and its highly successful range of sustainably sourced cotton women’s pyjamas, which have sold over 11.2 million pairs since launch.
Katharine Stewart, ethical trade and environmental sustainability director at Primark, said in a statement: “These jeans are an important step as we aim to introduce sustainable cotton across our entire product range. For us, the aims of the programme are three-fold: to help reduce the impact of cotton production on the environment, to equip farmers with the skills they need to improve their livelihoods and to offer our customers sustainable products at a great price.”
Primark adds in a statement that more sustainable cotton products will be released in the coming year, including homeware.
Paula Dumont Lopez, trading director at Primark, who leads buying, merchandising and design of Primark’s womenswear, added: “Following the successful introduction of sustainable cotton pyjamas into store, we are so proud to introduce this range. From harvesting the sustainable cotton from fields in India and Pakistan, right through to using recycled paper for our Primark Cares labels, sustainability has been at the heart of every stage of developing and designing these jeans.
“Our Sustainable Cotton Programme is not only good for the planet, but it is also changing lives in India and Pakistan. That’s why I was so passionate about using the cotton in jeans, one of our most popular product ranges.”
Primark continues to push forward with sustainable cotton in all products
Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme expanded into Pakistan last year and now includes more than 28,000 farmers across India and Pakistan. By 2022, the retailer is hoping to have more than 30,000 farmers who will be trained in sustainable cotton farming methods.
The retailer notes that early year one results recorded in Pakistan are promising, with farmers’ profits already increasing. They are also starting to see average reductions of more than 20 percent in chemical pesticide and fertiliser use and more than 15 percent in water use.
The programme is also developed in partnership with agricultural experts CottonConnect, and local NGOs SEWA (the Self-Employed Women’s Association) in India and REEDS (the Rural Education and Economic Development Society) in Pakistan, the programme trains farmers in the most appropriate farming techniques for their land. This ranges from seed selection, sowing, soil, water, pesticide and pest management, to picking, fibre quality, grading and storage of the harvested cotton.
Alison Ward, chief executive at CottonConnect, said: “We have been working with Primark since this programme was first launched 2013. Not only are we materially changing the lives of farmers and their families in rural cotton communities, but by working closely with Primark and their supply chain partners we have been able to trace the cotton all the way from the farm into products – a challenging but important step towards increased supply chain transparency.”
Primark’s women’s jeans made from 100 percent sustainable cotton will be sold in stores across all markets priced 13 pounds (17 euros).
Primark operates more than 360 stores in eleven countries: Republic of Ireland, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France, the US and Italy; and has over 75,000 employees.
Images: courtesy of Primark