Primark launches its first range of jeans made with 100% sustainable cotton today, as the retailer moves towards using sustainably sourced cotton across its product ranges.
The range of women’s jeans will be available across the UK and Europe priced from £13 or €17. It will use 100% sustainable cotton purchased directly from farmers participating in Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme.
Launched in India in 2013, the programme expanded into Pakistan last year and now includes more than 28,000 farmers.
Developed in partnership with sustainable cotton enterprise CottonConnect and local NGOs in India and Pakistan, the programme encourages and trains farmers to use more natural farming methods and aims to minimise the use of pesticides and reduce water consumption.
Primark’s ethical trade and environmental sustainability director, Katharine Stewart, said: “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 threefold: 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.”
In January, the environmental audit committee criticised major fashion retailers for “failing to take action” to promote sustainability in their businesses. However, the committee found that Primark was amongst the “most engaged” of retailers because of factors including participation in the Ethical Trade Initiative and the use of sustainable and recycled materials.
Primark’s sustainably sourced cotton women’s pyjamas have sold more than 11.2 million pairs since they launched in 2017, and further sustainable cotton products will be released in the coming year, including homeware.
Trading director Paula Dumont said: “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”