Updates from Primark Stores Ltd
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The fast-paced fashion chain Primark has said it will make its clothing more durable and commit itself to using more sustainable materials in all of its garments by 2030 as part of a new sustainability strategy.
The $ 30 billion fast-fashion industry has been under scrutiny over the past few years due to its impact on the environment of increasingly eco-conscious consumers. According to Princeton University researchers, the sector is responsible for more annual carbon emissions than all international flights and shipments combined.
The Ireland-based discount clothing chain, owned by Associated British Foods, said the nine-year initiative would have only a marginal effect on costs and no significant impact on margins in the short term. His commitments include making all his clothes recyclable and removing plastic from the products by the end of the decade.
“Our ambition is to offer customers the affordable prices they know and love, but with products made in a way that is better for the planet and the people who make it,” said Paul Marchant, CEO of Primark, said.
The company said its more sustainable Primark Cares range already accounts for a quarter of its clothing. “Our new commitments point to a significant acceleration in the pace and extent of change,” Marchant added.
Global consumption of clothing has increased in recent decades as fashion brands have produced cheaper and faster clothing of lower quality while accelerating the trend cycles, throwing away garments more. Some low-cost chains offer new styles every week, while the total consumed worldwide in 2019 is 62 million tons.
About 57 percent of all clothing ends up in the landfill, Princeton researchers noted, and often release toxic substances when burned. “If the industry maintains its rate, a 50% increase in greenhouse gas emissions is expected within a decade,” they wrote.
Primark’s environmental and labor practices have previously made headlines after agreeing to pay compensation to hundreds of workers at one of its suppliers after a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed in 2013, killing more than a thousand people. Brands, including Mango and Bonmarché, also obtained products from the factory.
The parent company AB Foods increased its annual profit target on Monday, despite sales at its flagship retailer expectations fall short. Sales began to decline in recent weeks after being affected by the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, while declining and lower labor costs by not replacing departure staff helped increase profits.
The fast competitors Inditex, which owns Zara, and H&M, which both reported on Wednesday that sales are recovering from the pandemic, have promised to manufacture all their products from sustainable materials before the end of the decade.