Primark has launched a range of women’s pyjamas that are the first to use cotton purchased directly from female farmers participating in its Sustainable Cotton Programme.
The store said the range marked the beginning of sustainable cotton becoming a permanent fixture.
“The move represents a significant step towards the brand achieving its long-term ambition of sustainably sourced cotton across its supply chain,” said the retailer.
Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme was launched in 2013 with agricultural experts CottonConnect and the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to train female farmers in India, a key sourcing country for Primark, in sustainable farming methods.
“Having successfully trialled the use of the cotton throughout its supply chain in India, Primark is now able to introduce sustainable cotton into one of its best-selling women’s product lines,” said the retailer.
The range of pyjamas will retail at the same price as regular cotton pyjamas and are clearly labelled to help shoppers easily identify which clothes are made with sustainable cotton.
Primark said more than 6,000 farmers have received, or are receiving, training through the Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme.
The programme trains female farmers in the most appropriate farming techniques for their land, which includes seed selection, sowing, soil, water, pesticide and pest management, as well as picking, fibre quality, grading and storage of the harvested cotton.
The retailer said results from the first intake of farmers showed that the scheme could deliver significant results for the women, their families and the local communities.
Participating farmers recorded an increase in profits of 247%, it said.
Other benefits included reduction of input costs by 19.2%, through measures such as reducing chemical pesticide and fertiliser usage, buying seeds collectively with other farmers and a reduction in additional labour costs.
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.