Primark has launched its first range of jeans made from 100% sustainable cotton.
The women's skinny jeans, produced through Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme (SCP), come in three different washes: indigo, black, and light blue, and will be sold for £13.
This will be the second range of clothing to use sustainably sourced cotton. It follows the successful line of sustainable women’s pyjamas, which have sold over 11.2m pairs since launch in 2013. More sustainable cotton products will be released in the coming year, including homeware, said Primark.
The SCP, under the Primark Care Initiative, established a best practice farming scheme which provides resources and training to farmers in India and Pakistan, including seed selection, sowing, soil, water, pesticide and pest management.
Paula Dumont Lopez, trading director of buying, merchandising and design of Primark’s womenswear, highlighted Primark’s efforts to carry sustainability through every stage of production, “from harvesting the sustainable cotton from fields in India and Pakistan, right through to using recycled paper for our Primark Cares labels”.
The SCP began in India 2013 and expanded last year into Pakistan. Primark has announced improvements in famers’ profit margins and in excess of 28,000 farmers have now enrolled in training. Along with enabling farmers to become self-sufficient and produce better quality cotton, the programme reduced chemical pesticide and fertiliser use by 20%, and water consumption by 15%, according to Primark.
Katharine Stewart, ethical trade and environmental sustainability director at Primark, said: “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.”
Alison Ward, CEO at consultants 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.”
The SCP was developed in partnership with agricultural consultants in India and Pakistan, including CottonConnect, the Self-employed Women’s Association, and the Rural Education and Economic Development Society.
Primark is a member of the Ethical Trade Initiative and supports other sustainability projects including a scheme recycling and repurposing old clothes and shoes and an ongoing partnership with Greenpeace’s campaign to remove chemicals from supply chains by 2020.
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