Primark extends sustainable cotton sourcing programme

March 22, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Fast-fashion giant Primark has announced that it has expanded its
Sustainable Cotton Programme into Pakistan, one of the key sourcing
countries for cotton, one year on from the initiative’s launch of cotton
products using sustainable cotton from India.

The Sustainable Cotton Programme was developed to track sustainable
cotton from farmers to store, while also extending the reach of independent
cotton farmers. Initially, it was launched with independent farmers in
Gujarat, Northern India, which has so far seen more than 6,000 independent
cotton farmers enrolled in the programme and an average profit increase of
almost 200 percent for those who have completed their training.

By extending the programme to Pakistan it is expected to help farmers
there also increase profit and yield, while giving the farmers appropriate
farming techniques for their land, from seed selection, sowing, soil,
water, pesticide and pest management, to picking, fibre quality, grading
and storage of the harvested cotton.

The initiative also means that by starting at the very beginning of the
supply chain, Primark can trace the cotton through every stage of the
supply chain, from farming to the supplier’s factory floor to Primark
shelves in store.

Katharine Stewart, ethical trade and environmental sustainability
director at Primark, said in a press release: “We’re very proud of the
Sustainable Cotton Programme, and we’re delighted to be able to use our
experience in India to help train and support the farming community in
Pakistan.

“We’ve deliberately targeted regions that are already used by our
suppliers, so we can introduce even more cotton grown using sustainable
farming methods into our supply chain as soon as possible. Our expansion
into Pakistan is the logical next step for us, as we continue to move
towards 100 percent sustainable cotton in our supply chain.”

Primark extends Sustainable Cotton Programme to Pakistan

Primark has worked with established agricultural experts, CottonConnect,
alongside local NGO REEDS (the Rural Education and Economic Development
Society), to introduce the programme into Pakistan. An additional 20,000
farmers have been enrolled in the programme in Pakistan, meaning more than
30,000 farmers across both sourcing regions will be trained in sustainable
farming methods by 2022.

Since the launch of the initiative last year 4.4 million pairs of
Primark cotton pyjamas made with sustainably sourced cotton have been sold
and today one in three pairs of women’s pyjamas are bought from
Primark. Last August, Primark announced plans to introduce sustainably
sourced cotton into women’s pyjamas, which is one of its most popular
product lines, under the ‘Primark Cares’ initiative, and has recently
launched 20 new styles.

Paula Dumont Lopez, trading director at Primark, added: “At Primark,
we’re committed to a sustainable future for everyone and everything
involved in our business, so designing these Primark Cares pyjamas made
with cotton grown using sustainable farming methods was a really exciting
moment for us. As we expand the programme, we’re looking forward to using
more and more sustainable cotton across our clothing and homeware
ranges.”

Primark has more than 355 stores in 11 countries – Republic of Ireland,
the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria,
France, the US and Italy, and has over 75,000 employees.

Image: courtesy of Primark