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Primark makes sustainable cotton permanent fixture
Aug '17
Primark has made sustainable cotton a permanent fixture in its stores with the launch of its first sustainable cotton pyjamas for women. The range of 16 different women’s pyjamas will be on sale across Primark’s stores. These pyjamas are made from cotton purchased directly from female farmers participating in its sustainable cotton programme.

Primark has partnered with agricultural experts CottonConnect and the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) since 2013, to train female farmers in India, a key sourcing country for Primark, in sustainable farming methods. Primark began the programme with an ambition to introduce the sustainable cotton into product. The programme trains female farmers in sustainable farming methods so they minimise the impact on their local environment and improve their livelihoods through increased income. Farmers are trained in the most 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.

Introduction of sustainable cotton pyjamas has marked the next stage of long-term association of Primark with CottonConnect and SEWA to improve livelihoods in rural India.

"Our long-term ambition is to ensure that all the cotton we use is sustainably sourced. There has never been a single definition of sustainable cotton. For us, sustainable cotton is about reducing the environmental impact of cotton production, improving the livelihoods of the farmers, and doing so in a way that means we continue to deliver great value to our customers," said Katharine Stewart, ethical trade and environmental sustainability director at Primark.

"There has been a concerted effort in countries including India to support the livelihoods of those working on the land. Like other retailers, we rely on cotton farmers working in rural India to produce our most important fibre for our suppliers. But, with large amounts of cotton grown on small farms, it can be difficult to track through the supply chain. We wanted to learn more about sustainable cotton production and deliberately targeted a region that was used by our suppliers. Through our partnership with CottonConnect and SEWA, we’ve been able to make a tangible difference to the lives of the female farmers and their families, and local communities. What’s particularly exciting for us is we know that this cotton has come from sustainable sources because we’ve been able to track it through our supply chain. It’s a first step towards achieving our long-term goal, but a significant one," added Stewart.

"This is a really exciting moment for all of us at Primark. Our pyjamas are some of our best-selling products; in fact, one in three women’s pyjamas bought in the UK are from Primark. We’ve chosen one of our key product lines because we’re serious about bringing sustainable cotton into our business," Steve Lawton, trading director at Primark, said.

"We feel strongly that our shoppers shouldn’t pay more for sustainable cotton. From this week, there will be a selection of designs to choose from in store, at the great prices that our customers know and love. We will expand the options over the coming months," concluded Lawton. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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