Primark pledges to increase sustainable cotton products by 60%

Primark has committed to training 125,000 additional cotton farmers in more sustainable farming methods in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh by the end of next year.

The budget fashion retailer said that the move would increase the expected availability of sustainable cotton for its products by 60 per cent.

The addition will bring the total number of farmers under the company’s sustainable cotton programme to more than 275,000.

Primark claims this makes it the largest initiative of its kind by a single fashion retailer.

The fast fashion brand first developed and launched the programme in India nearly 10 years ago in collaboration with Cotton Connect and the Self-Employed Women’s Association.

Since the launch, Primark says it has trained 150,000 farmers, 80 per cent of which are women.

“We’re proud of how far it’s come, evolving into the largest of its kind of any single fashion retailer,” said Lynne Walker, director, Primark Cares. “It has taken time to build a programme of this scale, and the positive impact it has had on the livelihoods of thousands of farmers means we can continue its expansion - benefitting more farmers and supporting our ambition to offer our customers more sustainable options at Primark”.

“Our sustainable cotton programme plays an integral role in our long-term vision to make more sustainable clothes affordable for everyone. Over half of our clothes are made with cotton, so by further increasing the number of farmers, we will be able to meet our commitment that all the cotton in our clothing will be organic, recycled or from our programme by 2027.”

Reema Nanavaty, leader of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) said that through training, the partnership has been able to help the farmers reduce production costs, adopt more environmentally friendly farming methods, and increase their earnings.

“This programme is proof of how long-term investment in farmers can help build financial resilience for themselves, their families, and communities,” said Nanavaty. “It’s incredible to see how far this programme has come since 2013 where we started with around 1,200 female cotton farmers in India, to where it is today, improving the livelihoods of more and more farmers across India”.

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