LONDON, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - Primark, one of the biggest fast fashion chains in Europe , is committed to reducing its environmental impact without increasing prices by usingmore recyclable materials, making clothes more durable and improving workers' wages.
With environmental activists targeting the fashion industry for its use Water and chemical intensive, big brands are under pressure to adapt supply chains and tackle a crop that has led to millions of items being landfilled.
Primark, which sells over a billion items a year including sweaters and jeans for as little as 7 pounds ($ 10) each , said its task was to make sustainable fashion accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it.
"We believe the sustainability should not be charged at a higher price than only a minority can afford "said CEO Paul Marchant, echoing rivals such as H&M and Zara whohave also defined plans to improve the use of sustainable raw materials.
Many environmental activists are skeptical of brands' green commitments, saying that 'they are driven by a need for good public relations and the industry needs a broader culture change instead. Primark says his size means he can make a difference.
Owner of Associated British Foods (ABF.L) , Primark started in Ireland in 1969 before storming Britain with its ultra-low prices that drove crowds of shoppers out of stores holding its branded brown paper bags stuffed with clothes. It is now present in 14 markets, including the United States.
While the British company hadAlready joined with industry efforts on the environment, Wednesday's statement marks the first time it has released its measurable goals.
As part of the plan, a team of staff will work with its factories - which it does not own - to improve energy efficiency levels and encourage the use of renewable energy. It will aim to phase out single-use plastic and continue to shift to agricultural practices that use less water and fewer chemicals.
It plans strengthen the sustainability of clothing by 2025, make it recyclable by design by 2027 and manufacture all its clothing from recycled materials or from more sustainable sources by 2030.
In addition to these changes, he also plans to work with factories and competitors who use the same sites pto improve wages.
Working conditions in the textile industry have been in the spotlight since the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh that has killed more than 1,000 workers, with activists wondering how brands like Primark can produce such low prices.
(1 $ = 0.7232 pounds) Written by Mark Potter
Our standards: Thomson Hfrance.fr's principles of trust.