Primark launches its first circular clothing range

Article by Amanda Jasi


CLOTHING retailer Primark has launched its first product range designed to be reused or recycled, as the company moves towards a more circular future. It was designed using the company’s new circular product standard (CPS), which was published alongside the product launch.

The standard is based on principles established by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) and outlines what constitutes a circular fashion product. It will be updated annually to reflect Primark’s progress in this area. EMF is a charity committed to creating a circular economy. It has warned that textile production emits more greenhouse gases than international flights and maritime shipping combined, with less than 1% of the material used to produce clothing being recycled.

The newly launched clothing collection comprises 35 pieces across kids wear, menswear, and womenswear. They were designed with focus on three areas including recyclability. At the end of a products life, where possible, trims and buttons can be removed so items can be more easily reused or recycled, either into new fibres or new products. Customers will be able to drop off clothes at a local textile donation point, currently available at Primark stores in select markets.

Primark has also focussed on ensuring materials are sustainability sourced. Clothes in the collection are made from at least 95% cotton from Primark’s sustainable cotton programme, which trains farmers to use sustainable practices. The remaining 5% is made of trims, embellishments, or buttons that can be removed or recycled.

The clothing was also made to have enhanced durability, with denim tested to a wash standard of 30 washes, and jerseys to 56 washes.

Primark says clothes in the collection are affordably priced, with pieces ranging from £4–20, and will be available from this month. The company plans to release further circular clothing later this year.

Jules Lennon, fashion lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “To address our current take, make, waste, linear fashion industry, we must transition to a circular economy for fashion, where clothes are used more, made to be made again, and made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs. Through their participation in The Jeans Redesign, and development of their circular product standard, Primark is taking a step forwards in its long-term circular economy journey. Now there is a clear pathway and a need to continue driving action, at pace and scale.”

Later this year, Primark also plans to launch a bespoke circular design training programme to educate its product teams and key suppliers on the theory and practice of circular economy. This follows a pilot training with its CPS to some product teams and key suppliers, that gained feedback which facilitated the recent publication.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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