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Primark launches its first range of 100% sustainable cotton jeans

Lauretta Roberts
12 March 2019

Value retail chain Primark as announced its first range of jeans made from 100% sustainable cotton. The women's jeans will be available nationwide priced at £13.

Available in three washes (indigo, black and light blue), the launch of the jeans marks "an important" step in the retailer's aim for all cotton used in its products to be sustainably sourced.

The jeans are made with cotton from Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme, which launched in India in 2013. The programme helps farmers grow cotton using more natural farming methods, including minimising the use of chemical pesticides and reducing water consumption, while also increasing their incomes.

Following the expansion of the programme into Pakistan last year, Primark has announced that more than 28,000 farmers1 across both markets have now enrolled in the training.

The jeans – launched under the Primark Cares initiative – are Primark’s latest sustainable staples following its recent, collaboration with Instagram star and personal trainer Alice Liveing, which featured a top and leggings set made from recycled polyester, as well as two biodegradable water bottles. More sustainable cotton products will be released in the coming year, including homeware.

Paula Dumont Lopez, Trading Director at Primark, who leads buying, merchandising and design of Primark’s womenswear, said: “Following the successful introduction of sustainable cotton pyjamas into store, we are so proud to introduce this range. From harvesting the sustainable cotton from fields in India and Pakistan, right through to using recycled paper for our Primark Cares labels, sustainability has been at the heart of every stage of developing and designing these jeans.

“Our Sustainable Cotton Programme is not only good for the planet, but it is also changing lives in India and Pakistan. That’s why I was so passionate about using the cotton in jeans, one of our most popular product ranges.”

Primark's Sustainable Cotton Programme was developed in partnership with agricultural experts CottonConnect, and local NGOs SEWA (the Self‐Employed Women’s Association) in India and REEDS (the Rural Education and Economic Development Society) in Pakistan. It trains farmers in the most appropriate farming techniques for their land ranging from seed selection, sowing, soil, water, pesticide and pest management, to picking, fibre quality, grading and storage of the harvested cotton.

Alison Ward, CEO at CottonConnect, said: “We have been working with Primark since this programme was first launched 2013. Not only are we materially changing the lives of farmers and their families in rural cotton communities, but by working closely with Primark and their supply chain partners we have been able to trace the cotton all the way from the farm into products – a challenging but important step towards increased supply chain transparency.”

Katharine Stewart, Ethical Trade and Environmental Sustainability Director at Primark, added: “These jeans are an important step as we aim to introduce sustainable cotton across our entire product range. For us, the aims of the programme are three‐fold: to help reduce the impact of cotton production on the environment, to equip farmers with the skills they need to improve their livelihoods and to offer our customers sustainable products at a great price.”

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