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Primark joins initiative to scale circular fashion business models

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Primark, a leading value fashion retailer, has announced its participation in The Fashion ReModel, a new project by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

This initiative aims to accelerate the adoption of circular business models across the fashion industry.

The project brings together major brands such as Arc’teryx, H&M Group, Zalando, and Reformation to explore ways to overcome barriers hindering the growth of resale, rental, repair, and remaking services in the sector.

By scaling these circular models, the industry can significantly reduce its environmental footprint.

This collaboration aligns with Primark’s existing sustainability strategy, ‘Primark Cares’, which emphasises extending the lifespan of clothing.

The company is already making progress: 55% of its garments reportedly use recycled or sustainable materials, with a goal of reaching 100% in this metric by 2030.

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According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if circular business models achieve a 23% market share by 2030, the fashion industry’s equivalent carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by up to 16%.

Primark has already begun implementing circularity initiatives:

Preloved clothing: By partnering with the Vintage Wholesale Company in 2022, Primark now offers vintage clothing through ‘Wornwell concessions’ in its stores.

A trial programme, ‘Primark presents Pre-loved’, will launch later this month with a curated collection of vintage music tees in seven UK stores.

Circular design: Primark developed a Circular Product Standard with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to integrate circular principles into the design stage of clothing.

All product teams under this standard are undergoing circular design training.

Durability: Partnering with the WRAP, Primark created an enhanced durability wash framework.

Durability testing now covers 39% of its clothing, with 57% of denim passing at 30 washes.

Repair: Primark’s ‘Love it for Longer’ repair programme has expanded to six markets, with more than 200 free workshops hosted since April 2023.

The programme also offers online repair tutorials.

“There needs to be greater acceleration towards circularity in the fashion industry to move away from the traditional take, make, waste model,” said Nick Lambert, Circular Product lead at Primark.

“Scaling circularity has taken some time, but we truly believe we can use our scale to help deliver real change for the industry and this partnership will allow us to push Primark further. ”

Primark’s participation in The Fashion ReModel demonstrates the growing momentum towards circularity in the fashion industry.

By working together, participating brands can overcome challenges, develop innovative solutions, and make circular fashion the norm.


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