Is Primark following up its sustainability claims with decisive actions?

We have had a week where momentum against fashion retailers who are ‘greenwashing’ has been gathering pace with investigations by the CMA, and threatened legal action.

So against this it is good to see a concrete commitment by one of biggest volume clothing retailers in the world. The fashion giant has announced it is to become the first retailer to feature Spanish textile recycler Recover’s RColorBlend fibre, at scale.

The fibre is a unique blend of recycled cotton from textile waste and low impact dyed recycled polyester. Apparently Primark’s RColorBlend leisurewear range, which will include t-shirts for £6 and sweatshirts for £11, will be available to customers across all 14 of its markets in Europe and the US.

There are many avenues that must be taken to reduce and eliminate the damage done by fast fashion, volume clothing retailers, from the use of recycled and recyclable materials, to rental, garment re-use and re-selling, and the most important of all, reducing the volumes bought and therefore produced.

This initiative, of course does not address that main issue of volumes but it is at least, it would seem, a genuine move to take a large step down the recycled and recyclable route. Time will tell us whether this is a real and permanent advancement.

As consumers and retailers it is important that we make our journey to being sustainable, by whichever avenues are most appropriate and viable. We are all work in progress. We must progress quickly.

And this is progress. Not just words, ‘Greenwashing’ I hope.

We should throw the legal and ethical book at those who make vacuous and misleading claims. But let us celebrate and encourage ‘progress’ Even progress in what many would consider to be businesses that are the antithesis of sustainability.

And as consumers, we must support and shun each brand appropriately, with the enormous buying power that we all have.

This above all, will be the factor that brings about the industrial scale changes and improvements that are required.

In the meantime…

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