Mar 15, 2023
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Primark is expanding its repair-it-don't-bin-it drive

Mar 15, 2023

While the repair-rather-than-replace movement has largely been focused on higher-priced products until now, budget fashion retailer Primark has joined in with the expansion of a clothing repair workshop scheme after a test period, as well as backing the creation of industry-wide durability standards.

Photo: Pixabay

Two decades ago, much of the appeal of fast fashion lay in its low prices and a ‘buy one in every colour/throw it away after just a few wears’ approach.

But with today’s focus on reducing waste, and fast fashion very much in the spotlight on that subject, Primark has announced a series of new waste reduction initiatives as part of its Primark Cares drive.

It’s working with waste charity WRAP with the aim of creating durability benchmarks and to expand the useful lifespan of the garments it produces. An independent research project will assess the current durability of its clothing.

And based on WRAP's Clothing Longevity Protocol, there's a new enhanced wash standard that should contribute towards its clothes lasting longer. It's currently testing all of its jersey categories and socks in womenswear, menswear and kids were to see how they measure up against this protocol. It already tested denim and more than half of the products looked at so far have passed.

In another link-up with an external organisation, Primark has partnered with environmental and behaviour change charity Hubbub and the University of Leeds School of Design. Between them, they’re looking at the durability of womenswear and menswear across the price scale and researching consumer attitudes to clothing, how it’s worn and cleaned.

As to the repair workshops, it has been running these in a pilot stage in 43 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland, and they’ll be rolled out to more of its branches with tutorials also available via its social channels.

Experts Lorraine Mitchell and Janina Gruber will run sessions covering basics such as repairing zips, sewing on buttons, and mending tears, as well as customisation techniques.

Lynne Walker, director of Primark Cares, said such subjects are important for its customers, which is “why we want to see the introduction of a durability standard across the fashion industry, and we want to understand more about the behaviours and attitudes which impact how we all wear and care for our clothes”.

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