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Primark launches first circular collection

By Simone Preuss


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Primark’s new circular collection. Image: Primark

Clothing discounter Primark has launched its first circular collection, meaning a product range that has been designed keeping the end of its life in mind when items can be repaired, resold or recycled into new clothes or materials.

The range was developed using Primark’s new Circular Product Standard, which is based on principles established by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. It will be available from mid-April, with more collections planned for later in the year.

“This collection brings together years of work to create a new framework, with the ambition of enabling our product teams and suppliers to create more circular products that are designed with the end in mind,” commented Nicholas Lambert, circular product lead at Primark.

Primark’s first circular collection. Image: Primark

This 35-piece collection includes menswear, womenswear and kidswear in “universally loved shapes, designs and colours that you can mix and match with your wardrobe staples”, according to a press release by Primark. Prices range from 4 to 20 British pounds (5 to 25 euros).

Part of the spring/summer collection are wide-leg and relaxed-fit jeans as well as denim overshirts and relaxed-fit t-shirts. Every piece has been made keeping durability, recyclability and more sustainably sourced materials in mind.

Primark’s circular collection follows three key points

The clothes are made from at least 95 percent cotton from the Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme, which trains cotton farmers to use less water, chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The remaining 5 percent is made up of trims, embellishments or buttons, which, according to Primark, have been designed to be removable or recyclable wherever possible.

The collection has been tested for increased durability in line with Primark’s new enhanced durability wash standard, meaning 30 washes for all denim and 56 washes for jersey.

At the end of a product’s life, customers can drop it off at their local textile donation point, which are currently available in all of Primark’s 190 UK stores and in 73 stores in Ireland, Germany and Austria.

Rewear, repair, recycle label of Primark’s first circular collection. Image: Primark

Primark’s Circular Product Standard, which can be viewed on the company’s website, has been developed in consultation with circularity think tank Circle Economy and non-profit sustainability educator Sustainable Fashion Academy. It is built on the vision for a circular economy for fashion by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and in consultation with climate action NGO Wrap.

“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,” explained Jules Lennon, fashion lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Circular jeans for boys. Image: Primark

The launch of the Primark’s first circular collection follows a pilot of the Circular Product Standard framework last year where the company trained an initial group of designers, buyers and suppliers in circular design.

“Learning to design with a truly circular vision has been eye-opening. I was involved in the design pilot last year and I am so excited to finally see the product land in store and our customers enjoying it. What’s great about this range is that is it’s all about essentials that can be paired up with wardrobe staples time and time again. I am already looking forward to the next collection we put together,” said Laura Leahy, assistant buyer for womenswear.

The next step is to roll out the training to more than 500 members of Primark’s product teams and additional selected suppliers this year itself. Additional circular collections are planned for later in the year.

Also read:

Circular Fashion
Sustainable Fashion