Primark has doubled the number of audits at its Turkish supplier factories

Primark has doubled the number of audits at its Turkish supplier factories

UK value fashion chain Primark has confirmed it has doubled the number of audits at its supplier factories in Turkey – less than a month after Next Plc and H&M admitted to finding Syrian refugee children working in their supplier factories in the country. 

When contacted by just-style, a spokesperson for the company said: "Primark confirms that it has doubled the frequency of audits of its supplier factories in Turkey."

In February, an investigation by non-profit organisation the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) revealed that Next had found Syrian refugees in ten factories and Syrian child labour in two factories, while H&M identified Syrian refugees in four factories and Syrian child labour in one factory. 

Syrian refugee children found in Turkish clothing factories

Separately, Primark revealed it has also joined the German-led Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Textilbündnis), which is working to achieve social, environmental and economic improvements throughout the textile supply chain. 

"For us, it is a logical next step to join the Textilbündnis and we look forward to actively participating in the working groups," said Paul Lister, who is responsible for Primark's ethical trading team and CSR at its parent company Associated British Foods.

Over the last ten years, Primark has been working to improve the rights of workers within its global supply chain, and has collaborated with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) for more than five years in Bangladesh. 

Wolfgang Krogmann, Primark director general for Germany and Austria, added: "This is a very important initiative and we are looking forward to playing an active role in this organisation for sustainable economy, and to sharing experiences, learning from each other and implementing best practice." 

In an exclusive interview with just-style earlier this month, Lister explained why "the strength of a brand's ethics is not about a price point" – and that close engagement with the supply chain is key. 

How Primark balances ethics and ultra-low prices