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November 2, 2021

Primark unveils Jeans Redesign collection

UK value fashion retailer Primark has launched a new denim collection designed and created to show what circular fashion means in practice – including denim it says is 100% circular.

By Beth Wright

Primark’s latest collection is part of The Jeans Redesign, a project led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative. The new line features denim that is designed, produced, and created to align with the Foundation’s vision of a circular economy for fashion.

Launched in July 2019, The Jeans Redesign aims is to help fashion brands and manufacturers transform the way they produce jeans by tackling waste, pollution, and the use of harmful practices. Based on the principles of the circular economy, the guidelines ensure jeans are used more, made to be made again, and are made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs.

As a participant of the project, Primark has released a new collection of jeans and denim jackets, featuring denim that is made from organic cotton and recycled fibres and that has been designed to be easily recycled so that they have the potential to be turned into new jeans once they can no longer be worn. The product is metal rivet-free, a common design element that can make jeans difficult to recycle. Labelling also includes guidelines on removing buttons and zips before sending to recycle to ensure this product has another life.

The jeans are made from 70% organic cotton, 29% recycled cotton, and 1% elastane, while the jackets are made from 80% organic cotton and 20% recycled cotton.

“In September we launched our Primark Cares sustainability strategy and committed to making changes to the way we make our clothes, ensuring that that they are recyclable by design by 2027, that they are made from more sustainably sourced or recycled materials by 2030, and that they last longer by 2025,” says Lynne Walker, director of Primark Care.

“Denim is a wardrobe staple for our customers, from denim jeans to denim jackets, and I am proud of this new collection, which brings to life our ambition and shows what these changes look like in reality. Most importantly, we are showing that we can do this without compromising on the style and affordability that our customers love from us.” 

Laura Balmond, lead Make Fashion Circular at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, adds: “The Jeans Redesign demonstrates that it is possible to create garments fit for a circular economy today, and this is just the beginning. By taking these first steps, organisations like Primark build the confidence to explore and learn how to put products on the market aligned with circular economy principles. We’re pleased to see the solutions identified by Primark and the growing understanding of the challenges that must be addressed to achieve the vision of a circular economy for fashion. Now the concept has been proven, we cannot delay progress. There is a need for industry and government to continue driving momentum, at pace and scale, towards a circular economy for fashion.” 

The new circular denim collection follows on from the September launch of Primark’s sustainability strategy in which it outlined its plans to reduce fashion waste, halve carbon emissions across its value chain and improve the lives of the people who make Primark products.

Underpinned by nine commitments stretching across the business, Primark is accelerating its work over the next few years to become a circular and more sustainable business. Key commitments include using recycled and more sustainably sourced materials in all of its clothing by 2030 – up from 25% today, ensuring clothes are designed to be recycled, and improving the durability of clothing. It is also working to reduce carbon emissions by half across every stage of Primark product – from the farms where raw materials are sourced, through production and manufacturing, to when a customer purchases a Primark product in-store. When it comes to the people who make its products, Primark is working to protect and improve the lives of people who make its clothes by working to pursue a living wage by 2030.

The Jeans Redesign collection includes denim jeans for men and women, as well as an adult denim jacket.

With prices ranging from GBP12-GBP21 (US$), the collection is available in store now in 161 stores across all 14 countries Primark operates in.

Primark announced plans in July to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Network as a partner, after first joining the Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative in 2018. It said at time it would join The Jeans Redesign as part of the collaboration.

This week, the retailer said it is expanding its in-store Textile Takeback recycling scheme to Austria, Ireland and Germany as part of its sustainability strategy.

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