Europe fashion retailers to train Indian small cotton farmers on sustainable farming methods
Primark, one of Europe’s largest fast-fashion retailers, has vowed to train an additional 125,000 smallholder cotton farmers in more sustainable farming methods in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh by the end of 2023, as part of their commitment to the Sustainable Cotton Initiative.
Using less chemical pesticides and fertilisers, as well as less water, the sustainable cotton programme trains farmers to help preserve biodiversity while also helping to offset the effects of climate change on the environment and their livelihood. According to the firm, it also helps farmers save money by lowering input costs while increasing yields and earnings.
Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, announced on Friday that the committee would bring the total number of farmers participating in the initiative to more than 275,000 by the end of next year.
Primark announced in September that it would reduce its environmental effect by utilising more recyclable materials, making garments more durable, and raising salaries for its employees, among other things.
By 2027, the company promised that all of the cotton used in its garments will come from its sustainable cotton programme, would be organic, or would have been recycled. Furthermore, the company committed to making all of its products from recycled fibres or more sustainably derived materials by the year 2030.
Primark clothing is currently manufactured from recycled fibres or more environmentally sourced materials, accounting for over 40% of total sales.
Major businesses are being pressed to alter supply chains and address a culture that has resulted in millions of things ending up in waste as a result of environmental campaigners calling out the fashion sector for its excessive use of water and chemicals.
Many environmental protesters are sceptical about green pledges from brands, saying that they are motivated solely by a desire for positive public relations and that the sector as a whole needed a broader cultural shift. Primark claims that because of its sheer scale, it has the potential to make a difference.
Primark announced last month that it would raise some prices in order to combat inflationary pressures.