Budget retailer Primark has announced plans to grow its Sustainable Cotton Programme, pledging to add 125,000 more smallholder farmers to the initiative.
The expansion will take the total of participating farmers across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to over 275,000 by the end of 2023, which the retailer said would increase the availability of sustainable cotton by 60 percent.
It comes as part of Primark’s goal to use 100 percent cotton sourced from the Sustainable Cotton Programme, is recycled or organic by 2027. It said that currently almost 40 percent of its clothing falls into this category.
Products that are included in the programme can be found in stores via a Primark Cares label, located across all departments.
The programme, which launched as a pilot in India in 2013, is part of a collaboration between Primark, Cotton Connect and Self-Employed Women’s Association, and has trained almost 150,000 smallholder farmers since its introduction.
“We’re proud of how far [the programme has] come, evolving into the largest of its kind of any single fashion retailer,” said director at Primark Cares, Lynne Walker, in a release. “It has taken time to build a programme of this scale, and the positive impact it has had on the livelihoods of thousands of farmers means we can continue its expansion – benefitting more farmers and supporting our ambition to offer our customers more sustainable options at Primark.”