Raw materials

Cotton

We’ve been working hard for the last decade to improve the rights of workers and the lives of the people working within our supply chain. Cotton, a natural fibre, makes up a large proportion of our clothing range and in some regions cotton is grown on large-scale industrial farms. However, it is mostly grown on small farms in low-income countries, where knowledge of the most up to date and environmentally friendly farming practices is often limited.

That’s why, in 2013, we partnered with agricultural experts, CottonConnect, and the Self-Employed Women’s Association to create the ‘Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme’.

Cotton grown on 5 Continents
90% grown in developing world
Over 100m farmers grow cotton
Cotton Connect

Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme

The programme is designed to introduce sustainable farming methods, improve cotton yields and increase the farmers’ income. Our three year pilot in Gujarat India trained 1,251 women smallholders resulting in an average profit increase of 247%, which many used to improve household welfare and to invest in education for their children. The results have exceeded all our expectations and that’s why over the next six years, an additional 10,000 female farmers will be taken through the programme, with the first seeds being sown by new trainees in April 2016.

Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme has also been featured in two reports on women in agriculture and addressing gender equality.  The IFC’s (International Finance Corporation), part of the World Bank Group and CottonConnect’s reports can be found here.

IFC report - Investing in Women along Agribusiness Value Chains

CottonConnect report - Planting the seed: A Journey to Gender Equality in the Cotton Industry

HERHealth
1,250 Female Farmers in India
1,150 Farmers in China
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