Our Ethics

We provide answers to your most frequently asked questions and explain how we ensure sustainability is at the heart of what we do.

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How can Primark offer the lowest prices on the high street?

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Are workers making Primark clothing paid a fair wage?

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How green is Primark?

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Does Primark use child labour?

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Where does Primark make its clothes?

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Cotton Farmers

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’.

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Take a 360 virtual tour of a factory in Bangladesh

We are often asked where products for Primark are made. So we decided to let people see for themselves.

Like many other fashion retailers, our products are made around the world in countries such as Bangladesh, India and China. Primark doesn’t own any factories, so all our products are made by our approved suppliers who manufacture on our behalf. We only work with suppliers and factories that respect the rights of their workforce and meet our standards which are based on international guidelines. We carry out over 2,000 audits a year to check these standards are met.

In 2016, we used virtual reality equipment to film a Primark pair of trousers being made in a factory just outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh. This 360 degree video follows the production journey of a pair of trousers, from the cutting and sewing together of material, to the labelling and pressing of the final product ready for to our stores.

Primark and DFID join forces to improve the wellbeing of garment workers in developing markets

Primark has announced the start of a new partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) to improve working conditions for garment workers in developing markets.

The partnership will combine the presence, networks and expertise of both organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of local workers, bolster national economic development and help alleviate poverty in five of Primark’s key markets which DFID also works in: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, Ethiopia and India.

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Environmental Sustainability Programme

As an international retailer we recognise our responsibility to the environment and work hard to ensure our products are made with respect for workers’ rights and the environment.

We have a dedicated environmental sustainability team, who are part of Primark’s wider Ethical Trade team, who work with our suppliers and their factories to implement our Environmental Sustainability Programme. We also collaborate with other retailers and organisations to help bring about change beyond our direct influence.

As part of our Environmental Sustainability Programme we have strict chemical management requirements for our products that comply with EU and US legislation. We also look for opportunities to go beyond EU and US legislation to reduce the environmental impact of the textile manufacturing processes. Our suppliers agree to adhere to our standards as part of the terms and conditions of doing business with us.

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Structural Surveys

All factories that supply our product in Bangladesh are included in our structural safety programme. Our structural surveys are conducted to the highest international standards by an expert team of engineers. Primark is a signatory to "The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh" an agreement between almost 200 brands, companies, international and local trade unions and NGOs working towards sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry.

Primark or Primarks approved external auditors inspect every factory

We don't own the factories that make our products and the factories that make Primark's clothes produce for other retailers too. To make sure these factories meet our standards, every single factory is audited by Primark-approved external auditors, or our own internal team. By auditing with respect to our code of Conduct we gain insight into the working conditions and labour standards of the factories that supply our product.

Since 2011 we have partnered with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), local partners and our suppliers on the HERproject (Health Enables Returns) to provide healthcare and health education to women working in the factories that make our products.

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Worker empowerment

Our programme in India has helped thousands of workers and their communities by providing education and support on vital issues including workplace rights, health and hygiene, and the importance of children's education.

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Green stores

We're taking steps to reduce the impact on the environment of our stores and operations. 95% of our stores use Building Energy Management systems to control energy consumption by monitoring lighting and temperature levels.

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Educational resources

We have worked in partnership with Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) and other organisations to create a series of resources about ethical trading & sustainability that can be used by both teachers and students.

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Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct sets out the core principles that suppliers and factories must follow to ensure products are made in good working conditions, and that the people making them are treated decently and paid a fair wage.

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