Thursday, 16 June 2011

Primark - Stitched Up

Today I recieved an email from a PR company advising me of the breaking news, that after a long investigation by both Primark and the BBC Trust, the trust has confirmed that the  2008 Panorama programme “Primark on the Rack”, which claimed to show three young boys being used to manufacture clothes sold in Primark, was based on fabrication and littered with poor journalistic practices. In an effort to spread the word and let everyone know the truth they have created a You Tube video which gives further  information on the verdict.

This is great news for Primark. I was interested to see from the Primark website that they seem to be doing quite a bit to ensure that they are ethical and this is clearly communicated, perhaps as a result of this programme (or perhaps would have been doing it anyway).  Either way it is great to see that they are working on so many different ethical initiatives and to become more sustainable by recycling and reducing their carbon footprint.

There are however still a few question marks over the verdict. The report did state that the programme "had obtained clear evidence that work was being outsourced from factories in India in contravention of Primark's own ethical trading principles". Funnily enough not mentioned on Primarks website or video.

The whole case does highlight the difficuilty by fashion retailers (including those marketing themselves as ethical) in monitoring the whole of their supply chain. With the BBC being unable to clearly represent what is going on, it is certainly no easy task. But hopefully changes will have been put in place on both sides to ensure that  this never happens again.

So will I be shopping at Primark now?

The answer is no, I have never bought anything from Primark even before the Panorama programme. Their overall brand message to me says 'fast fashion' which is not sustainable or good for the planet no matter how much you recycle and reduce co2 emmissions. They even state this on their website " the Primark story has been one of continuing success founded on a unique combination of fast fashion and lean operations" This just isn't for me. I try to buy high quality clothing that will last, even though it usually costs a bit more.

What do you think? Will you be shopping at Primark?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

1 comment:

For Those About To Shop said...

Good for you for refusing to shop at a store that represents fast fashion. Primark is British so I can't shop there unless I'm visiting, but I know the name alone has a connotation of extremely cheap clothes, much like Wal-mart here and I don't shop there either. I stopped shopping at Wal-mart when I saw a documentary on their shady practices, corruption on all levels (including driving small bizzes under).
I think it's great if Primark or any company does its best to embrace ethical practices. It's nice if stores are ethical because it's the right thing to do. However, if they are shamed into doing the right thing I am fine with that as well :)
I find it interesting when consumers say things like "It's $5; how can you lose?" Well, a lot of people "lose" when clothes are priced so cheaply and consumers refuse to pay the price for fair trade practices.