To Primark or not to Primark


16 May

To Primark, or Not to Primark

The city of Antwerp recently got “blessed” with a brand-new Primark store. It took a while before the Irish provider of very fast fashion found its way to the Belgian fashion capital but here it is, there’s no more escaping. Starting from day one, a surreal situation occurred in which people formed a line in front of the store. It seemed like it was the first time ever they got the chance to buy cheap clothes. As much as we wish we could explain why people think it’s so magical, we can’t. We have never entered a Primark store ourselves and we’re not planning to do so now.

If you expect this article to be about hardcore Primark bashing, we’ll have to disappoint you. Rather than pointing fingers, we are doing our very best to understand the company’s irresistible magnetism.

More for almost nothing

When fellow human beings, who aren’t financially blessed, head to Primark to make sure their offspring has something to wear, we understand. Not everyone has the means to afford designer clothes and after all it’s a basic need. That most stores are located in the “richer” areas around the world is another discussion.

What we don’t understand is why customers who do have the financial resources, shop at Primark until they literally drop. Everything is that cheap which makes people immune to think twice about their future purchases. The question “would I actually wear this?” is irrelevant since its price probably doesn’t transcends the amount of 10 euros. Whether you wear it once, twice or never is totally circumstantial. Shopping simply doesn’t affect your wallet in any way. Even a bottle of water is more expensive than some pieces at Primark. We’re making this remark because fast fashion is the second most polluting in the world, right after the oil industry. Unfortunately our “old” clothes don’t magically disappear from planet earth. Such a shame.

If you have a total crush on a Primark dress, go ahead and buy it. Leave the store with only that one item and wear it at least 20 times. Don’t do this on a weekly basis and think well about what you’re buying. This doesn’t count for Primark alone, by the way, but for fast fashion in general. However let’s agree that there is indeed a difference between fast and very fast fashion.

To Primark or not to Primark
To Primark or not to Primark

Those boring old ethics (rolling eye emoji)

On top of the Primark website, you’ll find a tab about the company’s ethics. In a video they explain how it’s possible to keep their prices low. First of all they claim to hardly advertise: “you don’t see fashion campaigns with celebrities on tv”. Paying influencers, not only with vouchers, obviously has nothing to do with advertising…

Secondly, by buying items in high volumes, it’s possible to reduce expenses. There are no fancy hangers or tags to be found at Primark and every single item is acclaimed to be transported in a very efficient way. Now can someone explain to us how it’s possible to make the fabric, the design, produce the piece itself, transport it and hang it in one of the stores for only 4 euros? Honestly, it almost sounds like a fantasy story and we really want to know the secret.

Last but not least, Primark assures its customers that everything is made in an ethical way, with respect for all human beings. We hereby would like to refer to our above mentioned remark. How can someone still earn money by making a piece if it’s only sold at an average price of maybe 10 euros? Also, it’s still very unclear whether all employees work under humane conditions. Primark has a history with using sweatshop labour and we honestly doubt the fact that nowadays everything is made in an ethical way.

What Primark isn’t mentioning in this cute little video is what a bunch of trash the company’s leaving behind and how this is affecting the environment. We’d love to know more about that too.

To Primark or not to Primark

Prucci loafers

Before we leave this here, a few last words…

Dear shopper

Before you drag bags and bags filled with stuff out of Primark, think! 

Thanks in advance

Kind regards, 

The environment 



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