You Can Now Shop Primark Online With Next Day Delivery – Is It A Sustainability Nightmare?

How do we resist the temptation to order 15 £9 dresses?

You Can Now Shop Primark Online With Next Day Delivery - Is It A Sustainability Nightmare?

by Rebecca Reid |
Updated on

For years the words 'Primark' and 'cheap clothes' have been synonymous. It's where you buy high-fashion rip offs, costumes for parties and basic staples. But there's always been one catch. You have to go in store. So if you live miles away from a Primark, you have to make a pilgrimage to visit it.

Shopping at Primark isn't exactly a luxe experience either. Queuing for hours to get into a changing room, fighting other customers for the last basket and then doing another long queue, usually sweating and dreaming of the outside world, to pay for your haul. It's not nice, but it's all part of paying less.

Only now you're not going to need to do the double queue, because you can order Primark online (via Amazon), try it on in the privacy of your own home and return anything that doesn't suit you or doesn't fit.

But, exciting as it might sound, Primark going online is not a total miracle. Some of their products won't be online, and just like all online fast fashion shopping, it comes with a cost.

Most of us are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and buying fast fashion online doesn't fit with that ethos. These clothes are usually mass produced and the ecological cost of delivering items all over the UK is substantial both in terms of carbon emissions and plastic.

That said, it hardly feels fair to expect shoppers to go without clothes because they can only afford to buy from lower price point companies such as Primark, and there are plenty of reasons (from being busy to being housebound) that you might want or need to order online. It's also not correct to assume that buying a cheaper item means it is less environmentally friendly than a more expensive purchase.

So, how do you balance your desire to buy things from Primark and have them delivered to your door with wanting to save the planet?

Ways to shop more sustainably

Buy less. The major issue with fast fashion is that you throw things away and they end up in the landfill. If you focus on buying the hardier items of clothing which need less washing, like skirts, shoe and coats, then you'll be able to wear them longer and create less of an environmental impact.

Wash clothes less. It might sound icky but Stella McCartney pointed out earlier this year that we all wash our clothes way too much, which shortens their lifespan and pours chemicals into environment

Buy multi-purpose. It's fine to buy a Halloween costume from Primark, but can you make it from various garments you'll rewear in other outfits? Similarly, can you buy a dress which works in the summer and the winter with a polo neck underneath? If a garment has more uses then it'll last longer and be more sustainable.

Repurpose. When the item of clothing you've bought no longer works as clothing could you make it into a cushion cover, a throw, a tea towel, a bag or even decorative pom-poms?

Also, earlier this year Primark announced that they're training 160,000 cotton farmers in a bid for better sustainability. So you can feel good about that.


Best Sustainable High Street Buys

Lindex, Black Coat With Tie Belt, £99.991 of 7

Lindex, Black Coat With Tie Belt, £99.99

Topshop, Vegan Stone Mules, £592 of 7

Topshop, Vegan Stone Mules, £59

Arket, Swimsuit, £353 of 7

Arket, Swimsuit, £35

New Look, Black Vegan Leather Jacket, £39.994 of 7

New Look, Black Vegan Leather Jacket, £39.99

Marks & Spencer, Leopard Print Vegan Boots, £355 of 7

Marks & Spencer, Leopard Print Vegan Boots, £35

H&M Conscious, Knitted Jumper, £24.996 of 7

H&M Conscious, Knitted Jumper, £24.99

ASOS, Recycled Jeans, £327 of 7

ASOS, Recycled Jeans, £32

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