Analysis: Is shopping in stores like Primark really greener than online?

Primark Brum

The boss of Primark owner Associated British Foods has claimed the high street chain is “a solution” to fashion’s sustainability crisis. Do his claims that shopping in-store is better for the environment really stack up?

The chief executive of Primark owner Associated British Foods, George Weston, has gone on the defensive about the perceived wastefulness of fast fashion – and of his company’s role within that heavily scrutinised industry.

Weston insists that Primark’s efficient supply chains mean the company is less polluting than its online rivals, which make thousands of home deliveries. “Far from being a problem,” he suggests, “we are a solution.”

In the interview with The Times, Weston pointed out that, by contrast, Primark does not transport any of its products by air, or operate a fleet of delivery vans “puffing their way up and down a street”.

Weston’s comments came off the back of ABF’s full-year results, in which Primark attributed falling sales in Germany to “misconceptions by a number of German customers around ethics and sustainability”.

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