“Green” consumers perceive Primark as the clothing retailer worst at addressing social and environmental issues, a survey conducted for a national newspaper has found.

The survey, conducted by Populus for the Times, revealed that when choosing a clothing retailer, 45 per cent of “green” consumers are most worried about the treatment of workers in developing countries.

This comes ahead of concerns over the sourcing materials from the UK and a commitment never to use fur.

In June, Primark was criticised in a damning BBC Panorama investigation that revealed that some of its Indian suppliers were using child labour.

It was forced to stop working with these suppliers, but a poll conducted for Drapers following the expose found that 42 per cent of Primark shoppers were less likely to shop at the value fashion retailer.

While Primark’s rating has fallen in the wake of the Panorama investigation, the consumers’ rating of other retailers rose or remained steady over the past year.

Marks & Spencer tops the list when it comes to addressing social and environmental issues.

Marks & Spencer’s high rating was boosted by its “Plan A” scheme, which included an introduction of a 5p charge for plastic bags.

George at Asda was perceived as the second most ethical retailer, followed by Debenhams, Tu at Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Mike Barry, head of corporate social responsibility at M&S, said: “Our customers have been very clear. Around 75 per cent have been saying they expect us to take a lead on these issues. Consumers are just as interested during a credit crunch.”