Friday, 11 July 2008


My Eco Self has exercised incredible restraint in not buying clothes until I am fully informed of the ethical issues, (in reality, until one of my eco business opportunities makes me more financially secure).

I have been watching with interest the recent coverage about Primark, whose recent results have showed a slowdown in growth. This is an interesting comment, from coverage in The Times:

Freddie George, retail analyst at Seymour Pierce, said that Primark's
performance also suggested that better-off consumers were choosing to buy
higher-quality clothing when they decided to spend. He said: "The era of
'throwaway' fashion appears to be coming to an end and it may be the consumer is
now buying less but trading up."*
It seems like a lot of shoppers are adopting my own policy of justifying purchases based on the price per wear.

Also, apparently Drapers, the fashion industry magazine, ran a survey which showed that 42 per cent of shoppers would think twice about shopping at the chain, after a BBC programme showed that Primark were using child labour (they have since dropped those suppliers.) In response to that, there's lots of useful information about their ethical policies on their website, including an informative video here about how they can afford to sell things so cheaply - for example, they don't advertise. They are now part of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

My objection to Primark is not primarily ethical. I have bought plenty of clothes from Primark - or PriMarni, as some call it - but my objection is that I buy things I just don't need, because everything's a bargain. It's got that Ikea factor, where you just can't come out empty-handed (I wrote about this here.) I think if I style it up a la Sarah Jessica Parker with something more expensive, no-one will be able to tell that I'm wearing a £1 pair of sunglasses. My new strategy is to just not go inside. And anyway, after a while, the appeal of plastic shoes wears off (I have feet issues, and believe in investing in that area, as I've also written about previously, here.)

*NB: I should get myself a job as a part-time investment analyst to supplement any shortfall from pursuing a eco business opportunity - I could have come up with this myself.

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