Primark? No thanks, babe.
I recently read an old article in the Independent (won’t name and shame the writer) who said that she couldn’t afford to buy ethical clothes so she buys from Primark and she believes we should be “putting the spotlight on the brands, and not the buyer.” But how can we put pressure on these brands if we continue to line their pockets? If you were the owner of Primark and money’s coming in as normal, why would you make a change?
At university I was told a story about a woman who walked out of Primark with so many bags she could barely hold them all. A bus was just about to pull away from her bus stop so she ran for it and as she did one of the bags split open and the contents spilled out onto the pavement behind her. She looked back at it and continued to run for her bus and managed to catch it in time. This, I believe, symbolises the value that woman had assigned to the clothes she had bought. She hadn’t looked at each piece and thought deeply about why she wants it, where she will wear it and how long it could last. She had looked at the prices and thought to herself “wow look how much I can get for so little money”.
The value we assign to clothing is key to tackling the negative relationship we have with clothes. As my girl Vivienne says, “clothes should cost a lot more than they do”, it’s the hard truth that people like to ignore. The problem is that we’re trained to believe that owning more clothes equals happiness/success, instead of trusting in the motto ‘quality over quantity’. Wouldn’t you rather have a smaller wardrobe containing ethically sourced pieces that you love and that will love you back (aka last longer than those cheap jersey t-shirts from Primark!)???