September 18, 2023

Styling sustainability with simplicity – part 01

Making the complex clear with Primark Cares – the first edition of our four-part series on building sustainability into your fashion brand

Stephen Ardern

Managing Director

Steve explores how to balance the gravity of sustainability with easy-to-comprehend, customer-focussed touch points using our work on Primark Cares

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Launched in 2021, Primark Cares captured the global retailer's vision for more sustainable fashion at prices affordable for everyone.

One year on, almost half of all clothes sold came under its Primark Cares label – a signifier that the clothes contain either recycled or more sustainable materials.

Now, two years on, the retailer is well on its way to achieving its long-term goal – 100% of clothes under the label by 2030, while keeping its same great value pricing.

But Primark Cares goes beyond the materials used.

It also encapsulates efforts including sustainable farming practices – including new circular design training, packaging changes, ethical partnerships, global living wage improvements, and internal initiatives for employees.

Going way beyond a label, the position of Primark Cares sits within the very heart of the Primark brand.

Our team created its brand identity plus a series of customer-facing projects that take shoppers on a journey beyond the walls of its stores.

We produced a showcase of emotive stories that reveal how the retailer, and its partners, turn food waste into clothes dyes, waste scraps – and even plastic – into new fashion and how it sources ingredients from across the globe for its Fairtrade skincare line.

Within a short period of time, Primark Cares was buzzing with industry-changing activity. So much, in fact, that we needed to focus on how we would continue to share its evolving sustainability story with the world in a way that would resonate with people.

It was about balance. Balancing the gravity of sustainability – as a serious, global issue – with easy-to-comprehend touch points that would keep the consumer engaged.

We needed to create a communication style between Primark Cares and Primark shoppers that would serve as a reliable and responsible source of education that also intrigued and entertained. 

For any brand, unpacking sustainability comes with complexities, so part of this job was creating with simplicity.

Working closely with Primark's in-house social team, we began by creating onboarding packs.

These packs were designed to equip fashion influencers to start with.

A way to provide them with everything needed to unpack Primark Cares – directly to the retailer's customer base on social media – with confidence and clarity.

The same media were successfully rolled out to other groups of Primark's community – including employees.

And for its customers, communication plans were elevated in-store where Primark Cares Education Zones began to crop up.

Primark hosted a series of customer experiences in these zones – including repair workshops that our team brought to life through playful and colourful design. 

These sessions created opportunities for shoppers to actively engage with sustainability and learn about Primark Cares while shopping in-store.

Helping Primark master the communication of such a heavy and complex topic in a light and engaging way – achieved two things.

It created a seamless transition for Primark to evolve into an increasingly responsible retailer.

And it empowered its shoppers with the knowledge that when they purchase a Primark Cares product, they protect the planet as well as their pocket.

For the second instalment, Steve explores the research-backed benefits of building sustainability into your brand. To discover more of our work with Primark today, click here.


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