// Primark CEO George Weston claims physical shops are greener than online
// He says fast fashion’s physical retail has smaller carbon footprint than online delivery vans
// He also refutes the idea that consumers are buying fast fashion to wear only once
George Weston has hit back at criticism that fast fashion retailers had a big carbon footprint by saying that physical shops are greener than online stores.
Weston, the chief executive of Primark parent company AB Foods, said that physical stores have a lower carbon footprint compared to online delivery vans “puffing their way up and down a street”.
However, he admitted that the rise of click-and-collect boosted the sustainability credentials of multichannel retailers.
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Primark is known for being one of the very few major retail chains that does not have its own online store, and like many other fast fashion retailers, it has been met with criticism for its impact on the environment.
According to a report in The Times, Weston refuted the idea that consumers were buying fast fashion to wear only once and adding to the global problem of fashion waste.
He said that “far from being a problem we are a solution,” and boasted that his company’s global supply chain was one of the world’s best – using ships to deliver goods around the world rather than using air freight as it “has far lower emissions”.
Weston also highlighted his company’s “solid social and environmental credentials”, pointing to the £10 million Primark invested in 160,000 cotton producers to produce sustainable cotton for its jeans as one example.