Throwaway Culture discouraged by UK MPs

UK Labour MP Mary Creagh said the real problem with fast fashion is that if you sell something for £5, consumers aren’t going to treat it with any respect and at the end of its life it’s going to go in the bin. More specifically, the low prices in Primark stores, where T-shirts can cost as little as £2, were challenged by UK MPs on the Commons environmental audit select committee, who suggested shoppers viewed its clothing as disposable. Primark's Paul Lister, head of ethical trade and environmental sustainability, denied this was the case. "We are proud of the quality and durability of our garments," defended Lister. "They are not bought to throw away." He continued to add that Primark kept its prices low by shunning traditional advertising which saved the company £150m, and that he knew of no one under 16 working in any of their supply factories. Focusing on a factory-to-store method, Lister said they keep their costs to the absolute minimum. "In-store we keep margins very tight. Our business model takes us to a £2 T-shirt."

According to an investigation by Channel 4, last year UK factories paid workers between £3 and £3.50 an hour. Another investigation by the Financial Times found examples of exploitation in Leicester factories. This lead Creagh to question how it was physically possible for Manchester-based Boohoo to sell UK-made dresses for £5 when the hourly minimum wage was £7.83.