Irish fashion consumers facing a ‘crisis of conscience’ and seeking sustainable clothing – claims Penneys

by Rose Barrett
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New research commissioned by Penneys shows that Irish consumers are facing a crisis of conscience, with close to one third (30%) saying they are worried the cost-of-living crisis will prevent them from shopping more sustainably.

PENNEYS Recycle seamfree leggings €6, and seamfree vest €4.50

This rises to 39% amongst Gen Z shoppers (18-24 year olds), with 29% of this age group also saying they don’t know where to find more sustainable clothing.

The popular low-cost fashion brand maintains that 67% of all Irish shoppers are anxious about their finances and this rises to 76% among 25-34-year-olds. As a result, cost is the most important consideration when it comes to buying clothes for 72% of Irish consumers.

Penneys Care Cropped Knit Cardigan €12

Many are changing their shopping habits – with 40% say they are turning to more affordable retailers and 28% are buying second-hand. While shoppers are increasingly more open to second-hand purchases, the majority of the public say they will opt to buy new when it comes to essential items like underwear (84%) and socks (72%).

Furthermore, Penneys has teamed up with Instagram stylist Laura Byrnes for some inspiration around how to build a more sustainable capsule wardrobe on a budget by mixing in everyday wardrobe basics to create looks that will last – keep an eye out on for further tips this week from Laura Byrnes.

Penneys Care Cropped Knit Cardigan €12

About Primark/Penneys Cares essentials

The new research shows that Irish consumers are focusing on wardrobe staples to beat the budget squeeze, with 58% prioritising essentials, rising to 63% among 35-44-year-olds.

So, as part of its commitment to make more sustainable fashion more affordable for everyone through its Primark Cares strategy, from this month Penneys is bringing all the lowest priced t-shirts in its A/W essentials range under the Primark Cares label.

Penneys Care Children’s Wear

This means they are made with recycled or more sustainably sourced materials. Moving forward, all cotton in Penneys lowest priced t-shirts across its menswear and kidswear ranges will also come from Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme, the largest of its kind of any fashion retailer.

39% of Penneys products are already made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials, and the fashion retailer has committed to make that 100% by 2030. In the meantime, Penneys has been working to increase the number of essentials under its Primark Cares label over the last few years, with the availability of Primark Cares t-shirts across all departments growing by nearly 50% from SS21 to SS22. Primark Cares leisurewear and underwear increased by nearly a quarter during the same period, with Primark Cares socks and hosiery growing by nearly 20%.

The fashion retailer has also launched a new product fibres glossary to help customers make more informed choices by showing them what’s behind the labels in their clothes.

Penneys has also committed that 100% of the cotton in its clothes will be recycled, organic or sourced from Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme by 2027. 27% of the cotton in Penneys’ clothing is sourced from its Sustainable Cotton Programme already, an increase of 13% from the launch of the Primark Cares strategy in September 2021.

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