Wild animal kingdom (aka Primark)

Primark is so good it’s bad. 

On any given day in the Bullring in Birmingham, shoppers lug more Primark bags than all the other high street stores combined.

We all know the bargains are unbelievable and the clothes are on trend.  It’s a thrifty girl’s dream except for one thing – the store almost begs you to buy TONS of stuff.  It’s all so cheap, especially when the latest trendy mini dresses and tee shirts are quadruple the price at Top Shop, Oasis and the lot. 

When my sister visited this week from Canada she went absolutely nutbars in Birmingham’s Primark store.  Here’s the picture of her first lot of finds – we went back for more the next day.


It’s the store that encourages women to say to one another, “At that price, get it, even if you only wear it once, it’ll pay for itself!”

Rarely do we feel guilty about the landfill space, energy consumption and cheap labour that Primark garments each demand when they are made and finally disposed.

After rent and booze my sister rarely has any cash leftover for clothes.  For the last three weeks of work she wore the same pair of trousers… clearly she needed Primark. 

I was surprised at how many basic pieces she picked up – bright v-neck sweaters, black and brown trousers and loads of shoes to fit her size eight feet.

I have no doubt these clothes will not just get worn once, some may even be worn for months at a time.

But for those of us who live near a Primark and suffer from a small addiction to cheap and trendy, there are some ways we can cut down on our consumption and have a few more pounds in the bank to boot – here are my tips:

– Shop with a sensible friend who will tell you when clothing looks bad, you’ll buy less and feel better.

– If you have doubts about whether you’ll wear that day-glo yellow mini dress when you get home, return it, even if it was only £4.

– Of all the items you want to buy, ask yourself which one you want the most, and only buy it (this is difficult!)

– Don’t shop there as often!  I try to go once or twice a season at most.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to avoid buying cheap, trendy clothes that will go to landfill sooner rather than later, but for now, I will continue to go weak at the knees at these lovely clothes at rock bottom prices:

Flower wedges £8

white painter coat, £15
White painter coat, £15

Pleated black shorts with belt
Black pleated shorts with silver belt £8

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Filed under Birmingham, clothes, ethical living, green living, thrifty

5 responses to “Wild animal kingdom (aka Primark)

  1. christine

    I find primark absolutely addictive!Whenever I am in Birmingham or MerryHill I have to go into Primark and buy something.Just wish I could see products online,as maybe wouldn’t buy so much-maybe!

  2. I feel your pain Christine, but I’m happy there’ s no website — or store here in Toronto — or my wardrobes would be rammed with reems of ‘Attitude’ labels… Not good for a girl trying to cut down on the shopping.

  3. lizz

    i was in london and found primark which was just unbelieveable!! it was just great!!! i spent around50 pounds there and dont really need anything anymore …. but i am addicted already!!!!!

  4. You have written a thoughtful piece on the dangers of shopping at Primark.

    Primark – the high cost of cheap fashion

  5. becky

    OMGGGGGGGG!!!! primark is da best

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