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Primark Brings Vintage to the Masses

A new retail partnership makes it easier for consumers to style vintage fashion with fast fashion. 

Irish retailer Primark is working with U.K.-based Vintage Wholesale Company to roll out WornWell by the Vintage Wholesale Company, a resale shop-in-shop concept at select stores. 

Vintage Wholesale Company sources and sells quality used clothing in the U.K. and Europe. Clients can handpick items at its U.K. warehouse, purchase products by the kilo or have a trained team member select items based on their needs.

Through the partnership, Vintage Wholesale Company supplies select U.K. Primark stores with branded and non-branded vintage and one-off items of clothing and accessories from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s at affordable prices.  

WornWell gives Primark customers access to brands with nostalgic appeal like Tommy Hilfiger, Carhartt, Levi’s, and Polo on offer as well as footwear stalwarts Nike, Converse and Dr. Martens. Products span jeans and denim jackets, workwear-inspired jumpsuits and shirts, sweaters, puffer jackets, pattern shirts and more.

Newer garments, like Justin Bieber concert tees, are also available. Items like G-Star Raw jeans retail for 40 pounds, or approximately $47.

“Each item is unique,” said Riccardo Seaton, director of WornWell by the Vintage Wholesale Company. “We want to inspire our customers to express their individuality and discover a love of vintage through wearing our clothes.”  

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The shop-in-shops sit alongside Primark’s new collections, reflecting how consumers merchandise their own closets. While the Great Recession led to millennials dressing “high and low” by mixing fast fashion with designer pieces, Gen Z consumers are evolving the concept by weaving unique vintage and preowned pieces into their trend-driven wardrobes. 

WornWell by the Vintage Wholesale Company

“Vintage clothing has increased in popularity over the last few years, and we know that our customers love creating unique looks by mixing old fashion with new. This concession will be the nostalgic bridge between generations, bringing curated retro fashion at great value,” said Jermaine Lapwood, Primark’s head of innovation and future trends.

Primark launched WornWell in August at its Birmingham High Street store, followed by second location at its Manchester flagship. In October, it opened its most prominent WornWell shop at its Oxford Street East location.

The initiative supports Primark Cares, the retailer’s strategy with a forward-looking commitment that focuses on giving clothing a longer life, protecting the planet and improving the lives of people who make Primark products. As part of this it has unveiled nine commitments it is working to achieve by 2030. These include making all of its clothes from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials, ensuring clothing is recyclable by design, halving carbon emissions across its value chain, eliminating single-use plastic and pursuing a living wage for workers in its supply chain.

“We want to see clothes loved for longer and kept in circulation,” Lapwood added. “We’ve got big plans within our own business to give clothes a longer life, and we’re thrilled to be supporting an independent business who is working to do this.”