Primark under fire for new ‘cheap’ swimwear and wetsuit ranges


Primark’s new range of wetsuits and outerwear has come under fire. Famous high street retailer Primark is known and loved for its wide range of affordable and trendy fashion and lifestyle ranges.

Unlike its competitors, Primark does not have an online site where shoppers can purchase its latest products and relies solely on in-store purchases. The retailer has 191 stores across the UK, with its Birmingham store being the largest in the world.

The popular brand recently came under fire from a Cornish surf magazine for their new range of wetsuits. The magazine denounced the Irish brand on social media, calling the products “cheap”, “sad” and “high treason at sea”. He claimed the suits were mass-produced and would be “thrown away in no time”, reports Cornwall Live.

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In retaliation, those who frequent Primark – which is seen as more affordable – hit back at what they called “surfer snobbery” by saying not everyone can afford to shell out hundreds of pounds for a wetsuit from more reputable brands. Real Surfing Magazine based in Newquay first hit the global fashion chain on social media, urging people to think twice before buying the new product line.

In the impassioned rant, the company called them an “environmental disaster” saying “all these lots don’t care about the surf”. Primark has refuted the allegations.

Real Surfing Magazine said: “I’ve tried to ignore this, but I can’t. These horrible cheap disposable wetsuits are mass produced and will be thrown away in no time. It’s very sad that companies like this these draw on the culture of surfing.

“It’s basically the same as cheap crappy bodyboards, isn’t it. They look ill-fitting and poorly made, so they won’t keep you warm.”

The explosive rant went on to say: “The problem is you can see why people buy them because they’re not ready to go out and buy a decent, durable suit if they go overboard once a year. or if they’re taking the kids because they’ll be out of them the following summer. A decent wetsuit can at least be passed on or donated to charities such as the wave to spare project. It’s so sad and is considered high treason on the seas and the planet by the surfer community.”

But Primark hit back at claims that the suits are made with fabric that meets industry standards. He also said access to proper clothing and equipment is a “real barrier” for people participating in outdoor activities and he hopes this line will solve those problems.

Some of the comments on the surf magazine’s post about the wetsuit line, which is advertised as an “affordable range of wetsuits, terrycloth snuddies and waterproof bathrobes for the whole family”, included: “The poor fit of the combinations on the models shows that Primark really has no idea or cares about them.Unfortunately, I’m afraid the people who follow your social networks are not the ones who need education.

“Don’t want to buy? It’s often a matter of economic choices. Not everyone can afford a wetsuit over £100 but still wants to enjoy the surf.”

“I buy what I can afford, and I don’t care what other people think. If you think the added value is in the quality of the product, then you are wrong. Half the profit is in the brand image.”

“I agree with the points you’ve made. However, once you start referring to yourself as ‘the surf community’, it feels like an elitist setup. Which is more likely to exclude ‘newcomers’ “or the ‘casual attendee’… surely it would be better to engage rather than alienate.”

A Primark spokesperson said: “Our Great Outdoors range aims to offer high performance yet affordable outdoor clothing and includes wetsuits, bathrobes, rash suits and more for the whole family. Our business model means we’re able to deliver the value we deliver – we don’t do traditional advertising, we don’t sell online and we keep things simple when it comes to packaging and design.

“Our suits are made with 3mm 4-way stretch fabric for added flexibility and warmth, in line with industry standards. The flatlock seam provides added flexibility and durability while being comfortable against the skin and body-shaped side panels provide a comfortable 3D fit,” they continued.

“We test our products extensively to make sure they meet the standards of functionality and performance you’ve come to expect and we want people to wear them again and again. We know that access to clothing and Proper gear is a real hurdle for people participating in outdoor activities and we hope this range will help more people get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Primark wetsuits cost £38 for the full length and £32 for the short wetsuit. By comparison, an Xcel wetsuit, considered one of the leading wetsuit companies in the world, sells for between £100 and £300.

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