Fast fashion has a bad reputation among environmental campaigners who accuse it of fostering a wasteful culture.
But leading chain Primark has hit back at its detractors, saying shopping on the High Street is better for the planet than buying online.
The boss of AB Foods, Primark’s owner, told the Times that its efficient global supply chains meant it was less polluting than online delivery vans.
However, George Weston’s assertions are questioned by energy experts.
Mr Weston told the newspaper: “Far from being a problem, we are a solution.”
He said Primark, which does not have an online shop, had “one of the world’s best supply chains”.
“We don’t air freight the goods, we ship them, which has far lower emissions,” he added.
Mr Weston said delivery vans “puffing their way up and down a street” were more damaging than people collecting products in-store, which was “more environmentally sustainable”.
He dismissed concerns that Primark was selling disposable clothes, saying his customers were not “buying them to wear just once”.