The fashion industry is often criticised for not doing enough about waste – and that’s understandable. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that around 350,000 tonnes of used clothing go to landfill every year – a shockingly high figure.
That’s why we’re delighted that our friends at Marks and Spencer are relaunching their clothes recycling scheme – Shwopping – to build on the 35 million items already recycled since 2008. Nearly £23m has been raised since 2008 to help support those in extreme poverty.
Unwanted clothing and accessories from any brand or in any condition can be recycled in 290 stores from 1st October. Donations are sent to Oxfam and either resold, used via their social enterprise in Senegal or recycled by businesses. M&S themselves use recycled items for their mattress fillings for example and have launched a men’s suit made of 100% recycled materials.
Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business for M&S, said: “At M&S, our goal is to source all our products with care and ensure nothing we make goes to waste. We want our customers to be confident that the clothes they buy at M&S are made to last, but if they finish wearing their old favourites, we make it easy to give them a new purpose through Shwopping.
“It’s a brilliant programme that many of our customers rely on as they shop with us for new staples—and now more than ever it’s perfect for those who have been decluttering.”
Fee Gilfeather, Head of Audience & Strategic Planning at Oxfam, commented: “We are delighted that M&S, which shares Oxfam’s sustainability ambitions, is bringing back Shwopping to its stores. Shwopping is designed to make it easy for customers and the general public to donate unwanted garments to Oxfam via M&S stores and helps to extend the lifecycle of clothes and reduce the number of items of clothing going to landfill.
“The return of Shwop drops to M&S stores means that there are more ways for people to donate to Oxfam and support our work fighting poverty and helping vulnerable communities around the world.”