M&S is bringing back Shwopping, our well-known clothes recycling scheme in partnership with Oxfam, from 1 October—helping customers to build on the 35 million items recycled since 2008. Shwopping was temporarily paused in March to enable M&S colleagues to focus on putting in place the additional measures needed and serving customers. Following a rise in wardrobe clear-outs during lockdown, from 1 October 2020 M&S customers restarted donating unwanted clothes, shoes, bras and accessories of any brand or condition in nearly 290 M&S stores. All clothing items that customers donate are sent to Oxfam to be resold in one of its shops or online, to be reused via its social enterprise in Senegal or to be recycled into new materials, which are used by businesses such as M&S’s mattress filling. Through Shwopping, M&S has helped to raise nearly £23m from the sale of donated items since 2008 to help people living in extreme poverty.
More detail on Shwopping
- M&S offers Shwopping in 287 stores, including those which sell both Clothing & Home and Food or are Simply Food stores with a small selection of Clothing lines.
- In line with government guidelines, M&S will quarantine all donated items for 48 hours before sending them onto Oxfam.
- All clothes that are brought into M&S stores are sent to Oxfam stores or are sorted at its Wastesaver facility in Batley to be reused or recycled.
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.”
To support a more sustainable shopping journey, M&S is starting to include details of the sustainable raw materials it uses for its clothing products online, which is available for over 4,000 items so far. The retailer has also removed paper returns slips from every online parcel in place of digital returns – saving 140 tonnes of paper each year.