Shwopping spree

Did you know that good old Marks & Spencer’s, that stalwart of British brands, have a clothing exchange scheme run in conjunction with Oxfam? I must have been asleep and missed it, but if you bring in your old, unwanted clothes to an M & S store and pop them in their ‘shwop’ box they are then  either resold, reused or recycled and help Oxfam to fund lots of worthwhile charitable projects all over the world.

This brilliant partnership has raised an estimated £16 million through the collection of over 20 million items since 2008. And there is more joy in this! – every time you ‘shwop’ you can collect 50 spark points if you show your ‘shwopping’ card at the till before unburdening yourself of your unwanted articles. These points entitle you to different special offers. You can also drop off your swopping at Oxfam stores instead and if you have an item of M & clothing in the bag then they will give you a £5 M&S voucher in return – not bad eh! You can also ‘shwop’ shoes, accessories and soft furnishings and not a stitch is wasted.

Every year 1 billion items of clothing or approximately 500,000 tonnes are sent to landfill. This project is helping us to move away from the idea of disposable fashion which is well needed in my opinion. Some of the projects that have been funded in the third world include providing clean water, business training for women and community farming.

​I have recently been utilising H&M’s ‘garment collection initiative’ whereby you chuck a bag of unwanted natty threads into their recycling bins and receive a 25% discount voucher off your next shop of £25 or more. They have gathered more than 32 tonnes of garments since 2013 and have made collections from these recycled clothes. Some are sold seconde hand to be re-worn and some are turned into textiles fibres which are used for things like insulation.

The H&M Foundation has partnered with the Hong Kong Institute of Technologies to develop technologies to recycle clothes made from textile blends. H&M were awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility award last week by the fashion industry’s insider magazine Draper’s Record. This initiative and H&M’s great commitment to organic and sustainable cotton showed that sustainability has become an intrinsic part of H&M’s business.


​#M&S #Recycling #SustainableFashion #BritishHighStreet #H&M

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