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M&S encourages customers to ‘Shwop’ clothes donation scheme

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-01-03 12:29:39 – United Kingdom

In a survey carried out by British fashion retailer Marks & Spencer, it was found that 65% of its customers are planning a wardrobe clear-out in January, hence the retailer is pushing customers to use its "Shwopping'' clothes donation scheme.

The 13-year-old program was given a makeover in September, with rewards offered for garments returned to the store. Customers must sign up for M&S's loyalty program, Sparks, and scan the QR code on the box when dropping off their items at any M&S Clothing store to receive the reward; "the treat" will then appear in their Sparks hub.

Shwopped clothing is either recycled or donated to Oxfam for resale, with 35 million pieces contributed since 2008, collecting £23 million for the charity.

When asked what they planned to do with garments from their wardrobe clear-outs, roughly 25% said they planned to donate them to charity, with one in five saying they planned to give them to friends and family. However, one in five people said they planned to throw the items away, and M&S is hoping that people will use their scheme to reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills.

Good quality, clean shoes, purses, jewelry, belts, caps, scarves, and bras can be contributed to the Shwopping scheme from any brand or retailer. Customers will be encouraged to participate in a social media campaign that will run throughout January.

Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business for M&S, said that they know their customers are busy, and they're enthusiastic about helping them live lower carbon lives by delivering simple solutions that make it easier. Clothing resale, reuse, and recycling are simple ways that they can all help, and their long-running swapping plan with Oxfam is a fantastic initiative that rewards customers for doing their part.

Lorna Fallon, Retail Director for Oxfam, said that if you're thinking about having a clear-out after Christmas, drop clothes off in the Shwop bins in M&S. Not only is it better for the environment, but it also allows Oxfam to sell high-quality, clean donations to raise funding for their global mission.

The update of the Shwopping scheme was part of M&S's "Plan A" sustainability strategy, which intends to accelerate carbon reduction both within the company and by assisting consumers in living "lower carbon lives."

M&S has entered the clothes rental market for the first time as part of the strategy, partnering with fashion rental platform Hirestreet. M&S is renting out its current collection of apparel, including gowns from its M&S X Ghost collection, through Hirestreet's Zoa platform. M&S supports Hirestreet through its Founders Factory joint venture, which gives the retailer important insight into market change and trends while also supporting developing entrepreneurs.

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