Bra recycling given spotlight in new M&S Swhop campaign

M&S launches new campaign recycle bras Shwop recycling deposit boxes Oxfam.
M&S's bra recycling campaign aims to debunk myths around not being able to recycle old or unwanted bras.
// M&S now encouraging women to recycle their bras in the Shwopping recycle boxes
// M&S is training staff to inform customers and moving Shwop boxes to the lingerie fitting rooms
// M&S has a 36.5% market share for bras and already fits over half of all women in the UK

M&S has launched a new campaign that informs customers and encourages them to recycle their bras through the retailer’s Shwop deposit boxes.

The campaign, which runs until September, aims to debunk myths around not being able to recycle old or unwanted bras.

The bellwether retailer is also encouraging women to “love your boobs” by getting fitted, and to debunk the myth that it’s time-consuming.

M&S is regarded as the UK’s number one lingerie retailer, with a 36.5 per cent market share for bras and fitting over half of all women in the country.

The retailer said that with approximately 50,000 women getting fitted each week, there’s potentially thousands of bras customers may want to recycle.

As a result, M&S will move its Shwop recycling points to the lingerie fitting rooms during the campaign.

Bra fitters will also be telling customers about the Shwopping scheme, which started in 2012 and allows customers to bring back any clothes, whether fully intact or damaged, to M&S stores to be recycled via Oxfam – including bras.

M&S said the recycled bras will either be sold in Oxfam stores or they’ll be processed at Oxfam’s Wastesaver recycling facility in Batley, before being sent to the charity’s social enterprise project in Senegal, Frip Ethique.

At Frip Ethique bras are sold on to over 500 local traders who sell them in their local communities and meet the needs of the local population.

“Our summer campaign aims to show that bra fits at M&S are quick and easy, but we also hope it encourages women to use our Shwop boxes to recycle bras they no longer need and help make a difference to other women’s lives,” M&S head of bra fit Julia Mercer said.

Oxfam’s Fee Gilfeather said: “We all have a few bras in the drawer that we never actually wear, in fact the average woman in the UK owns eight or nine, so bringing a few of them to M&S stores to recycle can make a massive difference.

“Not only are you giving the bra a second life, and saving it from landfill, but you’re also raising money for Oxfam’s fight against poverty around the world.”

What is Shwopping?

  • M&S started working with Oxfam on Shwopping in 2012
  • Customers can bring any unwanted item of clothing into an M&S store – even if it’s not from M&S
  • You put your unwanted items into a Shwop Drop box – you’ll find these by the tills in most M&S stores
  • All clothing goes to Oxfam and they’ll either resell it in one of their shops or on the Oxfam Online Shop, sell it to be reused in different countries around the world, or recycle the fibres to make new material
  • Absolutely nothing goes to landfill, and Oxfam use the money raised to help end extreme poverty around the world
  • To date over 34 million items have been “shwopped”

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