M&S “shwopping” clothes recycling scheme to return to stores

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M&S Marks & Spencer Oxfam clothes recycling scheme Carmel McQuaid
The recycling scheme, launched in 2012, is part of the retailer’s Plan A programme
// M&S to bring back “shwopping” clothes recycling scheme in the UK
// The recycling scheme is an expansion of a partnership with Oxfam, which began in 2008
// The partnership has resulted in over 35 million items being donated, worth a total of £23 million

Marks & Spencer will reportedly bring back its “shwopping” scheme in the UK this week, aimed at recycling clothes, six months after it was ditched because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From Thursday, customers can hand over their unwanted clothes, shoes, bras and accessories of any brand or condition in 287 M&S stores, The Guardian reported.

The recycling scheme, launched in 2012, is part of the retailer’s Plan A programme and an expansion of a partnership with Oxfam, which began in January 2008.


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The partnership has resulted in over 35 million items being donated, worth a total of £23 million.

M&S initially encouraged consumers to donate their unwanted clothing to Oxfam to receive a £5 voucher.

However, the “shwopping” scheme was later announced to encourage shoppers to regularly donate clothing when they buy something in store.

All clothing items that customers donate in stores – via large cardboard bins – are sent to Oxfam to be resold in one of its shops or online.

“At M&S, our goal is to source all our products with care and ensure nothing we make goes to waste”, M&S head of  sustainable business Carmel McQuaid said.

She said shwopping was “a 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”.

Due to the pandemic, M&S will quarantine all items for 48 hours before sending them to Oxfam as part of government guidelines.

Charity shops were forced to close at the start of lockdown and while most have been reopening since the end of June, many have been restricting donations.

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