M&S to extend clothes recycling campaign

Marks and Spencer (M&S) is to extend its clothes recycling campaign, Shwopping, into UK workplaces by launching a service for employers across the UK.

From 2013, organisations can offer Shwop Drops in their offices to enable employees to recycle clothes.

Marks and Spencer will deliver the boxes and provide communications materials, such as banners and notices. Every employee who recycles will receive a Marks and Spencer money-off voucher.

Oxfam, Marks and Spencer’s Shwopping partner, will collect the clothing and re-sell, re-use or recycle it, raising funds for its worldwide poverty alleviation work.

The service is open to any interested organisation. Marks and Spencer is working with Business in the Community (BITC) to actively promote the service to its 850 member companies. 

BITC member companies that have already signed up include B&Q in Southampton, IBM in London and Thames Water in Reading.

The Shwopping initiative was launched in April 2012, with boxes set up in M&S and Oxfam stores across the UK.

Adam Elman, head of Plan A delivery at Marks and Spencer, said: “We’re passionate about giving used clothes a future. One man’s old shirt is another’s retro classic, and we can even transform tatty clothing into new products, such as mattresses or car seat fillings.

“There’s no excuse for sending textiles to landfill and that’s why we’re doing everything we can to make it easy for people to recycle with Oxfam.

“For companies, it is a great way to engage with employees and improve your sustainability credentials.”

Sarah Farquhar, spokesperson at Oxfam, added: “Every single item of clothing donated to us from the British public finds a home and helps Oxfam raise money, whether it is resold to another Oxfam shopper, re-used or recycled. 

“We know that people lead busy lives, so the beauty of Shwopping is that it meets people wherever they are, whether on the high street at their local M&S or Oxfam shop, or now in their own workplace.”