Marks and Spencer, the largest clothing retailer in the UK, has been named the Responsible Retailer of the Year. Why? They’ve started a ‘shwopping’ revolution.
Every year, one in four clothing items sold in the UK gets sent to a landfill. That’s $1 billion items every year, with 20% of Britons saying they’ve thrown out clothing items after just one use. That’s over £91 million in functional, usable clothing getting trashed each year.
In an effort to put a stop to this, M&S has dedicated itself to getting one garment back for each garment sold—around 350 million annually. Their plan? They’re encouraging shoppers to become ‘shwoppers’ by donating old clothing when purchasing new clothing at select M&S stores.
The clothing that gets donated is being passed on to Oxfam. Some of the donated clothing is also going toward making new high-fashion garments out of recycled materials, which M&S hopes will help promote sustainability in fashion.
Actress Joanne Lumley is the brand ambassador for M&S, and is actively campaigning for the new program. Since its start, over a million items have been donated. Several apps have been developed to help ‘shwoppers’ participate actively, socially, and easily, and lets them register for monthly prize drawings.
The program gives customers a way to be sustainable themselves, and also be a part of the larger M&S campaign. In a society where going green and being more sustainable is growing in popularity and necessity, Marks and Spencer has taken a daring step in the right direction.