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Marks and Spencer to reward customers donating used clothes in Shwopping scheme

By Rachel Douglass

4 Jan 2022

Business

Image: Marks and Spencer

As part of the retailer’s Plan A sustainability programme, Marks and Spencer is calling on customers to donate their used clothing to Oxfam via its recently refreshed Shwopping scheme.

According to the department store, a recent survey of its customers revealed a significant 65 percent were planning to sort and clear out their wardrobe for the new year. The new reward system looks to encourage customers to donate their clothing through its Sparks loyalty scheme, allowing them to drop donations off at Marks and Spencer stores. In return, donors will receive exclusive rewards in the Sparks hub.

The retailer has asked customers to donate good quality, clean clothing that Oxfam can sell in its stores, to raise money for the charity’s work in fighting poverty.

“We know our customers are busy and we’re passionate about helping them live lower carbon lives by offering simple solutions that make it easy,” said Carmel McQuaid, head of sustainable business for Marks and Spencer, in a release. “Reselling, reusing and recycling clothing is a simple way that we can all make a difference and our long-standing Shwopping scheme with Oxfam is a brilliant programme that rewards customers for doing their bit.”

Marks and Spencer’s Plan A strategy

The Shwopping scheme was launched by the retailer in 2008 and has since been responsible for over 35 million items donated to Oxfam, reportedly raising around 23 million pounds. Donations are sent to Oxfam’s recycling plant, Wastesaver, to be sorted, with damaged items sold to recycling traders so nothing goes to waste.

The scheme was launched as part of its Plan A sustainability strategy, which saw a refresh in September 2021. Initiatives launched through the plan, including Shwopping with the new rewards addition, look to boost the retailer’s sustainable commitments.

A recent initiative involved the launch of a clothing rental trail with the online rental platform, Hire Street. An additional ongoing campaign, Look Behind the Label, also allows customers to be involved in the conversation to drive carbon reduction. Through the retailer’s platform, customers can learn more about Marks and Spencer’s initiatives, such as its cotton commitment.

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