Department store Marks&Spencers and textile charity Oxfam team up to launch UK’s biggest clothing recycling campaign to encourage consumers to recycle their clothes. ‘M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange’ is designed to raise money for Oxfam’s work to tackle poverty and injustice and to reduce the one million tonnes of clothing sent by the public to landfill in the UK each year. As part of the M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange, customers making a donation of M&S clothes to Oxfam will receive a voucher worth £5, valid for one month, to use with their next purchase of £35 or more on clothing, homeware or beauty products at M&S. The Exchange will be trialled for six months and reviewed on an ongoing basis, and from 28th January vouchers will be given out in exchange for M&S clothes in Oxfam’s 790 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Sir Stuart Rose, Chief Executive, Marks & Spencer said: “We are pleased that we have teamed up with Oxfam, the UK’s biggest charity shop to help customers to raise money for developing countries by recycling their clothes they no longer need. It’s a triple win – it’s good for customers, good for people in developing countries and good for the environment.” Oxfam sees this partnership as an enormous opportunity to make a real difference to global poverty.

This announcement forms part of M&S’ first anniversary update on Plan A. The eco plan sets out M&S’ 100 ‘eco-targets’ for the next five years, including aiming to become carbon neutral and send no waste to landfill. So far M&S managed to motivate their customers to wash their clothes at a lower temperature in response to their ‘Wash at 30’ campaign, saving an estimated 25,000 tonnes of CO2. The usage of plastic food carrier bags went down with 66% in M&S stores in Northern Ireland, where they trialled charging for carriers. Across their entire business M&S saw an 11% reduction in customer usage of food carrier bags. M&S also improved on CO2 reductions, removed artificial colours from their food and promoted organic and Fairtrade certified food over artificial food.

The M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange will raise more money for Oxfam to help people escape poverty around the world. This includes dealing with issues in more than 70 countries, ranging from campaigning against unfair trade rules that keep developing countries in poverty, to providing tools, seeds and skills to poor farmers.

Image: Marks & Spencer Archive


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