Retail giant Marks & Spencer have recently announced that they are going to be launching a clothes recycling campaign. This has just been officially launched by Joanna Lumley and it has been called Shwopping.

It is estimated that in the entire country around 10,000 items of clothes are put into landfill every five minutes. In order to demonstrate how wasteful this is, the company recently hired an entire street in east London in order to demonstrate. They filled the street with 10,000 items of clothes and it was really a remarkable sight.

Ms Lumley is also working as the ethical ambassador for Marks & Spencer and she has commented, “It is a real delight to be able to be working with this company on their new initiative. I think is very important that people stop throwing clothes away as it is wasteful, and harmful to the environment. This campaign being run by Marks & Spencer’s is a big move for the company and it is a bold and exciting campaign.”

People are being encouraged by the company to open up their minds to the idea recycling their old clothes. Recycling is something that has become increasingly popular as pressure is mounting on people to do something about the damage we are causing to our environments.

M&S are hoping that the campaign will start a new idea on the UK high Street where people will see giving away things as being as important as buying new things. They hope that when people come into the store they will give away one item when they purchase something new. It is hoped that this is something that will be adopted by other retailers and encourage a whole new recycling movement on the high street.

It is not just the swap idea that is being extolled by Marks & Spencer, as Joanna Lumley has also been posing with a recycled item from M&S, an umbrella. As part of the scheme all Marks & Spencer stores are going to be accepting donations of unwanted clothing. This clothing does not have to be from Marks & Spencer originally and all of the clothes that are donated to the company are going to be recycled, resold, or reused in some other way by the partner for their campaign, the popular charity, Oxfam.

Oxfam are a charity that raise money for people living in poverty, and this is what the money from the closures going to do. The company have also made a pledge that none of the clothes that are donated are going to be given to landfill, and a 100 percent recycling rate is going to be pursued.

The chief executive of Marks & Spencer is Marc Bolland and he has commented, “We hope that this initiative is powerful enough to change how people shop in the UK forever. We want clothes to stop ending up in landfill when someone is done with them, and for the clothes to be given a second life.”

Data is going to be collected very accurately for the campaign and a special application for Facebook is going to advise users how many clothes have been recycled as part of the scheme at their local Marks & Spencer.

This is the fourth year the Marks & Spencer have been working with Oxfam and since 2008 the company have conducted many initiatives with the charity. For example, at the beginning of the partnership they launched the Oxfam Clothes Exchange. This was an initiative that allowed people to get a voucher for five pounds off anything in Marks & Spencer if they donated their disuse clothes to Oxfam, overall it has been an incredible success.

By Alan