M&S launched its first ever charity pop-up Shwop shop at its Marble Arch branch last week, as a part of its ongoing ‘Shwopping’ collaboration with Oxfam.
Since teaming up together last April, M&S and Oxfam’s Shwopping campaign has gone from strength to strength, giving unwanted garments a future and changing shopping attitudes towards second hand clothing. With almost 500,000 tonnes of items of clothing going to landfill every year, the campaign wants us to move away from ‘disposable’ fashion and have start having a positive sustainable approach to recycling old or unwanted clothes.
In essence, the Shwopping philosophy is very simple. Shoppers are encouraged to bring old or unwanted clothes into M&S stores every time they come in to buy something new. All donations then go to Oxfam who will either resell them in one of their shops or on their website, forward them on to be reused in the Third World, or recycle them into new materials and new clothes. Nothing goes to landfill or waste.
The two-day Shwopping extravaganza at Marble Arch was hugely successful in raising awareness about the Shwopping campaign whilst offering customers the opportunity to own one-of-a-kind quality garments. Over 40 celebrities, including top british style icons Alexa Chung and Daisy Lowe, donated items to the cause and M&S offered its unique collection of vintage pieces charting their story as a high street retailer, from the launch of its St. Michael collection in 1928 to the present day. The shop was staffed by a whole host of famous faces including shwopping guru Joanna Lumley, who said:
‘By going Shwopping, you can not only bag an outfit worn on the red carpet or to a glitzy awards evening, but help the environment too. Fashion with a conscience, it is perfect isn’t it?’
All the money raised by the Shwopping initiative will help fund Oxfam projects around the world and help alleviate poverty. So far, over 2.8 million garments have been donated, raising an incredible £1.8 million for Oxfam.