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Clothes Shwopping Initiative Launched in UK

Marks & Spencer, the UK’s largest clothing retailer is - for the first time - asking the public to donate their unwanted clothing, through the trial of a free postal donation service, in partnership with Oxfam.

Pile of old jeans

According to their research, UK homes contain an estimated 1.6 billion items of unworn clothing, which could be re-used or recycled. The research also discovered that one third of population don’t know what to do with their old garments.

To tackle the problem, M & S is trialling a free postal donation service, with Oxfam. Anyone who wishes can now order pre-paid bags from the charity’s website.

Couriers will then pick the garments up and send them to Oxfam to be resold, reused or recycled. Essentially, unloved or no longer required clothing becomes a charitable donation.

“Whether it is wearable or unwearable - we want it all,” said Katharine Beacham, head of sustainability at M&S. The program is an extension of the retailer's shwopping programme that originally focused on school uniforms.

Lorna Fallon, trading director at Oxfam, added: “By recirculating our clothes, and buying and wearing secondhand, we can help to reduce the demand for new clothes, which could in turn help to reduce the damage to our planet.”

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