M&S launches postal donation service for second-hand clothing

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has partnered with Oxfam to launch a new postal donation service for second-hand clothing.

In a new trial, consumers can donate clothing which is torn, stained, faded or stretched via the retailer’s online postal service.

The items will go to an automated sorting facility which will recycle the fabric into new textiles and garments in the future.

The trial is being funded by the retailer’s Plan A Accelerator fund, which was launched earlier this month as part of M&S’s plans to become net zero across all its operations by 2040.

According to research by charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), UK homes contain around 1.6 billion items of unworn clothing which could be re-used or recycled. But roughly a third of people do not know what to do with unwearable clothing and often dispose of it in their household waste bin.

Consumers can use the service to donate any item of used clothing from any retailer, as well as soft furnishings textile waste such as bed linen, towels, cushions, tablecloths, and tea towels.

The trial forms part of the ‘ACT Project’ which is being led by the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT). It aims to create a circular system for recycling clothing in the UK to reduce the amount of textile waste which ends up in landfill.

“At M&S, we’re focused on making good quality, durable products which are made to last” said Katharine Beacham, head of materials, sustainability and packaging at M&S. “In 2008, we launched Shwopping to support customers to give a second home to their preloved clothing, and we’re now expanding our partnership with Oxfam to trial a free postal service which enables customers to clear out their pre-loved clothing that they no longer need.”



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