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Marks & Spencer UK And Oxfam To Trial Clothing Postal Donation Service

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Marks & Spencer UK And Oxfam To Trial Clothing Postal Donation Service

Marks & Spencer is asking the public to donate clothes – both wearable and unwearable – through the trial of a free postal donation service in partnership with Oxfam.

It is estimated that UK homes contain 1.6 billion items of unworn clothing which have the potential to be re-used or recycled.

However, research carried out by M&S suggests that one third of UK residents don’t know what to do with clothes that cannot be re-worn.

In the same survey, 30% of consumers admitted to throwing unwearable clothes in their household waste bin.

In an effort to tackle the problem, consumers can post the unwearable clothes from the comfort of home by ordering a pre-paid donation bag from the Oxfam website.


The bag, which is made of 100% recycled plastic allows for preloved clothing to be separated into two groups – wearable and unwearable.

The bag can then be returned thought a local courier where they will go to Oxfam to be resold, reused, or recycled.

Wearable Vs. Unwearable

New research conducted for M&S found that 20% of consumers admit to being confused by what is meant by ‘wearable’ and ‘unwearable.’

Climate action NGO WRAP defines wearable clothing as clothes that are clean, dry, in good condition and ready to be worn by someone else.

It describes unwearable clothing as damaged in some way, such as torn, stained, faded or stretched.


To help customers decipher the difference, a how-to leaflet will be included in the bag issued by Oxfam and M&S.

‘Reduce The Demand For New Clothes’

Head of materials, sustainability and packaging at M&S Katharine Beacham commented on the 2008 launch of Shwopping to “give a second home” to preloved clothing.

Beacham said the new initiative aimed to expand the partnership with Oxfam and make returning clothes even easier.

She said, “Whether it’s wearable or unwearable – we want it all!”

Lorna Fallon, the trading director at Oxfam added, “We are so excited to be working with M&S as part of this brand-new trial.


“As well as continuing to encourage customers to donate their preloved, wearable clothing to Oxfam and help raise vital funds to tackle poverty around the world, this trial allows us to give unwanted clothes a second chance of life too.

“By recirculating our clothes, buying and wearing second-hand, we can help to reduce the demand for new clothes, which could in turn help to reduce the damage to our planet.”

Bags can be ordered on Oxfam’s website.

Read More: Marks & Spencer Secures Deal With Irish-Owned Milish Bakery

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