Bloomberg News

Marks & Spencer to Accept Secondhand Clothes to Recycle

April 26, 2012

Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS) said it will accept secondhand clothes at U.K. outlets to be resold, recycled into other fabrics or reused overseas by the Oxfam charity in a bid to cut waste.

Items will be accepted in all Marks & Spencer stores except Simply Food, the London-based retailer said in a statement today. Each store will have at least two cardboard donation boxes. The retailer aims to recycle 350 million items a year in the initiative it calls “shwopping.”

“We want to get back one garment for every one we sell,” Chief Executive Officer Marc Bolland said in the statement. “It is a big number, but with our customers’ help, we will do it.”

The items will be given to Oxfam, which will resell them in its 700 stores, reuse them in international markets including Africa and eastern Europe, or recycle the clothing into fabrics or materials like building insulation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at

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