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Big Society Awards

M&S was delighted to be recognised by the Prime Minister in the Big Society Awards for its clothing recycling initiative shwopping. The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010. The aim is to acknowledge individuals and organisations across the UK that demonstrates the Big Society in their work or activities. In so doing, the aim is also to galvanise others to follow.

Shwopping aims to reduce the volume of clothes that are thrown away to landfill, reducing the environmental impact, whilst supporting Oxfam’s many good causes. Customers can bring into M&S stores unwanted pieces of clothing, and put them in bins known as ‘Shwop Drops’. The clothes are then given to Oxfam to re-use, recycle or re-sell.

Since April last year:

  • 4 million items have been Shwopped in over 400 M&S and Oxfam stores
  • Shwopping has helped Oxfam raise £2.3 million
  • Over 25 companies across the capital have taken part in the 'Shwop at Work' scheme

Commenting on the award Prime Minister, David Cameron said:

“This scheme shows how a simple and innovative idea can inspire people, making it easy for them to make a contribution to their community and the wider world. Congratulations to M&S, Oxfam and all those that have contributed to the incredible 11 million items “shwopped” so far. It’s brilliant to see business, charity and people across the country coming together to make a real difference - a great example of the Big Society.”