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For the second year running, M&S is taking part in Resource, the largest free circular economy event in the UK. Our presence at the event shows our seriousness about bringing the principles of circular economy into our business, and follows our Plan A commitment to complete a detailed review of circular economy opportunities across all parts of our business by 2016. 

Resource is a great platform to share not only our success, but also our challenges, and get input from a wider field of expertise. 

Here is a rundown of M&S’ presence at Resource: 

  • Mike Barry, M&S Director of Plan A, will be speaking in the thought leadership session, Think Circular, about ‘The profit opportunity in a circular economy’ (#ThinkCircular theatre, Tues 3rd March, 11.00 -11.45 am)
  • Alexandra Florea (M&S Shwopping Delivery Manager)  and Gary Henry (M&S Corporate Relationship Manager at Oxfam) will present a case study on Shwopping and how we made our partnership with Oxfam so successful (#LivingCircular theatre, Tues 3rd March, 12.15-12.45 pm)
  • Carmel Mcquaid (M&S Head of Sustainability), Rachel Mellows (M&S Sustainable Store Design Manager) and Alexandra Florea will be hosting a workshop on ‘The M&S Circular Economy Challenge’ (Workshop Room 2, Tues 3rd March, 13.00-14.00).  

The workshop will provide an opportunity for other participants to get involved, as  we will be discussing two specific topics - benchmarking for sustainable shop fit and reverse logistics for garment recycling. We have published these challenges in advance on the Resource website.  

We want to bring the best submissions into the workshop for an open discussion, and get the audience talking and sharing ideas on how to solve these challenges. The owners of the chosen ideas will present them to M&S specialists and the rest of the audience.  We want this to be a conversation that will not only contribute to M&S future strategy, but will also generate outputs applicable to retail business models in general. 

The challenges we put forward are: 

1. What does ‘good’ shop fit look like? 

  • What are the qualities and associated benchmarks that should be measured? Do we need a common sustainability framework?
  • What tools and services exist for the supply chain/client to measure, improve, report, verify and certify performance against these metrics?
  • How can circular economy principles be applied to the design process considering cost, time and scale challenges? 

2. Reverse logistics for Shwopping 

  • How can customers return shwopped garments at their convenience, using existing M&S logistics routes?
  • What pooling options are practical?
  • The potential for peer to peer channels 

If you would like to submit an idea to be discussed in the workshop, please follow this link. If you would like to register to attend our other events, please click here.

Looking forward to seeing you at Resource 2015!

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