Shwopping: Joanna's trip to Senegal
One year on since Joanna Lumley launched our Shwopping campaign, we visited Senegal with her to find out what happens to your clothing donations. So far, you've brought in 3.6 million garments for us to give to Oxfam. These are worth £2.2 million for their vital work helping people living in poverty. Watch our film to find out how your unwanted clothes have made a real difference to people's lives.
Follow Joanna's journey below and find out more about the projects your clothing donations are helping to support.
Rice project - Saint Louis
Rice is a staple food in Senegal with most families eating it at least once a day. Currently 80% is imported from Asia, affecting demand for locally grown rice and threatening the livelihoods of local farmers. This project focuses on building the abilities of farmers, particularly women. Oxfam started working with farmers in this region in 2009 after a period of severe flooding and cold weather. More than 100,000 people were affected; their homes damaged by the torrential rains, their crops, livestock and seed stores lost.
Humanitarian Project (Pikine, Dakar)
Pikine is a low-lying suburb just outside Senegal's capital Dakar. During the rainy seasons, this area floods regularly and Oxfam works to improve hygiene and access to sanitation for those affected. This includes distribution of hygiene kits, pumping rainwater, rubbish removal, repairing toilets and drinking water supply. Joanna met with a number of families to hear how the work carried out by Oxfam is improving their lives.
In the last year, 200,000 people were affected by severe flooding in this region, including these children who excitedly accompanied Joanna as she walked through the small streets meeting their families.
Frip Ethique - Sorting Centre - Dakar
Oxfam has always tried to maximise the value raised from the clothing that could not be sold through its high street shops. Frip Ethique is a social enterprise run by Oxfam to provide work for disadvantaged women sorting and selling second hand clothing.
Joanna (above) looking at some of the clothes that are being sorted and will go on to be sold in the local market
Frip Ethique provides employment to over 40 people, who earn above average wages and are able to subsequently support their wider families.
Frip Ethique sales office / Clothing Markets - Dakar
Once the clothes have been sorted and baled at the sorting centre they are sent across town to the Frip Ethique sales office run by two saleswomen who sell the sorted clothes on to the local traders.
The final stage of the journey was at a local market where Joanna met with market traders who sell on the second hand clothing they've bought from Frip Ethique. This is where your clothing donations could end up after a long journey from your local M&S store, through Oxfam's shops and Oxfam Wastesaver sorting centre and then on to Senegal to start a new life, helping fight poverty every step of the way.
Find out more about shwopping here.