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At M&S, quality is at the heart of everything we do – especially when it comes to sourcing and making our products. We know our customers want to do the right thing when they’re shopping, choosing products that are good for them, the planet and the people who make them.  

As an own-brand retailer, we are uniquely positioned to work in partnership with our trusted suppliers to innovate to find new and better ways of doing things – whether that’s making choices that help reduce emissions, cut waste, improve workers’ lives, source more responsibly or prioritise animal welfare.  

We cannot do it alone – alongside our trusted partners, we need to work together as colleagues and inspire customers to play their part too. We want to invite our customers to look a bit deeper and to think about how the M&S products they buy were made. 

That’s why we’re inviting customers to look behind the label and discover the sustainability stories behind our products, giving them the power to make good choices.      

Product Standards 

As one of the most trusted brands on the high street, we have a responsibility to reassure our customers and key stakeholders that our products are safe and sourced with integrity. To do this, we must look beyond our operations to the wider supply chain, where the biggest impacts occur.  

Our comprehensive policies, Codes of Practice and guidelines set out our minimum requirements for suppliers to adhere to in order for us to meet our commitment to customers to deliver products that are safe, legal, high quality and produced with integrity.

Our technical requirements are expected to be fully understood at a senior management level and communicated to all staff involved in producing our products.   

Find out more about our approach to product standards in foods and clothing & home, to human rights and our supply chainshealth and wellbeing, animal welfare across foods and clothing & home and eating sustainably.

Inviting customers to look behind the label 

This autumn marks the return of look behind the label, which brings to life the action we’re taking to do right by the planet. Our customers have told us that climate action can often feel overwhelming. They want to do the right thing when they’re shopping, but sometimes it’s confusing and hard to know where to start. 

We want to share the stories behind our products with customers to give them the power to make the right choices. Initially, launching with a focus on climate, customers will be able to look behind the M&S label on the new M&S look behind the label hub.

Initially we are focusing on the stories behind five every-day products - from coffee to cotton - that are responsibly sourced, bringing to life the work M&S is doing behind the scenes to protect the planet and reduce our impact on climate change. Our first stories include:

  • How we’re helping our coffee farmers adapt to environmental challenges with Fairtrade
  • How our denim is made with less water in the finishing process.
  • How 100% of the cotton in our clothing is sourced responsibly
  • How customers can eat delicious plant-based proteins with Plant Kitchen
  • How the electricity from M&S Energy is 100% renewable.

5 Iconic products
DenimPlant KitchenCottonCoffeeM&S Energy

The hub also sets out the everyday actions that customers can take to help reduce their carbon footprint:  

  1. Start a conversation on climate change. Change starts with conversation, so we’ve partnered with Reboot the Future to develop resources to help customers have conversations with their families about climate change. 

  2. Shwopping pre-loved clothes. We’re re-launching Shwopping, with a free treat every time you Shwop for Sparks customers – so that M&S and our customers can make sure less clothes go to landfill.
  3. Reducing food waste. We’ll help customers reduce food waste in their homes with a Sparks Live event full of tips, tricks and recipes. 

We want to show that change is possible – that by taking action, individually and collectively, we can make a difference.  

Our aim is to make sustainability accessible and relevant to our everyday lives. We know people look for differing levels of information. Some customers want to know the headlines, while others want to dig into the detail. For those who want to know more, we will be transparently sharing our policies, standards and practices through QR codes and this website. 

This is just the start. Over time, we will be sharing more stories across our full ESG programme - from our leading animal welfare standards to our community impact - in turn making it easier for customers to make the right choices.