Schtop! M&S wants you to shwop instead of shop!
Marks & Spencer has launched a campaign to stop us all throwing our clothes in the bin. They are, of course, talking about women because men keep their clothes forever, until they look like a Burtons version of Huckleberry Finn.
M&S want customers to bring in unwanted garments whenever they buy a new one, to encourage something they're irritatingly calling "shwopping". Basically, it wants you to "buy one, give one" which means that old clothes will be resold, reused or recycled by its charity partner Oxfam. All those other, smaller charity shops can go whistle, obviously. Still, at least we can all dump our tatty old clothes on M&S now, and treat ourselves to a box of apple pies as celebration.
This scheme is part of the retailers Plan A programme and an expansion of a partnership with Oxfam which has seen more than 10 million items donated thus far. Donors handing old M&S clothing into Oxfam stores received a £5 M&S voucher. Did you know about this? You do now.
The new scheme won't be giving you any financial reward for dumping your old threads in the recycling bins by the tills in hundreds of M&S stores.
Of course, the smaller charity shops aren't best pleased. Cath Lee, chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition, said: "It's great to encourage recycling in this way, but it would be a great shame if an unintended consequence is that the shops of smaller, less well known charities receive fewer donations as a result. There is huge diversity amongst charities, and the smaller ones have an essential role to play in addressing local and specialist causes. They contribute an enormous amount to our communities. The smaller charities that have shops will be heavily reliant on the income from the donated goods sold, so it's important that people continue to give their unwanted clothes to their local shops in their high street."