M&S launch ‘Shwop at Work” at University of Leeds

Marks & Spencer has extend its “Shwopping” campaign in Leeds by launching Shwop at Work at the University of Leeds – home to the M&S Company Archive.

Richard Gillies, M&S Director, Plan A, CSR and Sustainable Business, launched the campaign in partnership with the University, making recycling clothes easy for employees and students by placing Shwop Drops – clothes recycling boxes – on the campus.

To coincide with the launch, M&S revealed the success behind its eco and ethical programme, Plan A, to University of Leeds delegates and local businesses.

Mr Gillies was speaking as part of the successful Make your Mark Networking series showcasing how Plan A is applied to M&S new builds, including its new Sustainable Learning stores. He also explored how innovative commitments such as ‘Shwopping’ and store ‘Plan A Champions’ are helping M&S customers and employees play their part in building sustainability into the core of the business.

Mr Gillies said:

We want to make Shwopping as easy as possible for our customers and the Shwop at Work initiatives aims to do just that. It is a simple and fun way for the University to engage its staff and students and reinforces the University’s own sustainability credentials. I am delighted to launch Shwop at Work in conjunction with the University of Leeds.

Dr Louise Ellis, Head of Sustainability at the University of Leeds, said:

The launch of Marks and Spencer’s Shwopping scheme at the University of Leeds will provide further momentum to our sustainability work. As well as recycling large amounts of our waste and reducing our energy consumption, researchers and students on campus are working to find new sources of energy, change how the world uses its water resources and develop sustainable ways to operate.

M&S is working in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) on Shwop at Work to actively promote it to its 850 member companies and the 3,800 members of BITC’s May Day Network.

BITC’s 850 member companies have 17.8 million employees, meaning that if every one of them shwopped six items of clothing, over 100 million garments would be recycled with Oxfam.

The Shwop at Work event will take place on Friday 15 March in Leeds to coincide with the one year anniversary of the opening of the M&S Company Archive. The collection, which was unveiled at the University of Leeds Michael Marks Building in March 2012, details the history of the development of the world famous retail chain from its roots in the Market to the present day and contains more than 70,000 historical items.

Any interested companies should contact plana@marks-and-spencer.com. For more information on shwopping go to www.marksandspencer.com/shwop.

Richard Gillies, M&S Director, Plan A with Louise Ellis, Head of Sustainability at the University of Leeds

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