Record Numbers Swap Clothes as Part of M&S and Oxfam’s Latest Shwopping Event


Swishing/swapping parties have taken off big time over the last couple of years. Giving the opportunity for people to swap clothes that they don’t wear for clothes that they do is a fab idea. It’s sustainable and quite often totally free (although some parties might charge an entry fee, often donated to charity). What’s more, if you took part in one of the recent Shwopping events by Marks and Spencer’s and Oxfam, you will have received a £5 M&S voucher, amazing!

The One Day Wardrobe Clear Out was held on Thursday 9th May and asked customers to help ease the landfill burden by bringing their unwanted clothes into M&S to swap for pieces donated by other customers. 435,000 used and unwanted items were shwopped over 12 hours – the equivalent of 604 items a minute.

The event, as part of M&S and Oxfam’s sustainable fashion initiative Shwopping, will see every item left donated go on to be re-sold or recycled by the charity, cutting waste and raising much-needed funds in its fight against global poverty. The record number of items shwopped will raise an estimated £504,600 for Oxfam.

Adam Elman, Head of Marks & Spencer’s Plan A Delivery, said:
“It’s amazing to see so many people taking part and shwopping their clothes to support Oxfam. 435,000 clothes donated is a fantastic achievement; this is by far the most successful clothes-recycling event we have ever had! It doesn’t stop here, with over 1 billion items sent to landfill each year in the UK, we hope that customers will continue to adopt a ‘buy one, give one back’ culture when they shop and help us to build a more sustainable future.”

Since its launch in April last year, Oxfam has received over 4.3 million items of clothing thanks to Shwopping, worth over £2.8 million for the charity. All money raised by Shwopping, fronted by Joanna Lumley, is used to support Oxfam’s projects around the world. Don’t forget to check out the Oxfam Fashion blog and remember you can shop for Oxfam pieces online.

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Southampton University Clothes Swap #SotonSwap

I was really excited when I was asked to get involved with the very first campus –wide clothes swishing event at the University of Southampton. Following on from last year’s successful Soton Blackout comes the Soton Swap Shop, or #sotonswap, an initiative from the University of Southampton’s Green Academy team.

Swap Shop Stall

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how a clothes swap works, but involving all staff and students, this particular one is going to be BIG (we hope). It is being held in the Student Union on Thursday 14th March. People will be able to drop off their unwanted clothes and accessories (men’s, women’s, kid’s and fancy dress) during the morning in exchange for tokens, and come back in the afternoon to swap! The Swap Shop will be open for sales for the last hour, for those who want super cheap clothes but don’t have anything to swap.

Swap Shop Stand

As part of Ethics Week today we had a stall at the entrance to the SU with lots going on. Passers-by could:
• Sign up to receive email updates on the Swap Shop
• Calculate their slavery footprint (do it for yourself at
• Find out the background of how fashion favourites were made – my leather shoes, sequin skirt and distressed-effect jeans)
• Pick up a flyer for the Ethical Fashion Futures conference.

With thousands of students and staff on campus every day, it makes sense to run such an event to let us swap clothes in a free and sustainable way. Will it be a success? I’m sure it will, and if it is perhaps other Universities can roll out something similar across their institutions.

*Photos were taken on my phone so aren’t great quality

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