M&S Director launches Shwopping on campus


University of Leeds partner Marks and Spencer has launched its Shwopping campaign during a visit by Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business.

In partnership with the University, M&S will make recycling clothes easier for staff and students by placing clothes recycling boxes called Shwop Drops on campus. M&S then work with Oxfam to re-sell, re-use or recycle the clothing, raising funds for its work to alleviate poverty around the world.

Mr Gillies visited the University to deliver a lecture to students, staff and local businesses on the success of the M&S eco and ethical programme, Plan A, as part of the Make your Mark networking series.

He spoke about how Plan A is applied to new Marks and Spencer stores, including its new Sustainable Learning shops. He also explored how innovative commitments such as ‘Shwopping’ and ‘Plan A Champions’ in store are helping M&S customers and employees play their part in building sustainability into the core of the business.

“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,” said Dr Louise Ellis, Head of Sustainability at the University.

"Our customers want Shwopping to be as easy as possible, and so the offices and workplaces initiative aims to do just that. This is a great way for the University to engage with employees and students, as well as improving sustainability credentials, so I am delighted to launch Shwopping in conjunction with the University of Leeds," said Richard Gillies.

The Shwop at Work event will take place on Friday 15 March 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 Kirkgate Market to the present day and contains more than 70,000 historical items.

Further information

Contact the University press office on pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk.  Information on the M&S Company Archive, including visiting its exhibition, is available at http://marksintime.marksandspencer.com/