1. ITV Report

Joanna Lumley backs 'shwopping' campaign

Joanna Lumley supports "shwopping" Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Actress Joanna Lumley is today launching a new campaign with Marks & Spencer to reduce clothing waste through "shwopping".

An amalgamation of the words "shopping" and "swapping", the concept of shwopping is that shoppers donate unwanted garments of clothing when they buy news ones at M&S stores.

M&S believes unwanted clothes should have a future: they should be put to good use, not just thrown out. It is therefore asking its customers to shwop – give an unwanted piece of clothing every time they buy a new one.

– M&S statement

The campaign, in partnership with Oxfam, aims to emphasise the value of unwanted garments and encourage consumers to consider alternative uses for the one billion garments thrown away every year in the UK.

The donated clothes will be resold, reused or recycled with the money going to help people living in poverty. The ultimate aim of the campaign is to recycle as many clothes as M&S sells - 350 million a year.

Lumley, who is to be the retailer's new worldwide ambassador for its Plan A environmental and ethical programme, said: "I'm really excited to be working with M&S and have long admired Plan A. Their latest initiative, shwopping, is all about getting customers to recycle unwanted clothes every time they shop at M&S."

Joanna Lumley poses in a street transformed using 10,000 items of discarded clothing in Brick Lane, east London Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

We're asking people to open their hearts, their minds and their wardrobes. Remember we used to just throw away plastic bottles. Now we recycle them without even thinking about it. We need to do the same with clothing. Bring in something old; buy something new. Swap and shop. It's that simple.

– Joanna Lumley

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: "We're leading a change in the way we all shop for clothing, forever.

"The ultimate goal is simple - to put a complete stop to clothes ending up in landfill."