M&S Launches First Pre-Loved Back-to-School Uniform Shop in Partnership With Oxfam and Ebay

Marks & Spencer has announced it is extending its long-standing Shwopping scheme with the roll-out of dedicated school uniform Shwop boxes in over 200 of its stores across the UK.

Collaboration for change

Through the new M&S Back-to-School Shwopping boxes, donated pre-loved school uniform – which passes the hand-me-down quality test – will be given a second life in an Oxfam shop and, for the first time, made available on a dedicated pre-loved school uniform shop on eBay.

By partnering with eBay, M&S and Oxfam hope the pilot shop will mean even more families can access affordable, great quality school uniform – no matter where they live or how they choose to shop.

Every school uniform sale – whether through Oxfam’s shops or via the eBay shop – will raise funds to support the vital work the charity does to tackle poverty and inequality around the world, including supporting communities on the front line of climate change. Any school uniform that can’t be resold in Oxfam shops or on eBay will be recycled or reused wherever possible.

Hand-me-down quality at trusted value

As the market-leader in school uniform – selling nearly seven million pieces of school uniform a year – M&S understands that it is an essential purchase for millions of families every year.

Customers trust M&S to offer true value for money and create products which don’t cost the earth.  That’s why it has protected the price on school uniform for a third year in a row – without compromising on the ‘hand-me-down’ quality M&S is known for. Made with care – utilising recycled materials or sustainable alternatives – M&S school uniform features stain resistant materials and adjustable hems and waistbands that grow with the child – to ensure that even when it’s outgrown, it’s too good to waste – making it ideal for resale or recycling.

As a special thank you for Shwopping school uniform, Sparks customers will receive 20% off selected kids clothing at M&S*.

Driving the Circular Economy

M&S has been sourcing and making products that are too good to waste since its very beginning – and driving the circular economy remains a key pillar of Plan A – M&S’ sustainability programme.

Since launching Shwopping in 2008, M&S has collected over 36 million items which has contributed an estimated £23 million to Oxfam’s vital work across the world. Today, the latest insight from M&S’ Family Matters Index highlights that 60% of families continue to be worried about environmental damage on future generations and 44% are looking to make their clothing last longer. The Back-to-School Shwopping scheme is the latest initiative from M&S as it continues to support its customers to live lower carbon lifestyles.

Alexandra Dimitriu, Kidswear Director at M&S, commented: “At M&S, our clothing is too good to waste. Made with care and with innovative design features, our school uniform is super durable to ensure whatever your kids get up to on the playground, it can last the test of time. We know our customers frequently hand down our school uniform to friends and family and this season, we’re encouraging them to drop school uniform which they no longer need into one of our new Shwopping boxes where it will be resold in Oxfam shops and through our exciting pilot shop with eBay. It’s one of the many ways we’re trying to make our best-in-class school uniform accessible to all families, however and whenever they choose to shop.”

Lorna Fallon, Oxfam’s Retail Director, commented: “The Back-to-School Shwopping scheme is a win-win initiative and a simple way for shoppers to make a huge difference. Donating pre-loved school uniforms through the scheme is not only better for the environment, since it gives garments a longer lifecycle, it also raises funds for Oxfam’s life-saving work, and it helps parents here in the UK who may be struggling with the cost of kitting their children out for school.”

Lucy Peacock, Head of Pre-Loved Fashion at eBay UK, commented: “Every parent should be able to have access to a school uniform for their child at any age which is good quality and fit for purpose. The cost-of-living crisis has created greater education poverty and an ever-increasing need for school uniforms. Together with M&S and Oxfam, we are proud to be able to pilot an e-commerce solution to help parents get access to pre-loved school uniforms across all corners of the UK.”

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