Going green with your shopping is something that I am sure some of us can find very hard. Where to shop? How will shopping or donating to certain shops benefit me or someone else? Well, I’ve found a couple of brands that are doing some amazing things with recycling and sustainability so you don’t feel so guilty when finding that perfect pair of jeans.
So something I found out recently that Marks and Spencer have set up is Shwopping. Which they say is “Shwopping ordinary clothes made extraordinary”. The concept of it is really quite amazing. It is in partnership with Oxfam and you basically take some of your old clothes, that you may usually just throw in the bin, to their Shwop bins in any of their stores when you go in and make a purchase, and if you are a sparks card holder you gain 50 points every time you Shwop. All clothes will go to Oxfam and are either resold with Oxfam in store or online. Alternatively, the material will be recycled and go into making things such as mattress filling. It also works vice versa with Oxfam. If you donate any Marks and Spencer clothing into their Shwop boxes, Oxfam will reward you with a £5 Marks and Spencer voucher. You really cant go wrong with Shwopping. It would certainly be a good idea for other brands to link up with charities to do this kind of thing. Less waste in landfills and a bonus for you.
Another brand that I know is very cautious about sustainability is H&M. They do not have any factories in any of the third world countries they use to make their clothing. They also make sure that they are a wholly sustainable company; this is not done just by using organic cotton. They make sure that their suppliers know the strict regulations they have when it comes to sustainability, with both social and environmental regulations. As well as having very high guidelines through out the company to be able to stay sustainable, H&M have a recycling initiative too. They state on their website “We believe fashion is far too precious to end up in landfills. That is why in 2013, we launched our garment collecting initiative worldwide. You can drop off your unwanted garments - no matter what brand and what condition - in all our H&M stores across the globe.” They have partnered up with I:CO who collects their clothing and then decides between 3 processes, Re-wear (clothing that is in a good condition can be worn again), Reuse (clothing that may not be able to be worn again can be used for things such a dusters for cleaning) and Recycle (clothing that can be recycled into textile fibers again and be used for other products). H&M have also partnered up with The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, who are currently looking into and developing technologies that allow us to use clothes made of blended textiles and create new clothes. Although with H&M you don’t gain as much back as a shopper as you do with Marks and Spencer, however if you are a real fashion lover like myself, its comforting to know that your loved clothing that you may not fit into or necessarily wear anymore is going towards a good cause. Unlike Marks and Spencer, you can take ant labeled item of old clothing into H&M for recycling. I have a rule, if I haven’t worn it in the last 2 years it’s a gone, and I always make sure I donate to causes such as H&M or any other charity.
If you know of any other fashion brands that are doing something similar to Marks and Spencer or H&M, I would love to hear about it, pop it in the comments below.