Top of the Shwops

A huge thank you to all staff and students who donated clothes in last week’s Shwop at Work initiative.

Marketing Director Martin Holmes Shwopping in the Ziff Building

Martin Holmes Shwopping at work

Across the four Shwopping events to have taken place at the University to date, M&S have managed to collect 225 bags of used clothing; that’s an estimated 6,975 garments in total. This is an absolutely fantastic result and means the University remain top of the Shwopping leader board once again!

Oxfam will now sort the clothing and turn your donations into cash to fund their work fighting poverty. Any clothes that Oxfam do not sell in their shops will be reused or recycled. For example, some clothing may go to Frip Ethique, a social enterprise project in Senegal providing employment for disadvantaged women, whilst other items could be turned into mattress stuffing or car seat filling.

The money raised will go towards helping a range of Oxfam projects, such as developing a backyard and rooftop gardens in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, still recovering following the devastating earthquake of 2010. Oxfam is supporting local communities to grow food in backyards and rooftop gardens, using new, practical, low-cost farming techniques to help families produce nutritious food for themselves.

Marie Thérèse Celestin, 68, is part of the community involved and became interested in Oxfam’s project after her sister received help to grow vegetables in old tyres filled with soil and buckets in her backyard. “My sister grew lots of vegetables; I would like to do what she did: grow spinach and kazoos, protect them against pests and keep them away from goats and children. I want to sell some and use the money to restart my old business.”

Martin Holmes, the University’s Marketing Director said:

“Our strategic partnership with M&S is growing across a number of collaborative research and engagement projects, and is also reaching out to students, staff and wider community via initiatives such as Shwopping. This is a great example of how one of the University’s strategic partnerships can help us to achieve more, as both M&S and the University have deep-rooted commitments to community engagement and embedding sustainability into day to day operations. Special thanks go to all the Shwopping volunteers as well as partnership support colleagues, Sustainability and Facilities teams who helped ensure the event ran smoothly”.

The M&S 'Plan A' scheme aims to make M&S the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015 - underpinned by an understanding of the importance of communities and of the implications of prolific consumption. Whilst the University’s Communities and Partnerships team and Outreach activity build community relations and continue to develop projects that will make a difference to the local community.

Find out more about the M&S and University’s strategic partnership here.

For further information about M&S’ Plan A sustainability strategy and Shwopping, visit the M&S website.

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