Retailer Marks & Spencer today (26 April) launched a clothing recycling scheme called "Shwopping, which encourages customers to donate an unwanted piece of clothing when they buy a new one.

The retailer said it will accept unwanted clothing from any brand, all year round, with the garments then being resold, reused or recycled through Oxfam. The aim is to recycle as many clothes as it sells - 350m a year.

Actress Joanna Lumley has also been lined up as the worldwide ambassador of M&S's Plan A eco and ethical programme.

"We're leading a change in the way we all shop for clothing, forever," said CEO Marc Bolland. "This is the right, responsible move for the UK's biggest clothing retailer and the ultimate goal is simple - to put a complete stop to clothes ending up in landfill."

He continued: "We want to get back one garment for every one we sell. For us that's 350m a year. It is a big number, but with our customers' help, we will do it."

Shoppers will be invited to leave their old or unwanted clothes in cardboard recycling boxes called ‘Shwop Drops'. There will be over 1,200 Shwop Drops across the UK, at least two per store, alongside till points. 

A TV, print and online marketing campaign will also be launched to support Shwopping. And London College of Fashion's Centre For Sustainable Fashion is opening a Shwop Lab pop-up space at the Old Truman Brewery to explore the future of fashion through a series of collaborations.