Brick Lane in East London became temporary home to almost ten thousand items of discarded clothing. It seems that this is the amount of clothing that the good citizen of the UK throw out every five minutes (well, 9,513 to be exact but what’s a few hundred between friends?). This extraordinary display came about to raise awareness of something that high street retailers Marks and Spencer will become a household word – shwopping.
The idea is simple really. Instead of throwing away unwanted or used clothes M&S want us to take them to their stores where we can deposit them in a ‘shwop’ drop box. As they have over three hundred stores in the UK this represents a large scale attempt to recycle clothing, so much of which simply ends up in landfill at the moment.
So, will shwopping (or buy one give one back) catch on? Only time will tell but you have to admit – it’s not a bad idea at all - not that I would particularly appreciate my shop front covered in old clothes for more than a few hours, however good the cause!