Marks & Spencer took another step towards eco-friendly retail by launching men’s suits in a wool blend consisting of 55 per cent recycled wool. Some of this recycled wool is derived from donations that M&S customers make.
M&S ran a programme called Shwopping with Oxfam which encourages clothes to be recycled. The recycled material in incorporated into the fabric used for the suits at an Italian mill called Nova Fides run by a family in a town called Prato. The fabric is then made into suits for M&S.
M&S committed themselves to a sustainability drive in which the retailer intends for about a quarter of its homeware items and clothing ranges to be made using at least 25 per cent recycled constituents. Since 2008, more than 27 million garments have been Shwopped at M&S, and the retailer has made savings of more than £750 million. The company is also trying to source sustainable cotton.
The suits are sold for £149 in M&S stores and online. Available in five colours – green, blue, charcoal, neutral and navy – the Shwop suit is designed to be single-breasted, lightweight and versatile. David Gandy, the M&S ambassador for tailoring, said he thought the suits would be timeless pieces that would continue to look good and retain their colour and styling for many years to come. This would off all been possible through great marketing through a Branding Agency to get the word out there. This works through a combination of imagery, photography, social media and more. For options of businesses you could use try links including reallyhelpfulmarketing.co.uk/brand-development.
Sustainability has become an important factor in the fashion industry. According to this report in The Guardian, more brands are experimenting with recycled fabrics. However, recycled textiles in many cases appear to be suited more to outer layers of clothing. It may be a while before shirts or underwear of a suitable standard can be made of recycled textiles.
Unwanted textiles are clogging many landfill sites, and they are a huge waste of resources. M&S are certainly on the right track with their Shwopped suit range. Shwopping may not be suitable for all types of clothing, but where it can be embraced it will contribute significantly to efforts to make fashion more eco-friendly.