Landor & Fitch: Marks & Spencer Shwopping

Joanna Lumley standing in front of street if buildings covered with the 3.6 million items of clothes that people have 'shwopped'

Landor & Fitch: Marks & Spencer Shwopping

Creating a new verb and programme to drive sustainable behaviour change

While Marks & Spencer has long been committed to the environment, its efforts weren’t being recognised by shoppers.

Inspired by M&S’s existing partnership with Oxfam – offering shoppers a £5 voucher for clothes exchanged – Landor & Fitch refashioned the donation programme. It became a statement-making initiative that drove sustainable behaviour change in store and elevated M&S’s commitment to the environment.

For every new clothing item purchased, customers were encouraged to donate an old garment at an in-store Oxfam drop-off bin. This behaviour-changing concept not only made it easier to donate to Oxfam, but shoppers were also motivated by a sense of responsibility, rather than monetary incentives. As a call to action, Landor & Fitch created the word “Shwopping” (shopping + swapping): a quirky verb that quickly became part of shoppers’ vernacular. Landor & Fitch then recruited British actress Joanna Lumley, known for her role in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, as Shwopping’s brand ambassador for an integrated campaign.

At the Shwopping launch in 2012, M&S transformed a London road into ShwopStreet by dressing it in 9,513 items of clothing – the amount thrown away in the UK every five minutes. It also hosted ShwopLab, a studio where young designers turn shwopped clothes into experimental fashions.

Shwopping was a huge success, with 3.6 million items shwopped and £2.2 million raised for Oxfam in a single year. A C&E opinion poll found that the M&S-Oxfam collaboration was the most admired corporate partnership in Britain. Today, nearly 10 years on, Shwopping is still a key part of the M&S Plan A sustainability programme.