Where ‘Secondhand’ Clothes Go to Hang
May 14, 2012
Photo: flickr user su–may
UK department store Marks & Spencer (M&S) is starting a “fashion revolution” that goes by the name “schwopping” (shopping + swapping), a kind of rewards program meant to encourage recycling and to frame questions about the ethics and scope of garbage. To illustrate the abundance of material waste that prompted the marketing ploy “ethically-informed”, “ecologically-minded” campaign, the company installed some 10,000 pieces of discarded clothing–the number of garments, M & S claims, that is trashed every 5 minutes in the UK alone–on the facade of an abandoned brewery warehouse in East London. The piece is a visual compendium of secondhands, with near every industry color, form, and graphic, not too mention decade, represented.
Cooperating with Oxfam, the company aims to “change shopping forever” by getting customers to turn in their old clothes that will be recycled and distributed to the impoverished. Over 1,200 so-called “scwhwop drops” have been placed in several M&S locations to collect used garments from customers, who, upon selflessly donating their disused tees and jeans, will receive a £5 voucher for future purchases. Charity pays, kids!
Photo: flickr user world of good
Photo: flickr user terekhova