Marks & Spencer in Scotland today calls on customers to help in donating 500,000 unwanted or unused clothes and accessories to stores on 24th March for its first Spring ‘One Day Wardrobe Clearout’ event, in partnership with Oxfam.
The call to action comes as new research shows that charities are missing out on as much as £1.5 billion in revenue a year – three times the annual income of some of Britain’s biggest charities – as clothes are thrown out instead of being donated to charity shops.
The national clearout event, will help significantly reduce the amount of clothing going to landfill and raise crucial funds for Oxfam.
TV presenter and singer Michelle McManus will launch the campaign at M&S’ Braehead store next week (24th March, 10.00am) by donating items from her own wardrobe.
In total, 367 M&S stores are taking part and every customer that donates will receive a £5 money off voucher when they spend £35 on fashion in store, redeemable until 30th April. An advertising campaign to promote the event starring X-Factor judge and M&S model Dannii Minogue launches tomorrow.
There are 9,000 charity shops and numerous local authority recycling banks in the UK, yet despite this we are still throwing away 391 million items of clothing every year. These are clothes that could be generating much needed income for good causes.
The M&S poll of over 2,200 people also revealed that:
· When it comes to throwing away clothes, men are the worst culprits as they are twice as likely to throw clothes in the bin compared with women;
· People in Northern Ireland throw away the most clothes – on average each binning 10 items of clothing every year;
· People living in the South West and East of England throw away the fewest, but still send an average of seven items to landfill every year;
· One in five of us admit that they are more likely to keep an item of clothing they know they probably won’t wear, than donate it to a charity shop;
· 28 per cent of women would consider donating their wedding dress to charity shop;
· Our busy lifestyles are a major factor in us not recycling more clothing with a third of people citing time as a reason for not donating more;
· Three quarters of people say that the economic downturn hasn’t changed how much they donate to charities and 15 per cent even say they are giving more since the start of the credit crunch.
Laura Mitchell, Braehead M&S store manager, said: “It’s clear that far too many clothes still go to landfill when they could be making money for charities and helping the environment. We’re calling on our customers to donate their clothes: it’s an easy way to make a difference and you get a great M&S money-off voucher.”
Oxfam’s Director of Trading David McCullough said: “The M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange has been an incredibly successful partnership for us. The generosity of the thousands of M&S customers who have donated to our shops has helped us raise more than £3.5million to support our ongoing work fighting poverty around the world. The Spring wardrobe clearout will help us raise even more money, and for anyone that can’t make it on the day they can still take unwanted clothing to their nearest Oxfam shop all year-round.”
For more information visit the M & S website or the Oxfam website
Scottish butcher Simon Howie’s specialist cut of beef shin tower will feature on the menu for Glasgow restaurant Ubiquitous Chip’s world first Ingr3dients, a unique sensory experience combining food and ground-breaking digital art.
The evening will combine a four course special menu of finest Scottish produce created by chef Colin Clydesdale, with a remarkable event using interactive technology, 3D animations and projections, including a 3D Highland cow.
Simon Howie said: “All our beef is produced in Scotland from specialist beef herds which are grass fed in summer and wintered on natural feeds. Shin might be one of the less familiar cuts of meat on the animal but, properly prepared, it is transformed into a delicious dish with a special texture and flavour all its own.
“Created by craft butchers with traditional skills, I’m delighted that our beef shin tower will add to the sense of occasion in what looks set to be an extra-special event.”
Ingr3dients, devised by Carol Wright, Neil Butler, Alasdair Gray and Debs Norton, runs at Ubiquitous Chip from Monday – Thursday from 7th – 31st March.
A very special zumbathon is to take place in the courtyard at Merchant Square in Glasgow’s merchant city with the aim of raising £2000 for Action for Children Scotland.
Organised in association with Time Fitness Gym, the Zumbathon, on Thursday 10 March from 5pm to 8pm, has been established in the very heart of the city’s cultural, fashion and food quarter in order to maximise awareness for the charity’s cause by encouraging public participation and support for the special event.
Jenni Morrison, of Merchant City Properties, said: “Merchant Square is delighted to host this very special zumbathon for such a good cause! We believe the location is ideal for the zumbathon as not only will the spectators in the surrounding bars and restaurants contribute to the party atmosphere that zumba creates, but zumbathon participants can recuperate from their exertions by enjoying some much-needed refreshments afterwards!”
Carol McKinlay, Fundraiser Scotland West at Action for Children Scotland, said: “This link with Merchant Square is just perfect because it is so accessible for participants whilst taking the charity’s fundraising efforts into the heart of the city centre.
“We believe all children and young people have unique potential and that they should have the support and opportunities they need to reach it. Help us take action for children to make a difference to the lives of children, young people and their families.”
Anyone interested in participating in Merchant Square’s first zumbathon are invited to raise sponsorship for their efforts or make a donation to take part. Further information about how to enter the event is available from Carol at Action for Children Scotland on tel 0141 550 9024.
Glasgow-based 2gether Specialist Contracts, which offers building refurbishment and industrial maintenance services, has launched a dilapidations service to meet an anticipated rise in demand for the restoration of derelict premises as the recovery of the commercial property market begins to gather pace.
Formed last year from the contracting base provided by parent and sister companies Roofcare & Maintenance and 2gether Property Maintenance, the 2gether Specialist Contracts offering takes the experience of its existing management team and packages it in a way that it can now provide all costing, management and undertake all operations of dilapidations, refurbishments or large scale maintenance projects.
Stuart McGhee, Manager, 2gether Specialist Contracts, said: “Whereas some landlords have been reluctant to invest in upgrading commercial properties throughout the recession when it was perceived that prospective tenants were hard to come by, as the recovery gathers pace there is welcome evidence starting to emerge of a renewed demand for a dilapidations service to bring vacant properties up to standard for companies on the look-out for new premises.
“Our experience enables us to deliver a dilapidations service to companies wanting to limit their liabilities by either appointing us to deliver a planned schedule of works or a cost-effective solution to the level of repairs with an expiring lease.”
2gether Specialist Contracts’ management team comprises: Craig McColligan, former director with RMS (Retail Maintenance Services) which was sold to Rok Plc seven years ago for £7m; Allyn Pratt, former director at Rennie Roofcare and founder of Roofcare & Maintenance and Stuart McGhee, former surveyor/estimator at MITIE Property Services.
Clients include local authorities, national retail groups, main contractors and prominent building surveyors and it delivers projects in industrial parks, shopping centres, government buildings and the healthcare sector.
Photo shows Stuart McGhee and Allyn Pratt