The retailer is calling on people across Ireland to donate uniform items for affordable-resale to families in aid of Oxfam
The school holidays have officially begun which means that, naturally, the ‘Back to School’ adverts have also started to infiltrate our radios, TVs and social media feeds.
If you’re already feeling anxious about the costs you may have to incur at the end of August, there is some good news courtesy of Marks & Spencer.
The popular store has just announced it is extending its long-standing “Shwopping” scheme with the roll-out of dedicated school uniform “Shwop boxes” in all fifteen of its clothing and home stores across the country.
Sustainability and quality
Through the Back-to-School Shwopping boxes, donated pre-loved school uniforms – which pass the hand-me-down quality test – will be given a second life in an Oxfam shop and, for the first time, made available on a dedicated pre-loved school uniform shop on eBay.
If you’re concerned about the quality of the clothing, don’t be. M&S uniforms are made with recycled materials or sustainable alternatives – and feature stain resistant materials and adjustable hems and waistbands that grow with the child.
As well as getting a great deal, you’ll also be contributing to a very worthy cause as any funds raised will support the work Oxfam does to tackle poverty and inequality around the world. And if you’re a Sparks loyalty card user, you will receive 20% off selected kids clothing at M&S.
Marks & Spencer began the Shwopping campaign in 2008 and its most recent research shows that 60% of families continue to be worried about environmental damage on future generations and 44% are looking to make their clothing last longer.
Lucy Peacock, Head of Pre-Loved Fashion at eBay UK, commented: “Every parent should be able to have access to a school uniform for their child at any age which is good quality and fit for purpose. The cost-of-living crisis has created greater education poverty and an ever-increasing need for school uniforms. Together with M&S and Oxfam, we are proud to be able to pilot an e-commerce solution to help parents get access to pre-loved school uniforms.”
Cost of living and childcare
The campaign couldn’t come at a better time as parents continue to be financially squeezed through the rising costs of living, and most noticeably, childcare.
While rates vary in counties across the country, it was recently reported that the average cost of full-time childcare is €184, up 3.4% since last year. The lowest weekly rates were recorded in Co Carlow (€148) while the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown area of Dublin recorded the highest fees. (€246)
The figures are drawn from almost 4,000 early learning and school-age childcare services throughout Ireland and were released by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
This comes in the wake of the news that hundreds of medium-sized creches could face closure over the next twelve months due to rising inflation and lack of government support.