Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Oxfam and M&S make a magic million for charity

Since it's launch in January, the Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Oxfam 'Clothes Exchange' has raised an extra million for the charity.

The money was generated by the sale of extra Marks & Spencer clothes donated to Oxfam shops through the Clothes Exchange, which encourages donations of unwanted M&S clothes to Oxfam by providing a £5 M&S voucher in return. The voucher is redeemable against a £35 spend on clothing, home or beauty products at M&S.

Promoting the 'clothes exchange' in Enniskillen in the final run-up to Christmas is Brian Quinn, manager of the Marks and Spencer store in Erneside and Loretta Cullen, manager of the Enniskillen Oxfam shop.

The extra revenue that is generated through the Clothes Exchange partnership is enough to;

* to pay for Oxfam's entire Rwanda programme for a year (it includes improving agricultural livelihoods, working to tackle the spread of HIV and working to improve governance in a way that helps national reconciliation), or;

  • To help provide safe clean water, healthcare and other lifesaving services for around 200,000 people displaced by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo for six months, or;
  • To fund Oxfam's mobile schools for children of nomadic farmers in Kenya for four years.

The positive impact of the partnership – which initially ran for a six month trial – means that the Clothes Exchange will now continue indefinitely. People across the UK will be able to keep picking-up an M&S voucher each time they visit their local Oxfam shop with a donation of M&S clothing.

The Clothes Exchange has also supported one of Marks & Spencer's Plan A environmental objectives to encourage the recycling of clothes, and reduce the one million tonnes of clothing sent to landfill in the UK each year. Barney Tallack, Oxfam's Deputy Director of Trading said: "An extra million pounds is amazing. The partnership has been a fantastic success, and we would like to thank the people who have donated all the great clothes that helped us raise this money.

"Please keep bringing them in as the extra money raised will help Oxfam to make a real difference to the lives of many thousands of the world's poorest people."Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A, Marks & Spencer said the success of the Clothes Exchange showed that it was possible to be responsible and save money at the same time.

"Thousands of people have saved on their M&S shopping by donating M&S clothing they no longer need to Oxfam, which has helped the charity to raise more money to fight poverty. It's also helped to reduce the amount of clothing sent to landfill by 1,000 tonnes over the last six months. We hope the campaign will continue to go from strength to strength in future."

From The Fermanagh Herald

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