Marks & Spencer and Oxfam Shwop Shop

The doors of the Marks & Spencer and Oxfam Shwop Shop opened to the public yesterday for a two -day extravaganza filled with hundreds of uniquely shwopped garments and celebrity donations.

The delicious array of items adorning the rails were handpicked by the festival shop team at Wastesaver, Oxfam’s recycling and sorting facility in Huddersfield.  Shwopped items from all over the country were included in the Shwop Shop, with an exciting selection of vintage M&S pieces. The pop-up shop also housed one-off donations from celebrities including Plan B, Gary Barlow, Gemma Cairney, Caroline Flack, Tali Lennox and Peaches Geldof.

The face of Shwopping, Joanna Lumley opened the event to press and headed the till for the first of the public purchases.  She also donated her own ‘absolutely fabulous’ jacket.

Super stylists Brix Smith-Start and Grace Woodward also attended the opening offering their fashion expertise and putting together a selection of top looks from the Shwop stock (more to come on this from team fash…)

Speaking to Joanna Lumley, Shwopping ambassador, she said: ‘Shwopping does nothing but good. It saves landfill sites from being filled with perfectly good clothes and it respects the clothes we’re dealing with made from cottons, silks, wools, nylons and many more. It does absolute immeasurable good through Oxfam for the people it supports in developing countries.’

She admitted to being a seasoned fan of charity shops herself, she said: ‘A lot of charity shops, particularly Oxfam, get the really, really good clothes which are then knocked down to a fraction of the price. I have no qualms about wearing other people’s clothes, it never troubles me!’

After a successful first day of Shwopping, it’s lucky the Oxfam stock room holds many more hidden treasures ready for the Friday sales!                                                                                                                        

If you can’t make it to the Shwop Shop, the Oxfam Online Shop has plenty of vintage and fashion items for you to browse. 

M&S and Oxfam launch two-day shwop shop

Marks & Spencer and Oxfam are holding a two-day pop-up shwop shop this week at the flagship M&S Marble Arch store.

Shwoppers can snap up designer bargains donated by Britain’s top contemporary style icons including Alexa Chung, Daisy Lowe, Jo Wood and Zandra Rhodes – as well as the best items shwopped at M&S from the public.


Caroline Flack and Daisy Lowe

Running on the 24th and 25th January, the celebrity shop will be staffed by a host of famous faces including shwopping guru Joanna Lumley, who said:

“By opening your hearts, minds and your wardrobe and going shwopping, you can not only bag an outfit worn on the red carpet or to a glitzy awards evening, but help the environment too. Fashion with a conscience, it is perfect isn’t it? By shwopping all we want you to do is give your unwanted items stuffed in the back of your wardrobe a future. Simply bring an old item back every time you buy a new outfit, shwop and shop! Come to the shwop shop, shwop and shop and leave with a smile – the world will then feel a better place!”

M&S and Oxfam’s shwopping collaboration urges shoppers to donate – or ‘shwop’ – an unwanted item of clothing that will go on to be re-sold, re-used or recycled by Oxfam, cutting waste while raising much-needed funds.

All money raised by the shop will be used to support Oxfam’s projects around the world working to alleviate poverty.

Dozens of famous faces including model and artist Tali Lennox, TV presenter Caroline Flack, model Erin O’Connor, Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt, singer Ellie Goulding, Radio 1 star Gemma Cairney and Style Bubble blogger Susie Lau have already donated items ranging from evening dresses to red carpet frocks to designer denims.

Ellie Goulding and Gemma Cairney

Every celeb item in the pop up store has an A-list history behind them, including Flack’s X Factor dress and Jo Wood’s vintage Susan Small dress bought whilst on tour in America.

Tali Lennox and Gizzi Erskine

There will also be a chance for shoppers to own a piece of fashion history as the shwop shop will have a selection of coveted M&S vintage items.


M&s vintage

Sarah Farquhar, Head of Retail Brand for Oxfam, said: “Oxfam shops are full of hidden treasures and we have regular shoppers who turn up week in week out to get their hands on the latest donations. But this time we are doing the rummaging for them; bringing the best of the shwopped items we have received over the last few months plus exciting celebrity donations straight to the public instead. It will be really exciting to see people browsing Oxfam clothing in the middle of an M&S store.”

Shwop shop is open from 10.30am – 9pm on Thursday 24th & 8am-9pm on Friday 25th January 2013.

Address: Ground Floor, Marks & Spencer, 458 Oxford Street. London. W1C 1AP

Follow @Oxfamfashion and @Shwopping for updates from the event

Teresa Collenette Discovers Fashion with Passion!

Ever since Henrietta Ludgate opened her workshop there, Whiteleys, Bayswater, seems to have come to life and acquired a brand new buzz. I love to pass by there and see fabric strewn on tables and scissors in action! Imagine my excitement then to see that her workshop was hosting a sustainable sample sale…

When I went there to investigate, I not only found some wonderful clothes and accessories but also the designers themselves.  This was clearly going to be more than a shopping experience. How often does a shopper get to chat with the creators of the clothes and discover what inspires them!

I was immediately drawn to Lu Flux’s patterns and prints.  Lu up-cycles vintage textiles creating colourful one-off pieces imbued with a playful nostalgia. I couldn’t wait to try on the amazing dress made from vintage embroidered linen tablecloths.  Her toile de jouy print jacket featuring delicate drawings of herself and her boyfriend was both witty and whimsical. Patchwork featured prominently and I eventually succumbed and bought a stunning tulip shaped floral patchwork skirt.  I loved the pattern and the colours and the fact that she had used a towelling
fabric in the patchwork adding texture and a note of quirkiness!

Whereas Lu’s patchwork has a mathematical angle, Ada Zanditon’s inspiration has a more scientific perspective.  Ada’s clothes redefine luxury with their fabrics and structure but also reference nature and the environment. Ada uses her photography of elements of the natural world to create beautiful prints that reflect the environment.  Her waterfall dress was breathtaking to see.  The print, which visually mimics the ice-cold waters of the Antarctic is created from photos of penguin feathers and jellyfish, and the very structure of the dress with its front
cascading fabric panel creates a waterfall effect. Ada is also fascinated by seahorses, which are the inspiration for another of her prints.  Ada will be doing a sponsored swim for the Seahorse Trust at the end of May!

I had been hoping to find one of Henrietta Ludgate’s amazing quilted coats just my size in the sample sale but sadly that was not to be! However, it was a thrill to see one at close range, as well as her quilted skirt with its exaggerated A-line shape, satin dresses in jewel colours and her sculptural collars.  For Henrietta, structural design and minimalist form have architectural echoes, and I love that her clothes not only embody traditional skills, craft and luxury, but also have a really cool modern edge to them.

Accessories were represented at the sale in the form of bags designed by Sonya Kashmiri.  Her beautiful soft and colourful sculpted leather bags are made from chrome free vegetable- tanned leather.  I loved her Armadillo bags!

Looking around the workshop, it was so exciting to realise that sustainable fashion offers such a variety of options thanks to the diversity of the inspiration motivating these passionate designers.  I left Whiteleys inspired and with a beautiful unique skirt!