Celebrities Joanna Lumley, Abbey Clancy and Zoe Ball paid a visit to Marks & Spencer at Marble Arch on Tuesday to launch an anti-poverty campaign.
Love, Mum by M&S and Oxfam aims to raise money for mothers in living poverty around the world. It encourages customers to 'shwop - not bin' unwanted childrenswear items, of any brand, by taking them to M&S stores nationwide in the run up to Mother’s Day.
Three in five parents are said to have thrown baby clothes away at some point, which then ends up in landfill instead of going to communities elsewhere in the world they could be useful.
Joanna Lumley said of her support for the campaign: “It is a strange but true fact that the smaller the human being, the more clothes they inevitably need. Our children grow so quick that the clothing we bought a week ago, are often too small to be worn again. Yet, we are often guilty of throwing these away or holding onto them as they hold emotional memories for us as new mums.
"Through Shwopping we can now help mums that we may never meet, but through that old babygrow that will never be worn again, we can be connected through our memories and our goodwill. No clothing, no matter how small, should end up in landfill and harm the environment. Dig deep into the back of the wardrobe, get that box from the cellar and shwop them… your small donation will have a huge impact on someone’s life."
All the money raised from items shwopped before 31 March 2014 will go to Oxfam’s Mother Appeal, helping mothers around the world lift themselves and their families out of poverty for good. Thanks to the UK government, every pound raised from the items will be doubled.
28-year-old model and mum to two-year-old Sophia, Abbey Clancy said: "It's great that Oxfam is celebrating mothers around the world as mums really are amazing. Supporting Oxfam's Mother Appeal is easy, you can donate unwanted goods to Oxfam shops, Shwop clothes in M&S, hold a fundraising event with friends, or simply donate money via Oxfam’s website and you'll be helping mothers worldwide change their future."
Mum of two, DJ and TV Presenter, Zoe Ball added: “Being a Mum is the best job in the world and a role I cherish with all my heart - but for many mums around the world it is also the toughest job, fighting every day to find enough food to feed your little ones, trying to keep them healthy often without access to even basic healthcare and worrying about their future without a guarantee of education for them or facing challenging political situations.
“So, we're calling on all mums & grandmas out there to do a little bit to help other mums around the world less fortunate than ourselves simply by taking your bags of used or unwanted clothes to Marks & Spencer stores nationwide and Shwopping them to raise money for Oxfam’s Mother Appeal. What's more, thanks to the UK government, all the money (up to £5 million) raised from the items during the appeal will be doubled.”
Since its launch in April 2012, Oxfam has received 6.9 million items of clothing thanks to Shwopping, worth £4.5 million for the charity. All money raised by Shwopping is used to support Oxfam’s projects around the world working to alleviate poverty.