Marks and Spencer (M&S) have launched the UK’s first “pre-loved back-to-school uniform shop” to help families access affordable and good quality school uniform.

Customers will be able to donate used children’s clothes in dedicated “shwop” boxes which have been rolled out across more than 200 UK stores.

The retailer has extended its “Shwopping” partnership with Oxfam as parents and carers begin to think about the back-to-school season after the summer holidays.

How do M&S 'Shwopping' boxes work?

Through the new M&S “Shwopping” boxes, donated pre-loved school uniform (which passes the hand-me-down quality test) will be given a second life in an Oxfam shop.

For the first time, the items will be made available on a dedicated pre-loved school uniform shop on eBay.

As a “special thank you” for those “Shwopping” school uniforms, Sparks customers will receive 20% off selected children’s clothing at M&S.

Alexandra Dimitriu, kidswear director at M&S, commented: “At M&S, our clothing is too good to waste. Made with care and with innovative design features, our school uniform is super durable to ensure whatever your kids get up to on the playground, it can last the test of time.

“We know our customers frequently hand down our school uniform to friends and family and this season, we’re encouraging them to drop school uniform which they no longer need into one of our new Shwopping boxes where it will be resold in Oxfam shops and through our exciting pilot shop with eBay.

South Wales Argus: There are more than 200 stores across the UK with 'Shwopping' boxes to donate pre-loved school uniformThere are more than 200 stores across the UK with 'Shwopping' boxes to donate pre-loved school uniform (Image: Getty)

“It’s one of the many ways we’re trying to make our best-in-class school uniform accessible to all families, however and whenever they choose to shop.”

Lorna Fallon, Oxfam’s retail director, added: “The Back-to-School Shwopping scheme is a win-win initiative and a simple way for shoppers to make a huge difference. Donating pre-loved school uniforms through the scheme is not only better for the environment, since it gives garments a longer lifecycle, it also raises funds for Oxfam’s life-saving work, and it helps parents here in the UK who may be struggling with the cost of kitting their children out for school.”

“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,” explained Lucy Peacock, head of pre-loved fashion at eBay UK.

She continued to say: “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 across all corners of the UK.”

Please note the Sparks offer cannot be used on discounted items, babywear, accessories, footwear, nightwear, underwear, school uniform and hosiery. It is also not valid in M&S outlets.