In the schemes first seven weeks 683,287 M&S clothing items were donated to Oxfam stores and 140,884 vouchers issued. An average of 4.85 items of M&S clothing were received per voucher given out, with customers generally giving in bags of clothing including other brands.
Oxfam reported a 40% increase in the volume of clothing donations, increased sales, increased footfall in stores and more new customers since the scheme launched. The results suggest consumers donate old clothing and then shop at Oxfam stores.
Fears of greater volumes of poor quality clothing donations have not been experienced, with the proportion of quality garments received by Oxfam remaining constant.
M&S reported that half the vouchers issued are redeemed in its stores, which have experienced a doubling of sales and the scheme has generated significant media coverage.
But other retailers considering emulating such a partnership were warned that a close fit between both parties was essential and advice should be sought on any VAT implications.
The results were unveiled at the Clothing Roadmap Stakeholders Conference organised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) this week.