Getty Images

The top 10 life hacks for leading a more conscious life from experts at the forefront of sustainability

Do you shwop?

26 May 2019

From trialling plastic free fruit and vegetable aisles to making sure the cotton used in their fabrics is 100% more sustainably sourced, Marks & Spencer have been making good on their environmental promises and paving the way forward for a fairer, kinder future.

And while you might be a whizz with your recycling bins and donating last season's trends to the local Oxfam, there are a whole lotta lifestyle changes you could be factoring into your everyday routine without too much trouble at all. So if you fancy trading in your beauty empties the right way, or "shwopping" your old clothes for brand new vouchers (intrigued?), M&S have your need-to-know on the top 10 ways to live a more sustainable life.

Invest in a pocket-sized reusable bag

Keep a reusable tote in each of your handbags so you’re never caught at the shops without one again. M&S sell bags that fold up into the perfect pocket-sized pouch, meaning you won’t ever have to reach for those plastic carriers at the till.

Upgrade your skincare regime

Replace the disposable cotton wool pads you use during your daily beauty routine with some reusable ones.

Explore in-store "shwopping"

Give your unwanted clothes a second life by recycling them in-store at M&S. You can "shwop" any item of clothing (even if it's damaged) from any retailer, including shoes, handbags, jewellery, belts, hats, scarves and bras. You can also shwop soft furnishings (bed linen, towels, cushions, curtains, throws, aprons, tablecloths and napkins). You can choose to shwop a single item or multiple items. Remember, even if it can’t be resold, the fibres may be perfect for recycling. All customer donations are processed at Oxfam’s modern recycling facility in Batley, West Yorkshire, and nothing goes to landfill.

Buy a lint clothes shaver

Keep your knitwear looking fresh and good-as-new with a lint clothes shaver. They're perfect for removing the bobbles and pilling that builds up after multiple wears, ensuring you get maximum use out of your knitwear.

Packaway macs are practical(ly) perfect

Invest in a handy packaway mac for your bag, which are ideal for avoiding light showers. The M&S Packaway Mac's are made from 50% recycled fabric from plastic bottles.

Recycle your packaging after your shop

When collecting your online customer orders from M&S, leave the packaging behind to be recycled. The customer assistants will be on hand to take back any mailing bags, hangers, plastic and cardboard boxes.

Sign up for a Sparks card

Every time you shop using your M&S Sparks card, the store gives a penny to your chosen cause, with ten national charities to choose from. Don't forget that when you shwop instore, you can earn 50 Sparks points by completing your transaction at the till.

Start caring for your clothes

Make your clothes work harder by repairing rather than re-buying. Try using a washing machine dye to brighten washed-out colours, or take your favourite jeans to be repaired if the zip breaks.

Recycle your beauty empties

Customers can drop a variety of cosmetics containers at M&S’s new beauty recycling bins, which aren’t currently recycled by local councils and typically end up in landfill. Even better, M&S has pledged to give collected plastic a new life by recycling it into store fittings, furniture and playground equipment for schools. The scheme has initially launched in beauty halls at Cribbs Causeway, Westfield Stratford, Bluewater and Fosse Park. Customers using the recycling points in the beauty halls will also be given 10% off their next M&S Beauty purchase.

Upgrade your household products

M&S customers can shop with a clean conscience from the largest range of cruelty free household and beauty products available on the high street, which covers over 1,200 own-brand products and their individual ingredients, from lavender laundry liquid to tea tree face wipes.