Joanna Lumley Fronts Clothes Recycle Drive

Actress Joanna Lumley has backed a new campaign aimed at changing clothes shopping habits to encourage greater recycling.

The Absolutely Fabulous actress was in east London's Brick Lane fashion district as it was covered in clothes to highlight wastefulness.

Almost 10,000 items were strewn along the street - equal to the amount of clothes that are thrown away into landfill every five minutes.

The clothes drive is a partnership between Oxfam and Marks & Spencer which aims to encourage people to donate their old items to charity.

All M&S customers will be able to hand in old or unwanted clothes and they will then either be reused, resold or recycled through Oxfam. 

"Everytime you go to buy something new, take something old with you," Lumley told Sky News.

"Marks And Spencer have started this extraordinary initiative which is called 'shwopping', which is an odd but exciting word and means take something with you when you go shopping and put it into one of their 'shwop drops'."

M&S has set its ultimate aim at recycling as many clothes as it sells - 350 million a year.

The actress, who is to be the retailer's new worldwide ambassador for its Plan A eco and ethical programme, stressed the importance the initiative.

"The great crime in this world is that so much goes into landfill. We throw away a billion garments a year and rigged up here today, outside in Brick Lane, clad all over the buildings nearly 10,000 garments which is how much we throw away every 5 minutes," she said.