Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by M&S Company Archive.

This resource can be used to support teaching in the following areas, as suggested by members of the My Learning teachers' panel:

  • As an introduction to learning about recycling everyday items
  • Ethics / RE
  • As inspiration or introduction to a real enterprise activity such as a fund raising activity
  • Introduction to consumerism
  • Literacy project
  • Fashion design project
  • History timelines understanding the manufacturing industries versus cottage industries 

Curriculum Links

  • KS3 Design and Technology: Product Design.
  • KS3 Geography: Use of Natural Resources.
  • KS3 PSHE: Living in the Wider World
  • KS4 Business

Learning Outcomes 

  • Knowledge of the sustainable features of a men's suit sold on the high street, by looking at its component parts
  • Understanding of how a large retailer is taking responsibility to provide goods that are environmentally friendly
  • Improved skills of researching by following the related links to find further online material

Discussion Ideas

  • What do you think the word 'sustainable' means? How is it different from 'recycled'?
  • How do you know if something has been recycled?
  • Why is sustainability important for the future of the planet?
  • Why have M&S made a sustainable suit to let people know about their environmental aims, rather than say e.g. pyjamas? You can find out more on the resource Schoolwear and Teenage Fashion
  • What is a Press Release designed to do? 
  • If you look at the supporting link about the M&S Shwopping campaign (see Resources), you'll see it features a famous personality. Why has M&S chosen this person to raise the profile of the campaign?  

Activity Ideas

  • Look at the labels in your clothes to see where they were made, and what they are made from.  Plot the different countries on a map and work out how many miles your clothes have travelled from the manufacturer to the UK.
  • Write down as many different jobs you can think of involved in the making of the original suit e.g. labels might have involved designers, weavers, machinists.
  • In groups look at the objects in your classroom and make two lists, one for objects or materials that could be recycled and the other for things that might already have been recycled.  
  • Create a plan to recycle more. Include the following: How will you let people know what you are doing? How will you record your project? How will it affect all the other people in your school?
  • Write a Press Release to let other people know what you have achieved  (this Press Release Basics template might help) and decide who you should send it to
  • M&S have a 'Shwopping' campaign. What two words has the word 'Shwopping' been made up of? Have your own Shwopping Day at school.

Fashion Show project ideas

  • Work as a team: design and make clothes from things that would usually be thrown away, or from clothes that would normally go to the charity shop or be Shwopped.
  • Showcase your creations by organising a fashion show to raise money for a local charity or for your school.
    Plan your tasks in a timeline, then share out the tasks according to the different skills and interests of each team member.

Sustainability project ideas

  • Carry out a 'sustainability audit' in your school. Walk around school and record any ways in which the school is not being sustainable e.g. dripping taps, toilets, lights left on, windows open and heating on etc. Think of different ways to present the statistics you have gathered.
  • Create posters using images and language that will persuade other students to be more sustainable. 
  • Design a new product that is fully sustainable or reusable.  List the ways your product will help the environment.

For more about sustainability see also -  M&S Cheshire Oaks Eco Store.