Plan A, the umbrella term for M&S's green initiatives, has already been a big success, and it's an approach that M&S want to build on. Bolland says:
"...we see Plan A as more about engagement with the consumers, we want to make it a more emotional and tangible concept so that consumers really do buy into the whole sustainability issue.”Plan A contributed £70million to M&S profits in 2010-11, nearly a third up on last year. Customers are buying more and more goods made from recycled, FSC-certified and Fairtrade materials. Over a million of them bought products that related in a direct charity donation, from ranges like the Fashion Target T-shirt for Breakthrough Breast cancer.
M&S has also confirmed that 25% of their cotton will be coming from sustainable sources by 2015, going up to 50% by 2020.
For a big hitter on the High Street to take ethical fashion and Fairtrade so seriously, and for their customers to embrace the end products so wholeheartedly, shows that big business is starting to see the benefits to a more sustainable, eco-friendly approach. And that has to be good news for all of us.