Joanna Lumley has become the worldwide ambassador of Marks & Spencer's new shopping initiative.

The 'Absolutely Fabulous' actress has teamed up with the British high street store to launch Shwopping - a new scheme that will revolutionise clothes shopping and help consumers to live more sustainable lifestyles. She will also become the face Plan A, the eco and ethical programme which aims to make M&S the world's most sustainable major retailer.

All M&S clothing stores will now accept unwanted clothing of any brand, all year round. Then, through Oxfam, the clothes will be resold, reused or recycled and the money raised will go to help people living in poverty. Not a single item will go to landfill and the ultimate aim for M&S is to recycle as many clothes as it sells - 350 million a year.

M&S believes unwanted clothes should have a future: they should be put to good use, not just thrown out. It is therefore asking its customers to shwop - give an unwanted piece of clothing every time they buy a new one.

Joanna said: ''I'm really excited to be working with M&S and have long admired Plan A. Their latest initiative, Shwopping, is all about getting customers to recycle unwanted clothes every time they shop at M&S. It's a big, bold campaign and a first for the high street.

''We're asking people to open their hearts, their minds and their wardrobes. Remember we used to just throw away plastic bottles. Now we recycle them without even thinking about it. We need to do the same with clothing. Bring in something old; buy something new. Swap and shop. It's that simple.''