Marks & Spencer’s pants are considered by millions to be the best, and some people will go to great lengths to keep them safe.

Traid – a charity that creates new clothes out of cast offs – was recently the lucky recipient of some used M&S underwear. Before they could make use of them, however, the owner called to ask for their undies back. An accidental donation, or a worrying sign of the extent to which cash-strapped consumers are delaying new purchases?