Going back to school time in September can be a stressful Month for parents, particularly when it comes to purchasing new uniforms for their Children.
On average, parents spend £150 per year per Child on their uniforms, which can be incredibly difficult for parents with multiple children or living on a low income.
Kids grow up so quickly, which means that uniforms that are still in great condition often go to landfill contributing to the staggering figure of 300,000 tonnes (£140 million worth) that gets thrown out in the UK each year...
But now, there’s a solution (in Brighton and Hove)!
‘Smarter Uniforms is a community organisation that fundraises for schools, saves parents money and protects our planet's precious resources for our children's future.’(taken from website, see useful links at the bottom of the article.) (They also provide free vouchers for parents where needed.)
So, what do they do?
Smarter Uniforms distributes collection boxes around Brighton and Hove to enable parents to simply drop in the uniforms that are no longer needed by their children.
From their they are processed and cleaned (Siobhan, owner of FAIR, actually takes home the uniforms and cleans them herself). Once they have been cleaned and sorted they are taken to two locations where they are able to be purchased from for a 1/3 of their normal price.
Here is an example of the price list (the scheme is new for the start of this academic year, however, there is already a large number of uniforms available for 4-11 year olds):
- Grey Trousers/Black Trousers
- £3 Grey Skirts
- £3 Grey Dresses
- £4 Blue and White Gingham Dresses
- £4 White Polo Shirts
- £1.50 Navy Jumpers and Cardigans
- £3 Grey Socks and Tights 50p
So, what is the money from sales used for?
‘The money from sales is then put into a fund for local schools after running costs for Smarter Uniforms are deducted.’(taken from the website, see useful links at the bottom of the article)
What about families that require free uniforms?
‘Vouchers for free uniforms will be made available via various organisations throughout the city for families that are eligible. Any queries about this can be directed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ensure that you include the word VOUCHER in the subject of the e-mail. The vouchers can then be redeemed at the Smarter Uniform shop at the back of the FAIR shop at 21 Queens Road.’(taken from the website, see useful links at the bottom of the article).
Sounds great, right… So, where can you buy them from?
Currently, as the scheme is new (and only currently available in Brighton and Hove, UK). Uniforms are available from two locations:
FAIR - 21 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3AX Tel: 01273 723215
Opening times: Monday & Tuesday 10:00 to 17:00 Wednesday to Friday 10:00 to 18:00 Saturday 10-18:30 Sunday and Bank Holidays Closed.
LOVE THAT STUFF FAIRTRADE Sales, pick-up and drop-off of uniform 8 The Boardwalk, Waterfront, Brighton Marina Tel: 01273723215
Opening times: Friday 12:00 to 17:00pm
BUT, according to their website they are able to deliver orders to the Green Centre stall each Thursday at The Open Market.
Do you have uniforms to donate?
Note, if you drop off items at FAIR you will be given a 25p voucher per piece to contribute towards a new uniform for your child.
Here at Zola Amour, we think it’s an absolutely fabulous idea and one that should be shouted about and rolled out country wide. Not only does it help families in need, but it is also actively reducing the amount of textile waste produced per year, preventing good as new pieces from being wasted. Also, helping to raise money for schools. It’s a win win win situation!
Please help us to spread the word about this amazing new scheme. We’d really appreciate it if you could tell all your friends and share our article on your social media channels.
Smarter uniform website:
Information for parents: