Or in BigSmall’s case, STARTING school-eeek!
I was a little over-whelmed when I attended the parent’s evening at the end of last term and was presented with a very long list of Must Haves in terms of uniform, and posted on Facebook to the effect that it might prove difficult to Buy Nothing New and fulfil this list.
And the next thing I knew, a whole bag full of appropriately sized uniform appeared outside our back gate! (Thankyou Sue :))
So now, BigSmall is equipped with: trousers; shorts; white polo-shirts; school branded jumpers; school branded PE shirts; shorts for PE; tracksuit bottoms; and even a green fleece!
Leaving us just to get black shoes, grey socks, and a school branded bookbag.
I am not sure how easy any of these will be to find secondhand.
My mother in law has also been getting increasingly frantic at my lack of name tape buying (I was planning on good old marker pen on the labels..), so has ordered some, and also promised not only to sew them in, but to unpick them and re-sew into his uniforms as he gets bigger..!!
I heard some appalling statistic on the news the other day about the ridiculous percentage of a household’s August income that gets spent on school uniform.
Every supermarket seems to have special offers on back to school essentials, and they all seem to be ridiculously cheap (but I can see how the costs mount up when you have multiple children to buy for) BUT do we really want out children going to school wearing uniforms that someone elses child, somewhere else in the world might have made? Or that some child’s mother has had to work in a sweat shop for a less than living wage, just so that OUR kids can have cheap uniforms?
I know that some people will genuinely struggle with the cost, but for some of us, maybe if we bought fewer shirts, of better quality, they would last longer?
Yes, kids grow, and yes, kids trash their clothes, but surely, if they were better quality, and more expensive, they would be harder-wearing, and we would treat them with a bit more respect, and not as the disposable items they seem to have become.
We are very lucky, in that the school BigSmall is going to, already has a thriving second-hand uniform ‘shop’.
I managed to get pretty much everything we need, and all of it in brilliant condition, for ‘a donation’ to the Friends of the School.
And not only saved ourselves a small fortune, and are not contributing to the supply and demand chain for cheap school wear.
There must be tons of school uniform out there, that could be handed on.
Here are some options for a cheaper, more sustainable start to the academic year:
- Check out your local Freecycle or Freegle group, and it would definitely be worth posting a WANTED if there was nothing suitable listed
- Local car boots or nearly new/table top sales might be worth a trawl
- If your school doesn’t have a second-hand uniform shop, why not ask if you can set one up?
- There are lots of websites out there dedicated to passing on all the items you might need for a new school year. I know that most schools have school specific jumpers, but the rest of it tends to be fairly ubiquitous-grey trousers, white polo shirts, those checky school dresses…
-School Uniform from Patched Elephant
–Preloved-while not a specific school uniform site, if you search for ‘school uniform’ quite a bit comes up
It has to be said, I haven’t actually tried any of these sites out, so cannot vouch for how useful they might be. Would love to hear from you if you have tried any of them, and what you thought.
Also, any other ideas for school uniforms that don’t cost the earth, (in so many ways..)?