As we head into a new school year, Bern Alexander from FindAUniform shares with us the benefits of secondhand uniforms
The majority of Australia’s 11,000+ schools and more than 30,000+ organisations, clubs and academies have compulsory uniforms and equipment. Anecdotally, the question ‘Do you have secondhand uniforms?’ rates consistently in the top three questions that new enquirers or joiners ask a school, club, organisation, or academy. So why then do only approximately 30% of the schools, clubs, and academies provide their members with a secondhand uniform option?
Secondhand uniforms are perfect for:
Saving money – expect to pay 20 -70% of the Recommended Retail Price
Saving tax – secondhand uniforms can be a tax deduction governed by the rules of the Education Tax Refund
Re-selling - with the average life of a garment estimated to be 3 years (which equates to 12 school terms and use by 3-4 kids), second hand uniforms can be re-sold to assist with ongoing school and activities costs and uniform needs.
Reducing landfill and textile waste
Enabling each child to be in the right uniform at an affordable cost
Meeting and collaborating with people in your own and wider community
Based on a UK example, if everyone bought one reclaimed woollen garment each year, it would save an average of 371 million gallons of water (the average UK reservoir holds about 300 million gallons) and 480 tonnes of chemical dyestuffs.
Can you just imagine the impact for Australian landfill and textile waste if the members of our 40,000+ schools and organisations thought of purchasing secondhand uniforms as the norm? Talk about an easy way to green your School or Organisation.
Secondhand uniforms – why not? There really is no excuse. There are a number of ways you can create your own second hand uniform options or utilise what already exists – here are some ideas:
- a noticeboard for people to pin up their for sale and wanted ads
- providing space in newsletters for the sale of secondhand uniforms
- creation of a Facebook, or the like, site just for your Organisation’s second hand uniforms
- utilising online peer-to-peer online noticeboards (eg www.findauniform.com.au)
- providing listings on School or Organisations website
- facilitating regular swap or clothing exchange days at the change of seasons
- formation of a uniform shop – whether professional or volunteer run and charging commissions for sales or just accepting clothing donations
- Schools rent out expensive uniforms that are only used occasionally- for example, blazers needed for band performances (eg www.openshed.com)
Secondhand uniforms just make sense – so as we head into the new school year , sports season and take up activities requiring uniforms and equipment –encourage uniform affordability and landfill reduction by looking to purchase secondhand uniforms and by daring to ask your School and Organisations “Secondhand uniforms? Why not?”
*_About the author:* Bern Alexander is the Founder and Director of “FindAUniform”:find. She has four kids under 12 and knows the high cost of school/activities and the current adhoc availability of secondhand uniforms._
FindAUniform is your second-hand uniform online Peer2Peer noticeboard. FindAUniform’s mission is to make second hand uniforms as available as wearing uniforms are compulsory. Can you help spread the word?