David Luke School Uniform has launched a campaign to extend the life of uniforms through recycling, repairing and swapping.
It has provided retailers with marketing kits under the banner of “Re:Uniform” which they can share with schools to highlight the value of making the most of the long lifespan of good-quality sustainably made uniform.
The kits contain eye-catching infographics, artwork and social media content that will help schools promote their own Re:Uniform messages to families ahead of the summer holidays, including activity focused around Re:Uniform Week from 12 to 16 July.
David Luke’s managing director, Kathryn Shuttleworth, said: ‘“Long Live School Uniform’ is our first circular campaign to get families wearing their sustainable school uniform for longer. Good-quality sustainably made uniform has a brilliantly long lifespan.”
David Luke was the first school uniform brand to make garments from post-consumer plastic bottles and it was winner of the Queen’s Award for Sustainability in 2020.
“In supplying David Luke uniform that is durable, uses fabrics made from recycled polyester and is constructed with added features to lengthen the life of the garment, retailers taking part in our Re:Uniform movement demonstrate they sell durable clothing that has a greater value for a longer life,” Shuttleworth added.
The campaign follows the Education (Guidance about Cost of School Uniforms) Act 2021 which was passed in May and will mean schools have to follow statutory guidance when they apply their school uniform policies.
The guidance is due to be published this autumn, and it is anticipated that as well as cost considerations, there will be an added requirement for schools to make second-hand uniform available to parents.
Extending the life of uniforms is explicitly stated within the statutory guidance “to improve sustainability” and to benefit “those on low incomes”.
The key messages to consumers in David Luke’s Re:Uniform campaign are:
Proactive parent-teacher associations and schools who love to engage with their community of families will be encouraged to give old or outgrown uniform a new lease of life, whether it is repairing split hems and holes or finding like-minded families to swap with.
“Loved” uniform lasts longer but not everyone has the means to keep them clean. David Luke is working with The Hygiene Bank to help people who are struggling with hygiene poverty in schools. David Luke has pledged to donate 5% of its website sales in July to The Hygiene Bank. There will be an IGTV Live during Re:Uniform Week exploring the stigma of wearing second-hand clothing for anyone experiencing hygiene poverty.
Families can learn how to extend the life of their sustainable school uniform with David Luke’s simple fix-it tutorials filmed with The Ministry of Craft. This could be finding new uses such as turning old uniform into something completely new like a personalised PE kit bag – perfect for an end-of-term activity or summer craft project.
Schools will be invited to get involved with Re:Uniform Week, with David Luke offering a free marketing kit that will help schools and PTAs to set up a Facebook group for swaps, colourful artwork for posters and social media and lots of tips to get them started on their Re:Uniform journey.