Co-op Academies offer Uniform Exchange

Co-op Academies offer Uniform Exchange

Academies within Co-op Academies Trust are experiencing a groundswell of positivity as a result of setting up Uniform Exchange Programmes.

Parents and Carers are given the opportunity to donate unused or good quality uniform. They can also exchange or ask for any items of uniform that they may need themselves. Alongside helping keeps costs down, it plays an important part in our sustainability efforts, reusing clothing that may otherwise go to landfill.

Co-op Academy Woodslee runs their Uniform Exchange every year. Their site manager, Roger Cobain, washes all items of uniform that are donated and set-ups the exchange during the final week of the Summer holidays. It is then advertised to Co-op Academy Woodslee families as well as other families in the community who may benefit from the exchange. 

Co-op Academy Woodslee Headteacher, Susannah McShane, said: “The thinking behind it is that we do not wish for our families to purchase things unnecessarily. As well as the moral factor in reducing the need to throw away clothes we are setting the example that we are a caring community who think before they throw away as so many uniforms are purchased and wasted each year.

The uniform remains on our playground giving all families in our community the opportunity to exchange items and if any families express that they might be struggling with uniform we have extra uniforms. This really helps our families who have 6/7 children!”

Co-op Academy Failsworth in Oldham started their Uniform Exchange Programme for the first time last year and have already provided over 500 pieces of uniform to families.

Because of this success, they are continuing with it again this year. 

Co-op Academy Failsworth Uniform Exchange team said: “Due to personal experiences of a small number of the staff body experiencing difficulties in accessing uniforms we realised that by working together we could try to address some of the barriers facing the students in our community.

In addition to this, our heightened awareness of our impact upon the environment and wasted uniform going to landfill each year, we decided action needed to be taken.

After a challenging year for families, a staff working party came together and launched a campaign to encourage families to donate any good quality uniform to be redistributed and this service was open to all. We were inundated with good quality donations from our generous school community and this led to having an excellent level of stock available for families using the service.”

Co-op Academy Friarswood in Newcastle-Under-Lyme runs their Uniform Exchange every Monday and it has become more and more popular with parents and carers. The Academy wanted to help their families and community by offering the exchange so that the uniform gets the maximum use.

Co-op Academy Friarswood Uniform Exchange team said: “Here at Co-op Academy Friarswood, we are very conscious of these things but also about looking after our planet. We think that uniform needs to be used for as long as possible to avoid any unnecessary waste going into landfill.

Please come and take whatever your children need as they grow. There is no charge for any uniform taken”

All Co-op Academies allow parts of the uniform to be bought from high street shops and supermarkets. Along with limiting items of branded clothing allowing parents and carers to shop around and keeps costs down.

When new academies join Co-op Academies there is no insistence that uniform must be changed to the new branding immediately, meaning no parent or carer is out of pocket and prevents usable uniform from going to waste.