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National TV coverage for our school uniform project

We recently featured in a Sky News story about the amount of good quality uniform that gets thrown away each year.


Sky News reporter Frazer Maude interviewed our Leeds School Uniform Exchange co-ordinator Tracy Cook, to find out more about the network of exchanges that we've helped to get started across Leeds - a mix of online groups run by parents, pop-ups run by community groups, and exchanges run by schools.





Over 90% of schools are now covered by an exchange - and we're working hard to fill those final gaps.


They also visited Pudsey Community Project, one of the many brilliant local community organisations that we work closely with to make it as easy as possible for people to get hold of free, good quality, second-hand school uniform.




We're so proud of this project, and how - as the news story outlines - it achieves a number of different outcomes - relating to poverty reduction, waste reduction, and our city's response to the Climate Emergency.


Our co-director Rob Greenland has written here about the design approach we adopted in relation to Leeds School Uniform Exchange - with a particular emphasis on exploring how to tackle second-hand stigma.


Of course, one reason this project has proven so popular is that an increasing number of families are struggling financially - matters made worse by the current cost of living crisis.


With annual uniform costs typically around £200-£300 per child, offering easy access to free school uniform is a really important way to support local families.


Legislation comes into force over the summer aimed at increasing the affordability of school uniform, thanks to campaigning by Mike Amesbury MP and organisations including the Children's Society.



Children's Society webinar on increasing the affordability of school uniform


One thing schools will be required to do is ensure that parents have the opportunity to acquire second hand school uniform - and this information will need to be shared with parents from the summer, in time for the next academic year.


Our uniform exchange model, with hyperlocal exchanges run by parents, community groups and schools, provides an easily scaleable way to make second hand uniform the norm.


If you would like to support our work in Leeds, or would like to explore how we could work with you to set something similar up where you are, please get in touch.

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