Every day, our labels help prevent school uniforms becoming lost and ending up in landfill. However, we were interested to explore what happens to school uniforms in the UK once they have been outgrown.
To find out more, we surveyed 2,000 families across their country. We were shocked to find that a huge amount of wearable school uniform is needlessly thrown away each year – 1.4 million items to be exact.
With more and more clothing made from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, this is the equivalent to an incredible 354 tonnes of plastic needlessly ending up in landfill every year.
To help families counter this growing problem, and reduce their own impact on the environment during the next school year, we’ve put together our top tips for teaching your child eco-friendly habits.
1. Use sustainable food containers
Ditch plastic lunchboxes in favour of stainless steel. Stainless steel is strong, durable, and easy to clean, so it will last years longer than plastic alternatives. Opting for a stainless steel lunch box with various compartments will keep foods separate and fresh without the need for single-use clingfilm, foil, or sandwich bags.
2. Meat-free packed lunches
The contents of your children’s lunchboxes can also have a significant impact on the environment. Plant-based foods generally use less water and greenhouse gases to produce, so choosing meat-free lunches for your family at least once a week offers significant benefits for the planet. Encourage your children to get involved in choosing and preparing their food to help teach them valuable lessons about eating a balanced diet, and making environmentally-friendly choices.
3. Walk or cycle to school
Leaving the car at home and walking or cycling to school is a great way to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you are contributing to the atmosphere in your local area. Plus, it will get the whole family moving, allowing them to benefit from fresh air and exercise both before and after school.
4. Label your belongings
Lost items, such as school uniforms and toys, don’t just cost time, money, and heartache, but they can also have a negative impact on the environment if they end up in landfill. Labelling your children’s belongings with durable, stick-on name labels is a simple way to prevent this, ensuring they are always reunited with their rightful owner.
5. Recycle old school uniforms
As our research shows, millions of wearable school uniforms are needlessly thrown away each year, contributing significantly to the amount of plastic ending up in the landfill across the UK. This doesn’t need to be the case. There are lots of sustainable ways to dispose of your children’s uniforms once they have outgrown them. Consider handing them down to a younger sibling or friend, taking them to a local charity shop, or check for school uniform swap-shops in your area.
For more advice on forming eco-friendly habits, read our tips for making clothes last longer.