Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Uniform Exchange?

Uniforms save you money on clothes, my mother used to remind me.

Except have you priced them lately? Thirty dollars for a skort. Twenty for navy slacks. Fifteen for a polo. And these babies don't go on sale.

Uniforms are noticeably void from the back to school sales each year. Easily I could rack up more on costs for my growing girl than I could for one in public school. And I doubt somehow I could get away with the deals I found last year.

So I brought up to some moms I know from the school a simple idea: Why not create a uniform exchange? Those teflon plaid skorts could be traded to smaller girls, closets get cleaned and families are helped. Then I posted it in our parish bulletin: A no-strings exchange of uniforms, simply email the needs and I'd match them up with a family.

I have exactly four takers. And I have a bag full of kindergarten-sized clothing waiting to be picked up from the mom who said weeks ago she was interested.

Is there a stigma in wearing second-hand uniforms? It's hard to tell. For me, I'm surprised that parents wouldn't want to save a few dollars on their August expenses, not to mention eliminating the need to travel to various stores searching for navy slacks.

Sure, we want our kids to look good, but doesn't one wear qualify an item as "used?" And, even if you didn't want used for yourself, what's the harm in helping others?


Robbie said...

I should add as a footnote that I scored this week. Our school offers "emergency tubs" of outgrown clothing that they also offer to parents to purchase items. I was able to get six plaid skirts (which my daughter can't live without, normally $30 each) for a donation to our PTA!

Jenn the Greenmom said...

The school attached to the church where I work does an "official" uniform exchange--like a uniform garage sale--every year. Everyone donates, then anyone can shop for gently used uniforms at garage sale prices, and the school makes a little money.

Maybe if it were phrased as a "fundraiser" more people would come out and do it? Bizarre that you didn't get more takers.