Social Justice

How to donate old school uniforms to help others in the cost of living crisis

Four in 10 parents will struggle to pay for their child's school uniform this year. Here's how you can donate old uniform to help out

Donating old school uniform helps others and prevents clothes going in the bin

Affording school uniforms can be a yearly stress for parents with stretched budgets and growing kids. So if your kids are growing out of their old gear or casting it off for good, why not donate old school uniforms to someone who needs them more?

It can cost hundreds of pounds a year to kit a child out in school uniform, and four in 10 parents will struggle to pay for their child’s uniform this year, according to research from Greene King, the pub chain behind the Wacky Warehouse soft play centres which has launched a new scheme to support parents.

The research also found that 30% of parents were cutting back on meals to afford school uniform.

A lack of access to school uniforms is one of the most visible effects of child poverty. As of 2022, there were 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK, often relying on food banks, charities, and generosity.

Here’s how you can help out by donating old school uniforms.

Wacky Warehouse soft play centres are running a summer holiday donation scheme

Old trousers, shirts, skirts, blazers and more dropped at any of 20 Wacky Warehouses – located mainly in the Midlands and the South – between 17 July and 3 September will be donated to charities chosen by each local venue, as part of a new scheme.

Find your local branch of Wacky Warehouse here.

Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription

Lorraine Collier, head of marketing at Wacky Warehouse, said: “We pride ourselves in being a central part of the local community, and we know how costly the back to school season can be for so many – especially in the current economic climate.

“That’s why we’ve launched our school uniform donation scheme to help families with the annual expenditure this year. To donate, simply head to your local Wacky Warehouse and drop your unused or pre-loved uniforms at the designated donation stations and we’ll take care of the rest.”

Local charities

There are a number of organisations who provide ways to donate school uniforms, and then make them available for low or no cost. In London, Recycle School Uniform CIC collects school uniform and re-sells it at an affordable price, while the School Uniform Bank provides donation bins, aiming to reduce textile waste by reusing uniforms.

There may also be a charity near you providing ways to donate and recycle old school uniforms.

Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter

Check with your local school and see if it runs a take-back scheme

Many schools offer take-back schemes, allowing parents to donate old school uniforms at the end of the year, which are then sold on at a reduced price to others.

Check if your local school has a scheme like this going. If it doesn’t, you might even be able to get one going with other parents.

We’ve got a full explainer on how to find cheap school uniform here, with a range of local charities and grants providing much-needed support.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Long-term sickness cannot be fixed by tightening 'harsh' disability benefits system, experts warn
long term sickness/ ill
Benefits

Long-term sickness cannot be fixed by tightening 'harsh' disability benefits system, experts warn

Thousands could be owed up to £12k from DWP in backdated PIP payments. Here's what you need to know
money/ pip backdated payments
Social Justice

Thousands could be owed up to £12k from DWP in backdated PIP payments. Here's what you need to know

Millions of families on universal credit worse off by £1,400 a year, experts say: 'It needs to change'
universal credit
Universal credit

Millions of families on universal credit worse off by £1,400 a year, experts say: 'It needs to change'

Amy's Place: How a 'beautiful' housing project giving hope became Amy Winehouse's real legacy
Housing

Amy's Place: How a 'beautiful' housing project giving hope became Amy Winehouse's real legacy

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know