‘Reuse it don’t lose it’ is the ethos of a school uniform recycling shop in Leamington which will see over a ton of waste being diverted from landfill each year.
The PTA at St Paul’s Church of England Primary School was awarded £4,200 in funding as part of the scheme to create the shop in custom built container on the site.
In addition to being a source of pre-loved uniforms, the shop will also feature a range of World Book Day costumes, Christmas jumpers and bookbags.
It is hoped that the shop will reduce carbon emissions and create a legacy of sustainable shopping habits for the school community and beyond.
The production of school uniforms requires significant amounts of resources, such as water, energy, and raw materials.
As children grow so quickly, this leads to increased waste generation when these items of clothing are discarded.
According to recent research, the clothing industry is responsible for 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year (8 – 10% of the planetary total) and school uniforms inevitably contribute to this figure.
Councillor Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: “This is a fantastic project, as simple as it is far reaching and serves to, in part, address two of the biggest challenges in the UK right now: The climate change emergency and the increasing cost of living.
“By providing parents and carers with access to affordable pre-loved school uniforms, World Book Day costumes and Christmas jumpers, the St. Paul’s School PTA will also be delivering essential carbon savings and preventing items of clothing from entering waste disposal systems.
"Well done to everyone involved in this fantastic project.”
Subject to complete take-up of the recycling shop at the school, it is expected that the project would prevent approximately 1200kg (based on 4kg of clothing per child and 300 pupils) going into land fill. Reusing or recycling
textiles save approximately 5.828kg of carbon for every kg that can be reused or recycled. This would represent a significant carbon reduction reduction for the school.
Read more: New 20mph speed limits for three Leamington roads three months after they were rolled out in error
Any revenue that is generated from the recycling shop – where costs will be capped at no more than £3 – will be ring-fenced for the use of school maintenance and environmental projects ensuring that the school can continue to deliver environmentally beneficial initiatives. The recycling shop opened at the school’s summer fare on July 7.
Kate Murphy, Joint Chair of the PTA at St Paul’s School said: “ The school community is so pleased to have the second-hand uniform shop up and running. Our parents have been really interested in the carbon savings element which has generated a lot of discussion at the 'check out’.
" This has led to an increase in donations to the shop and a buzz around the school about what else we might be able to reuse'
A list of projects that will receive Green Shoots Community Climate Change funding is here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/regeneration-projects/green-shoots-community-climate-change-fund-2022/5
For more information about the fund visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greenshootsfund
For more information about how Warwickshire is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/