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02 April 2012

How to recycle your children's old school uniforms
How a Bangor Eco Mum came up with an ingenious idea to recycle school uniforms and save her fellow parents cash, too.

When Marianne Kennerley£s five-year-old son grew too big for his school trousers not long after starting primary school, the Bangor mum-of-two and part-time student realised that she probably wasn£t the only parent whose child was growing out of items of clothing quicker than they could wear them out.

And with parents in Northern Ireland spending around £5,000 on school uniforms and sports kits over the course of 11 years, expensive times lay ahead.

Realising this, Marianne, who is currently studying for an MA in Multidisciplinary Design at the University of Ulster, began researching methods of recycling school uniforms in a way that would benefit parents, schools and the environment.

After studying fashion design and spending more than a decade working in the clothing manufacturing industry in England and at home, she had developed a passion for sustainable and eco-fashion and immediately wondered if more use could be obtained from clothes that would only fit each child for one year, or even less.

The result of this research was UniCycle £ an award-winning social enterprise that has already been adopted by two schools in the province. UniCycle not only helps the environment and eases the financial burden on parents, it also acts as a fundraiser for schools as well.

Marianne explains: £When my son, Peter, grew out of his school trousers, still within their 100-day guarantee, I had no-one to hand them on to. With a younger daughter, Cerys, a year behind, parts of his school uniform had simply nowhere to go.

£Standing in the playground one day I realised that children grow at different rates, and within a short space of time there can soon be a surplus of barely worn uniforms that could and should be re-used.

For the full news article and to be taken to the website, click here


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