West Leeds: How parents can save cash on expensive school uniforms


A campaign which can save parents a fortune on school uniforms has been launched in inner West Leeds.

The project, by Zero Waste Leeds, aims to encourage more families to reuse and donate school uniform.

The School Uniform reuse campaign helps to protect the environment by reducing the number of uniforms sent to waste, reduces the cost of buying new uniform and tackles any stigma associated with second-hand clothing through making “excellent quality uniforms” available to parents across the city – often for free.

The initiative is city-wide, but the Inner West Uniform Exchange covers the Kirkstall, Bramley & Stanningley, and Armley Wards and can be found here.

Councillor Fiona Venner (Lab, Kirkstall) is Leeds City Council’s executive member for children and families. She said:

“This campaign has made incredible progress since it started two months ago and it shows how important it is for local communities to establish the re-use and recycling of school uniforms as a norm.

“This project manages to address two main issues; the cost of new uniforms and protecting the environment. It is a vital campaign for providing high quality uniforms to vulnerable families and to help them save money, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it’s also significant for protecting the environment by encouraging people to re-use the uniforms and not let them end up in waste bins.”

Gill Coupland, one of the founders of Zero Waste Leeds, said:

“Here at Zero Waste Leeds, it’s our job to put a spotlight on the issue of school uniform reuse and start the conversation across the city. At the same time we’re showing people how they can help and be part of the solution.  We have now mapped over 80 schemes across the city which provide school uniform reuse opportunities for 190 schools. 

Our inspiration guide is packed with practical advice and live examples of existing schemes and we have networked people across the city through Leeds School Uniform Exchange on Facebook which now has over 1,000 members. We’re making second hand the genuine first choice for Leeds when it comes to school uniform; reducing both the cost to local families and the carbon footprint of our city.”

Check out the city-wide Leeds School Uniform Exchange page on Facebook here.

The project is funded by Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Foundation’s Jimbo’s Fund. Zero Waste Leeds is a project of Social Business Brokers CIC a social enterprise that has been working for over ten years on creative, collaborative approaches to tackling social and environmental problems in Leeds.


  1. This was always done forty years ago in our area, many parents, like us, couldn’t afford uniforms. Come to think of it,seventy years ago when I went to High School it was happening too.


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