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A Guide on How to Set up a Second Hand Uniform Shop in Your School

With the cost of living and sustainability on everyone’s minds lately, a second-hand uniform shop is a fantastic way to help families save money. As school uniforms are made from great quality materials they are usually in immaculate condition by the time the child/teen has finished with them. Uniforms can cost €100+ and then go to live in the back of someone’s wardrobe unused – with sustainability in mind this is a great way to recycle clothes while saving a significant expense.

So, how can you help set up a second-hand uniform shop for your school? Here are our tips for setting up a successful shop:

• Gather some volunteers/parents from your school community. Divide them into a collections team and a distribution team.
• Nominate one person to take charge of the second-hand shop operation.
• Let the school community know in newsletters the approximate month the collection and distribution of uniforms takes place.
• Decide in advance if the money collected goes to something specific within the school, or to a local charity and ensure this is clearly communicated to the school community.

Collecting the Uniforms:

At the end of May each year, send an email to all parents in the school community to announce a date and time to leave their school uniforms in the school hall. Within that email have the following:

  • Clear dates and times for the donations. This must be a separate time and date to the second-hand sale.
  • State uniforms must be clean and in perfect condition.
  • Ask for hangers to hang them to be donated.
  • Give a date and time for the second-hand sale itself to take place and state it will be on a first-come first-served basis. If you are starting a second-hand uniform sale this year for the first time, this email can be sent in mid-August.
  • Once the donations have been dropped off, the nominated collections team do the following:

  • Take an inventory of sizes and types of clothing.
  • Arrange them accordingly. They can be sorted into piles, or ask a local clothes shop for a temporary loan of rails to hang them and label them.
  • Assign prices to them - e.g. €10 for jumpers, €15 for trousers, €5 for shirts etc.

Distributing the Uniforms:

Open the second-hand uniform shop on a particular date and time with up to four people managing the process.

  • Get there a half hour before it opens to the parents.
  • Give each person a copy of the inventory and have parents come to show a volunteer what they have when they pick the clothing they need so it can be ticked off the list.
  • Any clothing left behind can be donated to a local clothing charity like St Vincent de Paul.

If you decide to start a second-hand uniform shop in your school, we’d love to know how you get on! Leave a comment below or let us know at

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