A low-price point understandably creates an alluring incentive for schools who are in the market for a new sports kit. But before the excitement of a low-price tag sets in, have you stopped to consider its quality? Or its potential impact on the environment?
Providing excellent, good quality from sports kits should ideally be great value for money, but price should not be the only driving factor. Taking accountability of the manufacturing processes and working conditions behind the clothing supports better welfare for the workforces, by holding them environmentally responsible.
The same sentiment should also be extended to the quality of sports clothes for independent schools.
It might cost more money upfront, but be assured that you will be paying for clothing that is more durable and longer wearing in the long run.
Here are some top tips on how schools can maintain high quality whilst still being environmentally friendly:
Quality control and conditions all starts with the factories in which they are made. Despite the assurances from some of the larger suppliers that the textiles industry conditions are okay, there is no denying that to produce a low-cost garment unfortunately means that some workplace conditions might be compromised.
Don’t be afraid to research these conditions for yourself before you make your decision on what sportswear to choose. Check the ethical principles behind the production for those who are making the clothing. As school sports kits aren’t subject to trend changes like other clothing markets, it is very likely that the manufacturing trends in countries who produce this clothing will stay similar.
Check your Suppliers
It is also worth considering independent suppliers as opposed to big retail companies. Direct suppliers tend to have more autonomy over their working conditions, meaning greater transparency of working conditions within their own factory.
Also, look to see if any manufacturing and ethical certifications have been given to suppliers. Independent boards such as the School Wear Association (SA) and Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) are great indicators of approval of a company’s care towards ensuring the best working conditions possible for overseas suppliers.
Understandably, sportswear is now at an all-time high request to be easy care, stain resistant, non-iron materials, to make the lives of parents and teachers easier come school time. There are benefits to these materials, as synthetics are more cost-effective to use, and can still be made to an incredibly high, standard durable piece of kit.
Not being able to recycle these synthetic fibres has now created a serious environmental impact. Fabrics such as polyester are favoured in production, but such synthetic blends contribute to pollution.
Reuse and sustain
When you buy high quality, your clothes last longer. Instead of being forced to simply throw out low-quality uniforms once a child has outgrown them, counteract the environmental hazards and reuse the uniforms!
You will be helping to reduce the 1.7 billion discarded clothing and textiles items across Britain by donating your uniforms back to schools for recycling. This will aid the sustainment of the earth’s resources and help with environmental stability. You’ll also be helping other families in passing on your top-quality kits, as well as promoting a viable lifestyle!