Come Top of the Class When it Comes to the 3R’s
It’s back to school time! That means grass stains, rips and all manner of wear-and-tear on children’s crisp clean uniforms and clothes. In order to stay ahead of the class this year, let’s have a look at some A* clothing knowledge to help parents get the most out of their children’s school uniforms and clothes. There are plenty of things we can do to extend the life of clothes – and these tips are quite handy for everyone.
Buying pre-loved clothing
As children often out-grow their clothes from one term to the next, these items have plenty of life left in them. Buying pre-owned school wear is a great way to save money on high quality goods. 60% of parents say they’ve bought or received pre-owned school wear, so there is large market out there. It’s also worth remembering that all clothing, including school uniforms, is available all year round. A little pre-purchase planning could make all the difference to get more value from children’s clothes. You could also ask friends and family if they have items their children have out-grown to either give away or perhaps swap.
You could organise a swish for children’s clothes with your friends or at your local school. It’s a great way to share good quality clothing and introduce your children to another way they can help the environment.
Swot up on stains!
Keeping clothes looking fresh into next term doesn’t take rocket science, but it does require some handy little tips:
- Whiten shirts by line drying them outside – the sun will make them dazzle;
- Remove ink stains by spraying with hairspray and blotting with a paper towel. Biro stains can be removed by soaking in a little milk;
- For muddy PE kits, pre-soak them as soon as possible in a bucket of cold water with 3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda for at least an hour. Then wash with a biological powder and line dry;
- For crayon stains, if the crayon is soft, freeze the fabric to harden the crayon, and then scrape off the excess. Place the stain between clean paper towels and press with a warm iron to transfer the stain to the paper towels. Repeat as needed. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover. Blot and let dry; and
- Grass stains – dab with methylated spirits and allow to dry, then wash as normal.
Get more stain removal tips from Love Your Clothes.
Choosing the right fabrics
Another way to make sure you’re getting maximum value from your clothes is to look at the fabrics that they’re made from. Some fabrics are notorious for turning bobbly after just one wash whilst some seem to wash and wear well for ages. Many of the retailers are now producing school uniforms with easy-care technology or tougher materials to help them look good for longer.
Repeated laundering can damage clothing. Washing at a low temperature and line drying will help extend the life of garments. You could also look out for shirts that have the label ‘Non-Iron’ on them, as ironing hastens the wear of fabrics.
For more tips such as how to alter clothing, to find your nearest clothing bank or charity shop and where to sell clothes online, try visiting www.loveyourclothes.org.uk
If the stain is too stubborn, the damage too great or there’s no more wear left in clothes recycling them means there’s still something great your clothes can do. There are lots of ways to recycle clothes, you’ll find collection banks in car parks, most charity shops accept rags for recycling as they can raise money from it or your school can get a collection and earn money. In west London we’re paying for schools to have access to the national Wastebuster schools programme, as part of this your school can book a textile collection and raise more for the school. For every tonne of textiles collected by the school they receive up to £400, there’s also a range of videos and information about how clothes are recycled to support lessons.