As global citizens, it’s really important that sustainable practices are at the heart of all schools and the suppliers they work with – including uniform. For clothing, the most important element of sustainability is quality – a durable uniform that lasts until the child outgrows it, which can be donated to second-hand for another lease of life. At Perry we manufacture for life, not for landfill.
Sustainability is an ongoing journey, not an end goal. We believe it’s really important to continually take tangible, meaningful steps forward and avoid rushing into the trap of ‘greenwashing’.
Trousers For Girls
Being comfortable and able to participate in all parts of school life is essential for pupils to get the most out of their time at school.
Skirts and dresses can hold an important place in many school uniforms; they are often key brand identifiers for a school where tartans or check cloth is used. However, they’re not always the most practical choice and it’s now becoming the norm for a school to offer a more flexible option as well.
Cartwheels at lunch time, stepping over benches to sit down, sitting cross-legged on the floor or using climbing frames are all activities that children enjoy but aren’t as easily compatible with skirts and dresses. Culottes, trousers and shorts are a great way to provide options for pupils and can still make use of important materials – checked culottes or tartan trousers are a great option to help your school community stand out.
Ensure that pupils are comfortable wearing their uniform by giving all the option to choose clothes that best represent their values, without having to ask for permission.
Offering a trouser or skirt uniform as opposed to providing boys’ or girls’ uniform also ensures that there is a consistent uniform and it doesn’t become a mix-and-match.
For those schools who are happy for children to choose any uniform combination, the list can be displayed in full, without references to gender, for all pupils to select the items they feel their best in – whether that’s trousers, skirts or dresses.
High-Tech Sports Kit
Performance sports kit is increasingly the norm in independent schools. Perry leads the way by designing distinctive kit that stands out from the crowd and makes children feel proud to represent their school.
Perry also supplies branded kit from a range of international specialist brands such as Nike, New Balance, Grays International and Gilberts.
Designing For Your School Community
Most people educated in the UK have a memory of wearing school uniform and how it made them feel; often those feelings are of growing up and being proud to be part of something beyond just themselves, being part of a community.
Speaking to senior leaders at Perry partner schools about their uniform and sports kit, the common theme is the desire to ensure their uniform really reflects their community. After all, one size does not fit all when it comes to an individual school’s ethos and brand, so why should that be the case for uniform?
Uniform can be highly emotive within a school community. The uniform is defined by the school, which usually engages with parents and pupils and with specialist uniform providers. The parent then buys the uniform that is worn by their child. This means that it is important that the design, type and value of garments is tailored to the school’s specific community so that it can be embraced by all.
Over the years Perry has worked with many types of schools. A school with a more informal approach to education may look to a relaxed style of uniform to reflect their ethos; schools with a more formal style and approach may opt for a suit which is reflective of the workplace; a city-based school may want discrete branding to help their children travel around discretely; whereas a school in the countryside may want bright and visible colours; and for the schools where town meets country, a smart-casual look might hit the mark.
Pride in what you wear and pride in what you do – uniform should give each child a sense of pride when they get dressed in the morning, ready to put their best foot forward, thinking more about how they will reach their full potential that day, not what they are wearing. A comfortable uniform which is good value for money and looks great will always achieve this – and this is what Perry does best, a service which is tailored, not uniform.