Tuesday, October 22, 2013

UniCycle, an exchange program in Northern Ireland

I recently came across a website, run out of the Bangor, Northern Ireland,  that maps out a program to help parents reuse and pass on outgrown uniforms.  The program is called UniCycle with the tagline to "repurpose grown out, not worn out uniforms."  The site points out that parents save money, children see recycling happening and the planet benefits too!  Because I'm also a supporter of these ideas, I wanted to share this site and program with you all.

Marianne Kennerley, the founder of UniCycle,  is quoted as stating why she started Uni-cycle:
"When my 5 year old son, Peter, grew out of his school trousers, still within their one hundred day guarantee, I had no-one to hand them on to.  With a younger daughter, Cerys, a year behind, parts of his school uniform had simply nowhere to go.  
Standing in the playground one day I realised that children grow at different rates and within a short space of time there can soon be be a surplus of barely worn uniforms that could and should be reused."
The website suggests that groups organize a uniform exchange program with a 3 step model.

  1. Collect uniforms by organizing a collection day
  2. Call to Action for the PTA volunteers to repair uniforms that need mending and sort the items by type and size.
  3. Hold the uniform exchange in a the style of a pop up shop.
The site provides a toolkit which contains a suggested pricing model and sample flyers that can be used to promote the collection of items or the exchange day itself.  It rewards parents that donate items with vouchers that can be used to purchase other items at the exchange.  

What a great program that can be emulated anywhere.  To learn more:

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