Setting up a School Uniform Exchange

Combat climate change and save families money, one school uniform at a time

We’re on a mission to help schools across the borough make Camden a more sustainable place to live.  That’s why we’re supporting schools like yours to set up their own School Uniform Exchange.

What is a school uniform exchange?

It’s a community-driven initiative with the aim to reduce the need to buy new. Families donate good quality school clothing they no longer need, so other children and young people can reuse them for free. Exchanges help to reduce demand on Earth’s precious resources, such as water, and prevent new carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), protecting our health and the planet.

They also make buying school uniform more affordable, helping families to save money – which is especially important right now. Exchanging uniforms is also a great way to build a sense of community within schools, between teachers, parents and pupils.


  • Around 1.4 million school uniforms are thrown away every year
  • It takes up to 2,700 litres of water to produce one cotton school t-shirt
  • Reusing school uniforms can save families up to £348 per child
  • Extending how long clothes last by just three months can reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by 5-10%
  • Reusing just one blazer can prevent 67kg of new CO2 emissions – that’s the same amount as driving 297 miles.

Think of the difference we can make together if every school in Camden ran a School Uniform Exchange.

An orange header decorated with coloured school clothing illustrations

How to run your School Uniform Exchange

  • Download our how-to guide to help you kick-start your swap scheme
  • Find a space to collect donations and to display them
  • Request a storage container for your drop-off point – contact Dolly from Camden Council on the details below
  • Find helpers who can regularly run the exchange
  • Ask families at the school to donate good quality, pre-loved school clothing and accessories
  • Take stock of what items you have and what you need more of
  • Choose when to open the exchange when you have enough donations
  • Promote the exchange – we’ve suggested ways to spread the word in the how-to guide.
An orange header decorated with coloured school clothing illustrations

Your toolkit

We’ve created a handy toolkit to help you run your School Uniform Exchange. You can personalise the templates by adding the details of your exchange into the editable spaces on a computer.

Download the materials below or contact us for a printed toolkit.

An orange header decorated with coloured school clothing illustrations

We’re here to help

There are lots of ways we can help you to set up and run your School Uniform Exchange. We are on hand to help with anything you need, including funding.

We can provide funding for:

  • Clothing rails, coat hangers and storage
  • Promotional materials
  • Buying sew on school badges
  • Anything else that would be helpful.

We can print your promotional materials:

All of our toolkit materials are available to download above and you can add the details of your exchange to the poster and flyer templates. You can also print them on any printer but let us know if you would like us to print copies for you.

Please include the following information in your email when ordering materials:

  • Attach the templates with the details of the exchange added
  • How many copies you need
  • The address to send them to.

Ready to get started?

Contact Dolly at to discuss funding, materials and ideas for your exchange.

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