Ideas for torn and stained uniform

Preloved school uniform is not always suitable for resale, but there's no need to send it to landfill. Why not get crafty instead? Here are some creative ways to give donated items a new lease of life

▲‘Our PTA sells beautiful hair accessories made from leftover pre-loved uniforms that are not suitable for sale. A group of parents and grandparents from our school support us in helping to make them. This initiative is a part of our Project Unicycle, which aims to recycle as much uniform as possible.’

  • Katie Marsden, Greenmount PTA

▲‘At our uniform recycling scheme, we encourage parents to donate pre-loved, unwanted uniform that families can take for free. One of our talented grandmas makes these memory bears from anything left over and we sell them to the Year 6 leavers – a lovely keepsake to remember their time at our school.’

  • Tanya Dos Santos, St Mary Magdalen’s PTFA

▲‘We had several branded jumpers that were too damaged to sell in our pre-loved uniform sale. Rather than disposing of them, I decided to make some bunting to use at our events. Having never used a sewing machine before, I watched a few online tutorials first. Then I created a template, cut up the jumpers with pinking shears and got to work. The end result was very effective, and everyone loved them!’

  • Sarah O’Shea, Harold Court Primary School PTA

▲‘We wanted to create a unique keepsake for our leavers. So PTA secretary Mel Russell used uniforms that were too marked or damaged to sell in our second-hand uniform store to make these beautiful rosettes. Each of the 45 pupils received one as a gift.’

  • Gemma Rowlands, Friends of Burnham Copse PTA

▲‘I wanted our PTFA to be easily identifiable at events, so I went through the torn gingham summer dresses and made these lanyards.’

  • Jenny King, Friends of John Blandy

▲If you’re looking for a more sustainable alternative to leavers’ hoodies, order these custom-made memory cushions, which can be sewn from a variety of old uniform items, such as shirts, jumpers, cardigans and ties. No PTA seamstress required!

Five things to do with torn and stained uniform

  1. Make old polo shirts, sweatshirts and cardigans into tote bags or drawstring bags for PE kits.
  2. Sew colourful sun hats from worn-out summer dresses.
  3. Make aprons for PTA members to wear at fairs and events. Include a money pocket too.
  4. Use the cloth from sweatshirts, dresses, skirts and trousers to make handy reversible storage buckets for stationery, hair accessories and toys.
  5. For a simple way to use up small scraps, make lavender bags and sell at the summer fair.


Further inspiration for uniform