Social enterprise at St. Enoch Centre looks to tackle climate change with reusable school uniforms | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
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Social enterprise at St. Enoch Centre looks to tackle climate change with reusable school uniforms

ApparelXchange CIC, a Glasgow-based social enterprise, has set up shop in St. Enoch Centre ahead of the new school term, offering low cost uniforms that reduce the pollution and carbon emissions associated with the textiles industry.

The shop, which opened on Friday (9 August), offers a range of school uniforms for primary aged children, as well as jackets and sportswear.

Set up to tackle the constant need for a new uniform, with children growing out of their clothes at a swift pace, the initiative looks to sell used garments on to new homes at a low cost.

Since launching in March 2018, ApparelXchange has reused 65% of the 10,000 items of clothing processed, while the further 35% that were not in a condition to sell on were recycled. 

This equates to a saving of over 23.9 eqCO2t of carbon emissions through reuse and recycling, which is the equivalent to saving energy to make 450,943 cups of tea, taking 10 cars off the road in the UK for a year or saving 17 return flights from Edinburgh to New York.

Once donated, the clothes are sorted and washed to ensure they meet quality expectations, with both pre-worn and new garments available. The items on offer range from summer dresses to blazers for three-year olds ready to start school, to those going on to start secondary school at age 13.

Shoppers at St. Enoch Centre will now be able to access the low-cost alternative in time for the new term as pupils head back to school this Wednesday (14 August).

Izzie Eriksen, founding director of ApparelXchange, said: “We’re really excited to be setting up in St. Enoch Centre to provide an easily accessible hub for parents in Glasgow, and with a drive on circularity within the centre, it’s the perfect fit.

“School uniforms have a huge impact on the environment causing the same pollution as fast fashion, with children quickly growing out of their clothes before being scrapped. It’s vital that we are combatting the level of waste clothing created from school uniforms with a reuse agenda that prevents garments going to landfill and reduces our needs for more new garments. 

“Through our new store within St. Enoch Centre, we’re hoping to encourage families around Glasgow to opt for sustainability when getting ready for back to school and will be providing repair sessions for all ages once we get settled in.”

Anne Ledgerwood, general manager of St. Enoch Centre, said: “As we work with our retailers to promote circularity and sustainability, we’ve been able to launch some great initiatives throughout the centre. ApparelXchange is the latest step towards a circular model, reducing waste levels to ensure that we focus on reuse.

“ApparelXchange is a great initiative, and with children heading back to school within the coming days, it’s the perfect time to be launching the store.”

The ApparelXchange store can be found on level 1 opposite Debenhams.

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