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British primary school pupils lose a staggering £187m worth of uniform every year, research has revealed. A study found School jumpers (71%) were the most common item of clothing to go missing, followed by P.E. kit (47%) then plimsolls / trainers (23%) and socks (19%).
Two thirds of parents polled said they lost uniform, which had never been found, while one in five said this happened in their child’s first week.
Art class is the most high-risk environment for ‘missing’ uniforms, with paint and glue irreparably ruining the majority of garments leading to their abandonment.
John Carolan, Head of Childrenswear for Sainsbury’s, said:
“With today’s uniforms so vulnerable to loss and damage, as well as the on-going squeeze on finances, parents tell us that purchasing uniforms with low price points alongside durability and quality is more important than ever before.”
When it comes to time spent taking care of school uniforms, 44% of parents spend two hours a week cleaning, ironing and mending the garments.
Unsurprisingly, 75% of parents buy uniforms based on their time-saving qualities such as stain-resistant finishings, permanent pleats and creases and non-iron shirts.
Mr Carolan added:
“With so much school uniform going missing every year, it’s easy to see why parents don’t want to spend a fortune to kit the kids out for returning to school.”
The study also found children are inclined to wheel out a string of amazing excuses (even including the old classic of blaming the family dog).
Unable to defend themselves, animals were often the most common scapegoats, ranging beyond the family dog to the far more exotic zebras and tigers.
Hamsters were accused of stealing bags, dinosaurs tore trousers, ghosts borrowed jumpers and even teachers were accused of stealing garments just ‘because they liked them’.
More realistically, art class was blame for a large amount of the ruined uniform- 75% of clothes damaged in school were done so during a fight between paint and glue.
With due care and attention and thanks to the low cost of uniforms and vast improvements in garment technology, a child’s school uniform is one of the most cost-effective piece of clothing they will ever own – with parents spending on average just £137 a year on a child’s school uniform.