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Reduce, Recycle, Reuse School Uniforms

Whether you are in the market to donate or purchase second-hand, Ni4Kids’, Beth Mason, has put together a guide to sustainable school uniform shopping. 

The end of the school year is closing in and while school uniforms are probably the furthest thing from your mind, it won’t be long until August rolls around. 

In 2021, online resource, Parentkind, revealed that in Northern Ireland families spend on average £173 per primary school child and £378 per post primary school child on uniforms and sports clothing for school.  

With almost 350,000 school-age children across the region, not only will second-hand shopping save you precious pennies, it will also stop many of those uniforms going to landfill. 



The best place to start is with your child’s school. Many schools across the region run their own uniform recycling schemes and will accept donations at the end of the school year with a sale to follow in the summer months.  


Charity Shops 

It may sound obvious, but charity shops close to schools are likely to have a range of local uniforms. Ask in-store if they expect an influx of donations based on previous years, and if they wait until they have built up a collection before putting them out on display. 


ROC School Uniform Project 

The School Uniform project is one of the many annual projects run by the ROC (Redeeming Our Communities) Charity. Now in its sixth year, it has expanded to six locations across the Greater Belfast area providing new and good-quality pre-loved uniforms for nursery, primary and post-primary schools in these local communities. Over the summer each area will host a pop-up uniform shop where uniforms are provided completely free of charge for any families that need them. Locations and times of each pop-up shop below: 



Christchurch Presbyterian  

Tue 2 Jul, 3-7pm 

Dundonald Methodist Church 

Thu 8 Aug, 3-7pm 


Glengormley Methodist 

Tue 23, Wed 24 Jul 2-7pm; Thu 25 Jul, 10am-4pm 

West Belfast 

St John’s Parish Hall 

Tue 30 & Wed 31 Jul, 1.30-6.30pm; Thu 1 Aug, 1.30-4.30pm 


Eglinton Presbyterian  

Thu 18 Jul, 5-8pm 

Lower North Belfast 

Alexandra Presbyterian 

Thu 25 – Fri 26 Jul, 3-7pm 

South Belfast 

Belfast Citadel Salvation Army 

Tue 13 Aug, 11am-3pm; Wed 14 Aug, 4-7pm; Thu15 Aug, 11am-2pm 



Council-run initiatives 

Mid Ulster District Council leads the way with a School Uniform Reuse Scheme that gives local families the chance to buy second-hand uniforms at a discount price. The council has placed separate uniform reuse banks in its three main household recycling centres in Cookstown, Dungannon, and Magherafelt where uniform drop offs will be donated to its three charity shop partners NI Hospice Shop in The Diamond Centre, Magherafelt, Marie Curie in Cookstown, and Cancer Research in Dungannon. 


The SUB Lisburn 

Based in Trinity Methodist Church on Ballymacross Avenue, The SUB Lisburn is a charity organisation that collects donations of new and preloved school/nursery uniforms. You can find them on Facebook @Thesublisburn where they regularly post updated opening hours along with items they have in stock, such as sports kits.  



Local Facebook groups are a fantastic resource for those looking to source second-hand pieces but it can be a case of “in the right place at the right time” trying to find the precise school and the correct size. However, some schools have their own groups which makes the process much easier. 

There are also some dedicated groups, such as School Uniforms – Second-hand/preloved North Down, Ards & Belfast, which is a busy page with regular posts from parents advertising used school uniforms. 

Don’t forget about Facebook Marketplace either! It should be your first port-of-call for more generic items such as hockey sticks, and school bags. 


Second-hand app, Vinted, is a great resource for parents looking to source generic school uniform items such as grey trousers and skirts, plain polo shirts, and black regulation shoes. With a click, these items can be posted directly to your door or to your nearest pick-up point, making it a convenient options for those short on time.  

Omagh uniform exchange initiative

Specsavers Omagh is giving families a helping hand when it comes to organising uniforms for their children before schools head back in September.
The store, located at the Showgrounds Retail Park has volunteered to become a drop off point for uniforms of the local schools that pupils have grown out of, giving an opportunity to donate to other families of younger children.
Donna Harbison, Ophthalmic Director at Specsavers Omagh said: ‘My co-director and I are both parents with children attending school in the local community and we know the pressure families are under to pay for brand new uniforms, PE kits, school bags and stationery every year for the kids returning to school.”



This is a live list and will be regularly updated, so if you have any tips for uniform recycling in your region, please get in touch @