The Challenge with School Uniforms
In Hong Kong, an estimated 2.5 million uniform items are purchased by school students every year. When students outgrow their uniforms, or when the school decides to make changes to it, many items end up in landfills. Most school uniforms contain fabrics like polyester, viscose and acrylic that are hard to recycle and take thousands of years to decompose in a landfill.
Many schools tackle the issue of uniform waste through second-hand uniform sales organized by parent or student volunteers. But the impact of this approach is limited: sales are usually only held a few times a year, purchases can only be done in person, and with every school doing essentially the same thing, there is a massive duplication of effort.
Our Partnership with Retykle
Retykle is an established e-commerce platform based in Hong Kong and Singapore that enables parents to buy pre-loved designer children’s clothing online at a fraction of its retail price.
To help address the challenge of school uniform waste, Retykle has agreed to offer second-hand school uniforms on their existing platform. Following a successful pilot with two schools in Hong Kong, we are extending the pilot to include three more schools in 2022-23.
This approach has multiple benefits: a searchable inventory of second-hand uniforms by color, size and style, convenient 24/7 shopping rather than just a few times a year, centralised warehousing, home delivery, and it enables uniform items without logos like white shirts to be purchased by parents from any school.
We believe this approach has the potential to increase the sales of second-hand school uniforms by a factor of 100x, keeping many more school uniforms in circulation and out of landfills.