PARENTS
24/08/2018 06:01 BST

School Uniform Shop: How Aldi, Tesco, Asda And Others Compare

Does cheaper uniform mean worse quality?

The expense of going back to school can make a pretty big dent in your wallet, what with the stationery supplies, new backpacks and the school uniform.

Nowadays, high-street retailers advertise their discounted school uniforms, often trying to beat each other on price. Some will have bigger ranges, while others will be cheaper. Despite some retailers already being sold out like Lidl (nothing like the back to school rush, hey?), there are still others available.

One thing more parents are now looking into is how sustainable the school uniform they’re buying is. Martin Buttle is the strategic lead for apparel and textiles at ETI, a code that means retailers, brands and their suppliers take responsibility for improving the working conditions of the people who make their products, Members include M&S, John Lewis, ASOS, Tesco, and H&M.

“We challenge our members to trade ethically, provide training and resources, and support them to put in place solutions that benefit workers in their supply chains,” he says. 

Valeriy_G via Getty Images

So if a school uniform is cheap, does that mean it’s not sustainable? “Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to give a definitive answer,” says Buttle. “While price can be an indicator of worker exploitation, not all low-cost garments will be sourced under exploitative conditions, and even expensive garments can be made under exploitative conditions. The price will depend on a retailer’s profit margins, the volumes they buy, and the terms negotiated with the factories making the clothes.”

David Burgess, chair of the Schoolwear Association, reminds parents: “The real value in uniforms can be found in the fabric, and in order to withstand the daily stress that comes from a school day it is wise to look for heavier materials, and other long-life features, checking whether the garment has robust stitching, for example. Taking an extra few minutes to examine what you are purchasing before being sold by the price may save you a money in the future.”

Here’s a breakdown of some of the offers on the high-street right now, with them answering questions about their school uniform on offer. 

Aldi

ALDI

What are the prices of the main items in your school uniform? 

:: Boys/girls’ trousers - £2.25

:: Pleated skirt - £2.25

:: Round-neck sweatshirt - £1.00

:: Polo shirt - £1.75/2 pack

What makes Aldi’s school uniform stand out from others available? 

“We have great quality for everyday amazing prices.”

What else in in your school uniform range?

“We have lunch-bags, notebooks, stationery, drinks flasks - prices start from 99p.”

Where can people buy it - online or in store or both?

“Both in stores and online, while stocks last.”

M&S

mS

What are the prices of the main items in your school uniform? 

:: Skirt – from £9

:: Top – from £7

:: Jumper – from £8

:: Skirt – from £8

:: Trousers – from £9

What materials do you use in your school uniform? Is it sustainable?

“All of our school essentials use responsibly sourced cotton, supporting farmers and the communities in which we operate. All all our trousers, skirts, pinafores and blazers we use eco-dye routes which save both water and energy compared to conventional dying process.”

What makes M&S’ school uniform stand out from others available? 

“M&S’s new Life Isn’t Uniform campaign highlights how life isn’t always ordered and perfect and getting uniform right for busy parents is really important. We have made this easy with a range of schoolwear to suit every child. Throughout the summer, we are also giving kids a certificate with every schoolwear purchase. Our ‘Easy Dressing’ range has been designed to make dressing easier and clothing more comfortable for children with physical and sensory disabilities.”

What else in in your school uniform range?

“A great selection of backpacks – we now stock the Kids Ultimate Backpack which has been designed with the help of spinal charity, Backcare, a charity dedicated to helping people avoid preventable spinal problems.”

Where can people buy it - online or in store or both?

Both.

Tesco

FF/Tesco

What are the prices of the main items in your school uniform? 

:: Pack of 2 short-sleeve shirts – from £2

:: Pack of 2 polo shirts – from £2.50

:: Jumper – from £7

:: Pack of 2 skirts – from £5

:: Pack of 2 trousers – from £7

What makes Tesco’s school uniform stand out from others available? 

“Our back to school collection features improved styles and cuts in the highest quality. We use stain repellent technology and eco-friendly fabric. All trousers feature reinforced knees in a stretch material to ensure durability and all shirts come in an easy-iron fabric, to make parents’ lives easier.”

What else in in your school uniform range?

“Backpacks and coats are also available.”

Where can people buy it - online or in store or both?

“Both.”

Asda

Asda

What are the prices of the main items in your school uniform?

:: Trousers - from £3

:: Polos - from £2.50

:: Shirts - from £3

:: Jumpers - from £3

:: Skirts - from £3

What makes Asda’s school uniform stand out from others available?

“There is a 100 day guarantee across all schoolwear products. Both boys and girls shirts and polos have a ‘Stay White’ feature which helps to keep whites looking whiter for a minimum of 20 washes. All colour sweats have a Lasting Colour feature to maintain colour. And polos have a Stain Release feature to repel and release all stains.”

What else is in your school uniform range?

“We also have shoes, stationery, bags and lunch boxes.”

Where can people buy it - online or in store or both?

“Both online and in store.”

Morrisons

Morrisons

What are the prices of the main items in your school uniform? 

:: Short sleeved shirt – 2 pack from £3.50

:: White polo - 2 pack from £2.50

:: Sweatshirt - from £3.00

:: Pleated skirt  - from £4.00

:: Trousers – 2 pack from £7.00

What makes Morrisons’ school uniform stand out from others available?

“Nutmeg’s uniform essentials and PE kit staples are all about the detail with adjustable waist bands; easy iron, bobble resistant and machine washable fabrics and scuff resistant shoes. Customers can also pick up a complete school wardrobe from just £11.50.”

 What else in in your school uniform range?

“We have PE kits, socks, tights and briefs.”

Where can people buy it - online or in store or both?

“Both.”

Debenhams

Debenhams

What are the prices of the main items in your school uniform? 

“Prices range between £4 - 12. PE kits are typically within the £4 bench mark, where as our shirts, polo shirts and knitwear start from £7 and grade accordingly within size.”

What materials do you use in your school uniform? Is it sustainable?

“We use viscose, polyester, 100% cotton and eco-elite Teflon coated trousers.”

What makes Debenhams’ school uniform stand out from others available?

“We are competitively priced and offer a fashion led teen range which is not widely offered with other retailers. We offer durable and completely, machine washable clothing designed to last.”

What else in in your school uniform range?

“Shoes, rucksacks, lunch bags and boxes.”

Where can people buy it - online or in store or both?

“Both.”

Have you got any tips, tricks or hacks on making the back to school expense even cheaper? Let us know- ukparents@huffpost.com.

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