Getting Started

We have had experience with many schools who have gone through the “Uniform process”. We set out below some of the steps that a School contemplating the adoption of a Uniform might need to follow. We hope this might help you! 

Underway

  1. Often it is either the School Principal or the Parent Community who initially promote the idea of Uniform for a School. Always it needs to be both, Principal and Community, who consider the concept as positive.
     
  2. Sometimes a survey is taken among the School Community, sometimes involving the students, as to whether a School Uniform is supported or not. At this stage the issue of Compulsory or Voluntary adoption is also addressed.

 Shortlisting Suppliers

  1. Either the Principal, School Executive Officer, or a nominated Committee will then look for a handful of potential suppliers to present their credentials.
     
  2. It is recommended that the School’s decision maker visits the premises or factory of potential suppliers to see first hand the capability of the supplier to deliver the end result.
     
  3. References from Schools already supplied by any particular supplier should be checked at an early stage; Uniform Coordinators or Principals should be contacted to gain a reference check as to a supplier’s reliability and performance.
     
  4. Early questions to suppliers should centre on what contractual commitments, if any, the School will be expected to give, and whether the garments will be made by the supplier directly, or under contract by a third party, or offshore.

Design

  1. Once a supplier or suppliers have been short listed then it is into the design stage. Uniform trends need to be discussed, along with colour preferences, style, formality/informality etc. Sometimes preliminary design sketches and samples should be sourced to enable continuing feedback with the key decision makers at the School.
     
  2. Logos can be worked on, whether it’s embroidery, screen print or woven labels. These are an excellent way to individualise uniform for your School, and to ensure that the official uniform is always being worn.
     
  3. Pricing should be discussed at every step of the way so there is no mismatch between the garments that are being considered and School expectation as to affordability for Parents. And to avoid surprises at the end of the process!
     
  4. A decision will need to be made whether the School will retail the Uniform itself from the School’s premises, or whether a local Retailer will be involved. Sometimes a combined approach can work well. 

Final Selection

  1. Soon the uniform design, colour and fabric and logos should be at a final stage. Actual samples should be obtained to show to key decision makers at the School. A decision must be made about how democratic the process of final selection will be.
     
  2. And with garments finalized, prices should be confirmed and accepted, and the method of sale (School or Retail) confirmed.
     
  3. A full presentation of the final uniform can be made to staff, students and and/or parents.
     
  4. Initial order quantities are worked through and supply dates agreed.
     
  5. And when the uniform is supplied, on time and to specification, there should be smiles all round!

The above process can take anywhere from 1-2 years down to 1-2 months. As a general rule the more people involved in the process from the School, and the more consultation that is required, the longer the timeframe needs to be.  

So, not unexpectedly, the key is to plan the process, only work with a reputable supplier, and Get Started!