Fair trade, organic and recycled school uniform in the high street

organic, fair trade and recycled school uniform from TescosI’m not a fan of Tesco’s – they’ve been accused of Greenwashing a few too many times, so that now they’ve become a bit like the ‘boy who cried wolf’ to me.

Some of their policies aren’t exactly ethical, but I do like to believe the good in people, and that people are capable of change, so I’m sharing some news about them today.

Tescos are selling a range of recycled, organic and fair trade school uniforms which I felt obliged to tell you lovely readers about.


In their recycled range, Tesco are offering pinafores, shirts, fleeces and trousers that are made from polyester, manufactured from plastic bottles.

It takes six 1 litre bottles to make a skirt and seventeen to make a fleece. In total, Tesco reckon to have diverted over 40,000 plastic bottles from the landfill. In addition, of course, there is less reliance on oil when you reuse materials, which is a non-renewable resource.

Fair Trade and Organic

In their Fairtrade and organic cotton range, Tesco are offering shirts, trousers, pinafores and polo shirts.

We all know by now that if we buy Fairtrade, small scale farmers can get a ‘fair wage’ and no child labour will be used. This bring massive benefits to communities in cotton growing areas and empowers families to become more self sufficient.

More importantly, cotton is one of the most sprayed crops on the planet. It makes for hazardous work for farm labourers and destroys the eco system.

Buying organic cotton is better for you, the farmers and the planet. It helps to maintain the natural balance of plant and animal life and is a more sustainable crop. Tesco are using organic cotton sourced mainly from farming co-operatives in India.


In addition, Tesco are working with Save the Children. If you buy a pair of trousers from the ‘Save the Children’ range, Tescos will provide a school skirt, shirt or pair of trousers to a child in Kenya.

In Kenya many children don’t go to school simply because their families cannot afford a uniform, so by supporting this range of clothing, you can help change this.

What do you think? Is this an affordable solution to the expense of school uniform for eco friendly parents or another attempt at Green washing by Tescos?


  1. Richard Millington on August 13, 2008 at 4:56 am

    I generally agree with your senitments about Tescos. I really doubt they could give a damn about the environment unless they can see a profit in it. The only schemes they launch are the ones they think will net them a profit.

    This places the onus on us then doesn’t it? When they launch a new green scheme, we should embrace it, because surely that will convince them to undertake more?

  2. Mrs Green on August 13, 2008 at 6:15 am

    Hi Richard,
    You make a good point. A forum that I like to take part on was having a discussion recently about whether we should support large corporations that greenwash in order to get them to make more ethical changes.

    I guess if they are doing *something* we should show our support, regardless of their motive. But then I think about the two companies who set up fairtrade and organic school uniform shops a few years ago and I wonder how they can compete with Tesco prices. Will they now go out of business?

    It’s an ethical challenge, isn’t it?

    I’m adding you to our links section now and have a post about MoreEco ready to go up in the morning 🙂 I’m pleased to see you’ve had so much positive coverage on the web this week 🙂