UK: Schooling green costs a lot of green

https://i1.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/_0wrYsM0WLL0/RpyZRjLpZmI/AAAAAAAAAAU/6afYNF6vW3Q/s400/Boys+School+Uniform.jpg?resize=400%2C330

An example of British primary school uniforms - not part of the original story

From The Daily Telegraph, 17 August 2009

By Richard Savill

A state school in Waterlooville, Hampshire, has been accused of potentially creating a “back-door selection” system by introducing a compulsory ‘eco-friendly’ uniform costing about £100 ($165 USD)

Oaklands Roman Catholic School in Waterlooville has introduced the uniform made from recycled bottles which can only be bought from the school or from the Schoolwear Shop in nearby Havant.

Other schools also have some degree of exclusivity, where logoed polo shirts or jumpers can only be bought from the school or one shop.

MPs have raised concerns that such expensive uniforms could deter poorer families from sending children to their chosen school…

Parents have pointed out that supermarkets like Tesco can supply entire uniforms for only £3.50 (about $5.75 USD).

Full Story here

69 thoughts on “UK: Schooling green costs a lot of green

  1. Aren’t natural fibers like cotton and wool, fundamentally, a more renewable resource that recycled plastic? What do they make the plastic bottles out of?
    This obviously runs against any “natural” or “organic” mentality. Who knows, maybe these uniforms cause cancer or something like that.

  2. You’re never too young to learn that ‘going green’ costs YOU a lot of money, and makes SOMEONE ELSE a fat profit….

  3. Look at those short pants and knee-length socks! I bet you the older kids will have to wear long pants which will cost even more.

  4. Now if they would just issue hair shirts, the kids could start doing their eco-penance while doing their mathematics.
    Let’s start a petition to rename the Prius to the Pious, that way everyone can be sure of how holy the hybrid owners really are.
    I have it on good authority that they can defecate without making any smell.

  5. This is a good thing! The uniforms will be unbearably uncomfortable. No better way do demonstrate the folly of the loony enviro cause than to let them do whatever they want! They will marginalize themselves quite effectively.

  6. I hasten to add that the story should mention recycled plastic bottles and not the glass version…:)
    I used some of this material to insulate my house last winter-I saw the cold weather coming thanks to WUWT. It was excellent.
    Surely the recycled bottles are used in the ever more common and fashionable ‘fleece’? It is very comfortable and hard wearing but by its nature will be warm-surely not ideal bearing in mind the unprecedented global warming that is now upon us.
    Presumably the price is so high as so few other schools are buying uniforms made from this material.
    tonyb

  7. Quoting Frederick:
    “What do they make the plastic bottles out of?”
    An astute question. Most plastics are made from petroleum.
    Green is as green does, sir.

  8. Fred from Canuckistan . . . (11:07:53) : “…Let’s start a petition to rename the Prius to the Pious, that way everyone can be sure of how holy the hybrid owners really are.”
    “Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.”
    “He whom God wishes to destroy, goes nuts for a Prius.”

  9. I think you will find that the photograph is taken in Turville, Oxfordshire. Caps and short trousers for schoolboys went out years ago in the UK. I would guess that the photo was taken some fifty or so years ago, or for a modren film maybe – Turville, in the Chiltern Hills, is very picturesque and, only 30-40 miles from the centre of London. It is frequently used for films and TV (eg. Vicar of Dibley).
    As this is a climate-sceptical website you may be interested to know that a windmill has been installed on the hill overlooking the village. But this was done in 1816 and replaced one that had been there since the sixteenth century. The payback came from milling grain – it was installed before CO2 was invented! The windmill is now purely ornamental. Hayley Mills owned it at one time.
    Regards

  10. Monbiot over at the Guardian has declared war on Tesco coz it plans to build a store in his pristine Welsh village. Sorry no link but easy to find on his website. A case of NIMBY

  11. Sorry for the families.
    Seems ridiculously expensive for recycled polyester…
    The idea of recycling is to save materials, energy and money. If these outfits cost much more than average, this suggests that no such savings are being realized.
    Much is written about the benefits of recycling, but little about the costs. HIgh energy and labour costs may make recycling net negative in both cases, and may lead to the conclusion that some recycling is fundamentaly anti-environmental.
    _____________________
    Polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes written poly(ethylene terephthalate)), commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P), is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination with glass fiber.
    Depending on its processing and thermal history, polyethylene terephthalate may exist both as an amorphous (transparent) and as a semi-crystalline material. The semi crystalline material might appear transparent (spherulites < 500 nm) or opaque and white (spherulites up to a size of some µm) depending on its crystal structure and spherulite size. Its monomer (bis-ß-hydroxyterephthalate) can be synthesized by the esterification reaction between terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol with water as a byproduct, or by transesterification reaction between ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate with methanol as a byproduct. Polymerization is through a polycondensation reaction of the monomers (done immediately after esterification/transesterification) with ethylene glycol as the byproduct (the ethylene glycol is directly recycled in production).
    The majority of the world's PET production is for synthetic fibers (in excess of 60%) with bottle production accounting for around 30% of global demand. In discussing textile applications, PET is generally referred to as simply "polyester" while "PET" is used most often to refer to packaging applications.
    Some of the trade names of PET products are Dacron, Diolen, Tergal, Terylene, and Trevira fibers,[1] Cleartuf, Eastman PET and Polyclear bottle resins, Hostaphan, Melinex, and Mylar films, and Arnite, Ertalyte, Impet, Rynite and Valox injection molding resins. The polyester industry makes up about 18% of world polymer production and is third after polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

  12. “We made a decision and that’s the decision we decided to make.” And voila, another Yogi Beraism is born. It’s deja-vu all over again.

  13. There is a real danger of childs being burned because dressing with this material is like dressing with fuel. Remember this when searching the culprits of those childs who will die.

  14. I dearly love to read a real expert upon his subject. Thanx.
    You are entirely right of course, recycling is no panacea and often costs more than it saves.
    Here we have an incinerator finally built after much objection so our refuse, garbage the USA might say, is burned and the valuable waste, aluminium, steel etc. is recovered, the glass goes for hardcore. To my mind this makes good sense, used plastics are turned into usable heat.
    Unfortunately although the plant has a small electric generating capacity which feeds into our grid much of the heat which could have been used for a District heating scheme to warm homes and offices goes to waste because the Greenies insisted the plant be sited well away from urban areas.
    They said the fumes might poison us all. Nope. Constant monitoring of the air quality around it shows it produces no dangerous contaminants.
    But that is typical eco/green luddism for you.
    Kindest Regards

  15. Fibers based on PET are very cheap.
    The so called Fleece Jackets (produced in China) are sold in Europe for under 10 Euro.
    I have a natural resentment against school uniforms and I think they should be banned, but that is a different story.
    Leaves me to comment the costs of the school uniform: it’s simply ridiculous.

  16. “A lot of green” – It’s nit-picking, I suppose, but it’s green only if payment is made in 100 pound notes.
    http://www.moneymatterstome.co.uk/Images/Euro_notesCoins.jpg
    Apparently, every denomination of Euro has its own color:
    5’s are light blue.
    10-pound notes are sort of reddish colored.
    20’s are a darker blue, and
    50’s are orange.
    200’s are yellow.
    500’s are pink.
    I’ve heard the dollar referred to in various slang, most often derived from food references: lettuce, dough, bacon, bread. I’d bet most other countries “get” those references. Don’t know if “green” will resonate with everyone in the international readership you’ve garnerered here, Anthony. ; – )

  17. Frederick Michael (10:41:38) : Who knows, maybe these uniforms cause cancer or something like that.
    Plastic in contact with that much of your body for long periods of time can’t be good.
    Any one with sense would only want children to have only cotton or wool in their school uniform.

  18. Being a citizen of Waterlooville I am puzzled why this is being reported on this American climate science blog. The uniform pictured is not a typical UK primary school uniform, your ideas in this regard are as outdated as your scientific views.
    The fact is Tescos is putting a lot of local businesses out of business and has in the past used cheap labour to produce its clothing range.
    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/business_money/child%20labour%20making%20tesco%20clothes/170400
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/13/ethical-supermarket-clothes
    The local paper also reported it:
    http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Ecofriendly-100-school-uniform-39popular39.5575080.jp
    The kids support the uniform, maybe they are less cynical and understand the issues better than Mr Watts. I hope Mr Watts research into US temperature measurements are more thorough than this poor attempt at media research.
    REPLY: Sir/madam look at the masthead, shall I then remove all articles on technology, electric cars, and anything else I’ve mentioned in the past that is non climate, just because you believe this blog should be only about climate? I think not. I suggest you get your own blog and you can operate it as you see fit. If you don’t like this one, please by all means don’t visit. -A

  19. Another point of course is that Oaklands is not a Primary school.
    It is a Sixth form college. The teenagers at the school wouldn’t be seen dead in the uniform pictured above.

  20. This is one of those things that just makes me AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Does anyone besides me just get sick of the crap being vomited up by the econuts?

  21. a jones (13:11:16),
    Put in some greenhouses to use the otherwise wasted heat, you might be able to use the CO2 from the flue as well.
    AGW true believers consider all combustion to be evil; worse if the only byproducts are CO2 and water vapor, both notoriously deadly pollutants.

  22. The Ville (13:57:32),
    The kids may support the new uniforms, but they aren’t the ones who have to pay for them. As a parent, I would hate to have to decide not to send my child to the preferred school solely because the uniform was too costly.
    After having recently purchased a few new clothes for the kids, $5.75 for a school uniform looks pretty good. Is that price subsidized? A cheap pair of denim pants on clearance at Wallmart costs $5.00.

  23. re: bill (13:46:26) :

    In UK many schools have logos on some items of the uniform These are usually only available from local retailers, and therefore more expensive.

    Admittedly, it is nearly 4 decades ago, but when I went to school the uniform was specified in terms of the colour of the blazer, trousers and shirt. The only custom items were the tie and a badge (logo) for the blazer. Everything else could be bought from pretty much any clothing shop. Clothing shops would even sew the badge on the blazer for you for a small charge.

  24. As The UK newspaper The Sun’s Littlejohn might say – “you couldn’t make it up!” (I’d wager that he falls into the sceptical camp.)
    The picture appears to be date from the 60’s? I was at primary school then but didn’t have to wear a uniform: something for which I am eternally grateful…
    Personally I wouldn’t fancy wearing plastic clothes. The point has been made already that these ‘green clothes’ are basically made out of crude oil…

  25. @Bruce Cobb: Yeah, and you can see a lot just by looking. Yogi was wiser than all of us in those days.

  26. You really can’t make it can you?
    When this incinerator was built the glass house grower just over the road who grew roses, orchids and such like fancy things claimed its emissions would destroy his business.
    Naturally he got considerable compensation to move his business elsewhere.
    Yet the plant engineer tells me that it actually has a CO2 clean take off so that the flue gas can be used in greenhouses. But it has never been used.
    And the glass houses over the road which could easily be connected up for heat and CO2 stand idle. The government did not purchase them in exchange for the compensation paid and the grower will not put them back in service because he would forfeit his compensation payment if he did.
    And the poor taxpayer foots the bill. It is a mad mad world my masters.
    Kindest Regards

  27. The Ville (13:57:32) : You say that ‘The kids support the uniform…’ Perhaps they would not if they had to pay for it themselves out of their pocket money! When I attended primaryschool in the UK, several of the kids were dropped off by parents in big posh cars. The rest of us who had to walk in the rain or snow ‘All supported our parents dropping us off in big posh cars’ (unfortunately, the majority of parents could hardly find the money to feed us!).

  28. The only true green clothing is no clothing.
    Run Naked For The Planet! ™
    Go To School Naked For The Planet! ™
    Go To Work Naked For The Planet! ™
    Take Your Clothes Off For The Planet!(tm)
    Have Sex For The Planet (OK I’ll stop here … getting carried away)

  29. I think the eco-fleece range from Kathmandu are made from recycles bottles too, but don’w quote me on this. They are quite comfortable in fact../had to buy one a few months back on a recent trip from Sydney to Melbourne, Australia. It was so cold in Melbourne, had to buy a fleece from a secondhand clothes shop, cost me all of AU$10…with a 200 Koruna note in one of the pockets.
    Crickey Anthony, this is close to home for me. I used to live in Clanfield, just a few miles up the old A3 towards Petersfield. I also worked for IBM at Havant Plant.

  30. The Ville (14:12:07) : Oaklands harbours children from eleven to eighteen. It is titled ‘Oaklands Catholic School AND Sixth Form College. The children of eleven and twelve years of age are not teenagers. Not being seen dead in school uniform is also not an option whether it be old or modern.

  31. Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that this blog post has nothing to do with science. It just confirms Mr Watts political motives.
    REPLY: So, recycling plastic bottles into threads has nothing to do with science? Political motives? Hardly, I just think it is stupid to have something so overpriced. Recycling (which I support – see my about page) is useful and embraceable when it is practical. This isn’t practical. – A

  32. Re: Allan M R MacRae
    “Seems ridiculously expensive for recycled polyester…”
    The Ville: The cost of the uniforms has nothing to do with recycling.
    A lot of the ultra cheap supermarket clothing is made from recycled plastics.
    Re: Allan M R MacRae
    “The idea of recycling is to save materials, energy and money. If these outfits cost much more than average, this suggests that no such savings are being realized.”
    The Ville: No it doesn’t, it means that the manufacturer is charging a lot of money, possibly because of the relatively small production numbers involved or the labour costs are higher, eg. they are made in the UK. Speculating about why the uniforms are expensive does not explain the real reason for the cost of the uniform.
    Re: Allan M R MacRae
    “Much is written about the benefits of recycling, but little about the costs. HIgh energy and labour costs may make recycling net negative in both cases, and may lead to the conclusion that some recycling is fundamentaly anti-environmental.”
    The Ville: Plastic bottles do not require a lot of energy to recycle.

  33. I wore a suit like that in the 1940s – there is even a picture of me in it illustrating a shot of swans in the winter of 46/47. A significant winter that was.
    However, the uniform was the cap and the tie, not the whole suit – that cost my parents an arm and a leg during the war.
    Where on earth does that picture come from?

  34. I wore a suit like that in the 1940s – there is even a picture of me in it illustrating a shot of swans in the winter of 46/47. A significant winter that was.
    However, the uniform was the cap and the tie, not the whole suit – that cost my parents an arm and a leg during the war.
    Where on earth does that picture come from?
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  35. The Ville:
    The kids support the uniform, maybe they are less cynical and understand the issues better than Mr Watts.
    By that you mean of course that they have been properly brainwashed with AGW and “green” propaganda.

  36. “Bruce Cobb (05:00:24) :
    The Ville:
    The kids support the uniform, maybe they are less cynical and understand the issues better than Mr Watts.
    By that you mean of course that they have been properly brainwashed with AGW and “green” propaganda.”
    Ditto to that, and I add that UK kids are so depressed because of the constant AGW propaganda spewed out during class, none of them are learning anything, and when they’ve had enough, they top themselves.

  37. I do not support the use of uniforms in schools.
    I do not support faith schools
    I do not like misinformation either.
    Check this out and see if you disagree with their ethos.
    These children are young adults and their clothing cost reflects this.
    From the school website:
    From the press release:
    help for those unable to pay:
    The Governing Body, most of whom are parents, decided as part of the process and in order to alleviate any financial pressure while our Oaklands Parents Association builds up a stock of second-hand items, to set aside funds to help parents where there are cases of hardship and all parents have been made aware of this.
    availability:
    Most of the school uniform is now available from ANY schoolwear shop or high street retailer.
    Locally produced:
    The school was also keen to ensure a number of items were manufactured in the UK and EU. The school does not take an income from the supplier.
    Why others are cheap:
    Supermarkets appear to be selling ‘budget’ or ‘value’ uniform as a loss leader during the ‘back to school season’
    No sweat shops:
    Of greater concern to the school is that the cheap manufacturing of school uniform in the developing world comes at the price of long hours and appalling conditions for those involved.
    Cost:
    Unisex Short Sleeved Jumper
    •Sizes 24-30″ – £11.50
    •Sizes 32-38″ – £16.50
    •Sizes 40-48″ – £20.50
    Unisex Long Sleeved Jumper
    •Sizes 24-30″ – £12.50
    •Sizes 32-38″ – £16.50
    •Sizes 40-48″ – £20.25
    Boys Blazer
    •Sizes 28-38″ – £30.50
    •Sizes 40-50″ – £35.50
    Boys Shirt
    Available from local retailers
    Boys Trousers
    •Sizes 24-26″ – £13.50
    •Sizes 28-40″ -£15.50
    Tie
    £3.50
    the uniforms:
    http://oaklands.hants.sch.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=437&Itemid=446
    the uniform:
    Girls:
    •Navy Ecosmart blazer with crest
    •Navy v-neck jumper or tank top with logo
    •Navy and white striped v-neck revere blouse
    •Navy stitched down pleated skirt (no shorter than 18″)
    •Navy straight leg trousers (or specified “Banner” brand from Havant National Schoolwear Shop)
    •Navy, black or natural tights (no patterns or lace)
    •Flat black shoes (no higher than 2″, not trainers or casual style); platform or stilettos are not permitted
    Boys:
    •Navy Ecosmart blazer with crest
    •Navy v-neck jumper or tank top with logo
    •White shirt
    •Navy and royal double stripe tie
    •Navy trousers
    •Black socks
    •Black shoes (not trainers or casual style)
    I hope that the comments made here about the ideal cost of supermarket uniforms does not reflect the writers condoning the use of sweatshop produced goods.
    UK children/youn adults do not top themselves because of AGW propaganda. Most just want to preserve their futures by minimising environmental impact – is that wrong?
    Is it wrong that the EU is setting recycling guides, or is it better that even more of the UK gets covered by vast reserves of once recyclable material?

  38. Re Bruce Cobb.
    Well. UK students are taught what is sensible and responsible when it comes to waste. It is after all their future and it is they that would have to deal with waste mountains and emissions.
    As it happens, there is a huge waste mountain quite close to Waterlooville, at Port Solent. It dominates the landscape. Thankfully it isn’t growing any more and is being landscaped. However it sticks out like a sore thumb.

  39. Mr Watts said:
    “So, recycling plastic bottles into threads has nothing to do with science? Political motives? Hardly, I just think it is stupid to have something so overpriced. Recycling (which I support – see my about page) is useful and embraceable when it is practical. This isn’t practical. – A”
    The Ville: If you want to complain about over pricing Mr Watts, I suggest that you look at your own nation and the prices of ‘plastic’ uniforms that parents have to pay for private schooling in your own country. I think you will find they are similar prices. I’m assuming that the issue isn’t who is buying them, but just the price.
    You also have not written the article in the context of science. You have not expained any processes used in recycling or the science behind it.
    Therefore, yes, this blog post/thread is political.
    REPLY: Sir/madam, look at the masthead, I have all the context I need. And, I didn’t write the article, it is an excerpt from an article in the UK Telegraph. Your opinion that I wrote it, wrong as it is, is noted. Your inability to distinguish fact is not helping you. -A.

  40. Let us not forget the central European country where 78% of PBS were recycled in 2007. It is easier when you do not have to follow EU guides.

  41. ” The Ville (07:41:09) :
    Well. UK students are taught what is sensible and responsible when it comes to waste. It is after all their future and it is they that would have to deal with waste mountains and emissions.
    As it happens, there is a huge waste mountain quite close to Waterlooville, at Port Solent. It dominates the landscape. Thankfully it isn’t growing any more and is being landscaped. However it sticks out like a sore thumb.”
    Let us not forget the central European country where waste is burned (it can be done safely) and not dumped into the ground water and then hidden (=landscaped).

  42. Selecting waste data in different years as well!
    Cool. Is that common practice on this blog?
    Any more political garbage?
    REPLY: You’ve said that before, so your welcome has been withdrawn, since your purpose is denigration, not discussion. If you want to complain about this story, I suggest you complain to the Telegraph, in your own country, which is the source of this story excerpted here. – A

  43. Faith schools: I also do not believe in faith schools. However, it you want to spend money on sending your kids to one, go ahead. However, if your faith school indoctrinates your children against a free and open society then I have reservations about allowing such a school to sit within our border.
    Uniforms: If a district enforces uniforms, then at least one school and all charter schools should be allowed to have dress codes without uniforms. I witnessed a very fashion talented middle school girl drop out of school over her use of very cute hats to go with her very cute outfits. Hats were not allowed and she stuck to her guns about the hats. So she walked out. She has now permanently left school and is not doing well. She could have taken the fashion industry by storm.
    Purchasing and costs: The school should provide uniforms at cost. Retailers can sell them at profit if they wish. The uniform should support your own country’s industry and should be sweat-shop free from the thread, to the fabric, to the finished garment. I don’t care what they are made of. The ecology footprint is the same regardless of fabric content.
    Whatever happened to the generation that protested against human suffering? Are they dead and gone like Bobby and Martin? What is this gnashing of the teeth over recycled pop bottles???????

  44. Alexej Buergin (07:57:00) : Try more modern data:
    http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/waste/kf/wrkf15.htm
    25.3 million tonnes of household waste was collected in England in 2007/08; 34.5% of this waste was collected for recycling or composting. The amount of household waste not re-used, recycled or composted was 16.6 million tonnes, a decrease of 7.0 per cent from 2006/07. This equates to 324kg per person of residual household waste and shows progress towards the 2010 target, in the Waste Strategy 2007, of reducing this amount to 15.8 million tonnes.
    The waste pie:
    http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/waste/kf/wrkf05.htm

  45. To “The Ville”, your welcome mat has been withdrawn since with your recent posts (which remain unpublished) you are now exhibiting classic troll behavior. Trolls are discouraged on WUWT.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28internet%29
    As I said, if you have issue with the article, take it up with the Telegraph as I’ve excerpted it without adding any wording of my own. If they see fit to print a retraction, I’ll print it here also.

  46. Can you believe the nonsense commented on this article. The issue that the Daily Telegraph was taking up, and it has been in the media for some time (very samll coverage it has to be said) is that schools can effectively select students by charging high amounts for uniforms. It has nothing to do with recucled bottle tops. Other schools do exactly the same thing, the uniform costs just as much but it is not made from recucled material. So if you are going to post on this at least get the facts straight.
    To the moron who mentions ‘Made from crude oil, – nonsense, where does polyester come from anyway? See the comment above which clearly points this out.
    Just amazing – give people the opportunity to moan and they will, at any old tat that can be had, doesn’t matter whether its true or not, or whether its been put into context.
    Green = expensive. I don’t know whether it is or isn’t, but at least compare apples with apples. Ie don’t compare cheap clothing made in an Asian sweatshop with quality item made in the UK where cost of labour is probably 10 times as much. This appears to be a site where idiots can let off a good rant about a storm in a tea cup. They know nothing about the tea cup, but can tell you the precise temperature of the tea. But is it green tea or darjeeling?

  47. Alexej Buergin (10:46:00) :
    I tried and did not find anything about recycled plastic bottles. They seem to be included in “co-mingled”. So the UK does not separate plastic from other stuff, yet.
    Plastic is recycled in most areas. Even tetrapac is recycled. plastic forms 0.6% of total. there does not seem to be recent bottle recycling amount.
    So are you suggesting that the UK imports bottles to recycle into clothes?
    The article is typical quiet period stuff that trash like the telegraph and mail love to print.

  48. Recycle and be poorer!. Anything that you recycle (use once, twice, etc) you stop buying a new item.
    Journalists articles should be recycled also, so cost will lower for the media:more recycling, les journalists…(Ha!…they didn´t thought it this way)
    Recycling is anti-capitalist, recycling is communist!

  49. “bill:So are you suggesting that the UK imports bottles to recycle into clothes?”
    No. Do not import used plastic bottles. Do not recycle them into clothes.
    But: Put plastic bottles in one bin, glass into another, metals into a third, green stuff into a forth, and New Labour into a fifth. Replace Gordon Brown with Chubby Brown.

  50. £100? Are they serious? My school uniform 26 years ago cost more than that at the time, let alone the cost of inflation. Roman Catholic school blazers alone cost about £65 in 1980’s money. I have no idea what that relates to in today’s money.
    Kids today, they don’t know their born…

  51. Sorry, folks, this really doesn’t have much to do with recycling – as others have said, fleece is often made from recycled plastic and the school seems to be aiming for a higher-quality, better produced (in many ways) garment than the cheap tat that the supermarkets are loss-leading.
    The Telegraph article is really about the politics of selection in state schools, and in particular ‘faith’ schools. This is a long story which I won’t elucidate here, but really the ‘eco’ angle is just a cheap side-swipe by the Telegraph to keep their readers on-side, because your typical Telegraph reader probably quite likes the idea of selection (grammar schools) and making little Johnny and Joanna wear a smart uniform (probably with a bit of caning thrown in for good measure 🙂

  52. Of greater concern to the school is that the cheap manufacturing of school uniform in the developing world comes at the price of long hours and appalling conditions for those involved.
    Well perhaps the workers in these third world swet shops should have a say. It might seem like slave labour to some in the west, but the choice for these people is food or NO food, any work is better than NO work and it will improve over time just as it did in the UK for the children working from the age of 5 down the coal mines.

  53. I have noticed the term, “sweatshop,” being thrown about quite freely in this discussion. Because a company chooses to purchase clothing manufactured in low-wage countries does not justify describing those clothes as having been made in a “sweatshop.” Now, if you want to practice protectionism, fine, you reap what you sow (and I don’t mean that necessarily in a negative way), but leave the demagoguery to the politicians.

  54. BoS
    This appears to be a site where idiots can let off a good rant about a storm in a tea cup.
    Pamela Gray
    Faith schools: I also do not believe in faith schools. However, it you want to spend money on sending your kids to one, go ahead. However, if your faith school indoctrinates your children against a free and open society then I have reservations about allowing such a school to sit within our border.
    Unfortunately, there is some truth in what Bos says. Exhibit One: the rant from Pamela Gray. I wonder who Ms Gray thinks should have the greater say over how their children are educated: their parents or the State? Or perhaps Ms Gray thinks that she should decide how everybody’s children should be educated? Please stick to climate issues in future, Pamela, and leave out your prejudices on non-climate issues.
    Like some other contributors I did wonder what this article had to do with climate change. Yes, Anthony, it’s your site and you can do with it what you want but I think that it would have been better to omit this item. I just cannot see the point its inclusion is trying to make, especially when you read the comments from several UK contributors.
    Now here is a real story about climate change and education in the UK. The first point to notice is that education in England and Scotland (and NOW, thanks to Mr McAskill, you’ve all heard about Scotland, haven’t you?) are administered totally separately – like education in Texas and California. Here in Scotland we have an organisation called Learning Teaching Scotland. Its purpose is to provide resources for use in schools. It has now produced resources for teaching about climate change. Now you would think that when something is tackled in an educational institution it might be tackled in a balanced way. (Well, alright, you’re not that daft.) You know, putting both sides of the issue. Well LTS’s materials on climate change start off with this statement:
    “There is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that the earth is warming, and that the degree of recent changes can be explained only by the effect of human activities. In Scotland there is evidence of changes with relative sea level rise affecting parts of the coast, maximum and minimum peak river flows increasing, average air and sea surface temperatures increasing, and species distributions changing.”
    The following item appears below a photograph of polar bears;
    “Climate change is real and the time to act is now.
    Our world is warming faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years and human activity is to blame. In Scotland, 2006 was the warmest year on record. Every day millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases are emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere, driving global warming.
    The actions that you take have an impact. You can make a difference.
    What happens in the next few years is crucial. If we keep polluting and acting like nothing is wrong then dangerous climate change is inevitable. If we take action to tackle global warming, lower our carbon footprint, and tell people about climate change and what they can do to fight it, then we can reduce our impact on Planet Earth.”
    And then there comes the ‘balance’:
    “Although there is an unprecedented consensus among world scientists that global warming is caused by human activity, not all scientists and commentators agree. Media reports often highlight climate change myths and and TV documentaries and books have questioned the influence of humans on the climate
    There are a few scientists and commentators who don’t agree with the scientific evidence that human activity is changing the Earth’s climate.”
    Then there’s this cracker:
    “It is important to consider all points of view, have informed debate and examine the arguments that climate sceptics make.”
    And here’s their idea of informed debate:
    “The level of consensus regarding climate change within the scientific community is unprecedented. The latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the work of over 2,500 scientists, from 130 countries, with over 800 peer reviewers.
    They then go on to quote various bodies which support the theory of AGW.”
    So this is now the official idea of ‘informed debate’ in Scotland. Let the AGW brigade give you both sides!
    For anybody wanting to see more of this stuff then go to:
    http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/sustainabledevelopment/climatechange/index.asp

  55. woodfortrees (Paul Clark) (02:19:53) :
    It’s amazing what some people can read between the lines. I must learn how to do that some time. Maybe my shoulder chip can become as self evident.

  56. Thanks for pointing out this article, Anthony. It’s certainly not world-shaking that a school would require “green” uniforms, but it is another example of an amusing modern trend.
    It’s also interesting how various commenters have interpreted the article according to their own backgrounds. It reminds me of the story about the blind men and the elephant.

  57. ” Bill P (13:36:15) :
    A lot of green” – It’s nit-picking, I suppose, but it’s green only if payment is made in 100 pound notes.
    http://www.moneymatterstome.co.uk/Images/Euro_notesCoins.jpg
    Apparently, every denomination of Euro has its own color.”
    Some more nit-picking: A UK-“pound” £ is not the same thing as an Euro (there’s the bloody-independent-minded Brit for you). But of course you are right: It is very practical to be able to distinguish money by color and size; and the only reason to use a 1-$ bill instead of a coin is for tips in another country.

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