School uniform 'swap shop' helping families save hundreds

September signals the start of the new school year, but for some, the start of term comes with a big bill.

For thousands of parents, it often means forking out hundreds of pounds on a child's new school uniform.

Now, a school uniform shop in Luton is helping families save money by offering a 'swap service'.

Click below for Raveena Ghattaura's report

The Uniform Exchange allows families to swap the school uniform they've finished with, for new or second hand items.

It's hoped this will save parents money and cut down on waste.

It's the small costs that start adding up. If you think about it through the whole year or if a family has got three or four children, you are saving several hundred pounds. It just means that money that would have otherwise gone onto uniform can go onto food or bills or rent, or hopefully something nice for the kids.

Christian Iszchak, Intermin Director
Since opening one year ago, it has saved families £28,000. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A survey by the charity, the Children's Society found on average parents pay £340 a year for secondary school uniforms.

It's now £255 for a typical primary school uniform.

These costs are putting 13 per cent of parents in debt, which is equal to around 1 million families in England.

All uniform can be donated to the store Credit: ITV News Anglia

The shop opened in August last year, and has given away more than four thousand items of clothing.

Uniform Exchange aims to encourage people to recycle and donate old school uniform items rather than putting them in the bin.

The service is open to anyone, and since opening, has saved families £28,000.

They also work with locals schools to support families who are feeling the financial strain.

A donation point for school uniform has been set up outside the shop in The Mall Luton Credit: ITV News Anglia

We've been running a poll on our Twitter page asking, 'how much do you spend, on average, on school uniform a year?

Here are the results: