As a mum of three Sarah Payne is used to buying school uniform for her children. And as a Buyer for George she buys school uniform worn by millions of children across the UK! Here she blogs about what she looks for – and what makes our uniform such great value.
As the Buyer for Schoolwear I’m responsible for pulling together a schoolwear range that children are going to want to wear, that schools are going to want them to wear and that parents are going to want to buy. In effect we have three customers that we need to please – and sometimes they clash!
As a mum – I've got a 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old twins – I want something that’s going to last, that’s comfortable for them and that has a fashionable element. The fabrics we use are all tested to be fully durable.
All our skirts, pinafores and trousers have got the Eco-elite Teflon finish to make them stain resistant and stain repellant. Our knitwear, sweatshirts and coloured polo shirts feature lasting colour technology that means the colours stay brighter for longer. Our stain-release polo shirts stay white for longer. That's important with footballers like my sons, especially when they go out in white polo shirts and come back in brown ones!
The Teflon finishes have been around for a few years but each year we’re working behind the scenes constantly trying to improve them. The big thing this year has been moving from a standard Teflon finish to one that’s more eco-friendly – it’s PFC free and uses less water in the production of the garment. It’s more economical and it’s better for the environment, but it gives the same quality finish.
All our George schoolwear is covered by our 100-day guarantee – and this now includes footwear. So if they’re faulty or you’re not happy with them you can bring them back within 100 days for a full refund.
I love it when I get positive feedback about the range. We recently asked people on Facebook to tell us what they love about our school uniform for a chance to win George giftcards, and we got some great responses:
Sarah: Good quality material at a good price, lots of styles to choose from the fabrics are very giving and soft on the skin. My daughter starts school in September and has very bad eczema but found that George of Asda materials were soft and not rough like other uniform suppliers. Thumbs up
Nichola: I love George uniform because they wash so well. I've never had to throw out any George uniform, I've only passed it on when it no longer fits. The sweatshirts don't fade in the wash and marker pen etc come out much better than the premium brands.
Jackie: Love George school uniform, especially the school shoes! My little girl has had school shoes from many other places and they never last as long as George. I will definitely be picking her up some more of the scruff resistant shoes to complement her uniform this year!
Annmarie: They are fantastic and are very durable. They get put through there paces with an active 10 year old boy and a nearly 5 year old who loves to do gymnastics and roll around the hard floor in her uniform. Theres no shrinkage or loss of colour and last for the full school year unless the kids decide to have a growth spurt ... BUT best of all the uniform is so affordable. x
Laura: Brill price, brill product, ive used George at Asda for nearly 3 years for my son's uniform. The white polo tops really do stay white, the black school pants are 100% hard wearing. Can't recommend enough
Michelle: The price is fantastic, the quality brilliant. If it wasn't for my daughter growing so much I'm sure I'd be able to use the items for much longer than a school year. The pinafores retain shape after washing and the T'shirts are nicely fitted with vibrant colour. That's why I use them every year!
Julie: I love asda school uniforms. They wash well and keep they're shape. Excellent value for money. Also 100 days guarantee means any problems we can exchange though I've never had to as yet. Wouldn't shop anywhere else for school uniform.
Cilla: They are the most hard wearing clothes ever, ideal for the tough life of schoolchildren. Scuff-resistant shoes really do what it says on the label. The most value for money uniforms you can buy.
Sarah: Asda uniforms are affordable yet durable. They don't need much ironing as the quality is great. They maintain their colour and my girls love the different styles available for skirts and dresses. I get everything I need under one roof which is great!
Laura: I love the dresses as the pleats stay put no need for me to have to refold them. The shirts stay white the colour cardigan don't seem to fade always stay bright. The shoes last a while some times get 12months out of them or some times 8 months at the least.
Beverly: I've always used Asda, great quality, affordable and wash brilliantly. Never shopped anywhere else for uniforms so much choice too
Ann: The absolute best place to buy school uniforms.....quality, don't shrink, wash beautifully, always smart, last the whole school year and are affordable for everyone....the best
We’re always trying to move the range on – we’ve added new fashion shapes like playsuits and slimmer leg trousers. Gingham playsuits have been selling really well – they’re like gingham dresses but the skirt is more like shorts so they’re handstand friendly! We've got a variety of colours to choose from including light blue, navy, red, green, yellow and pink, as well as jersey versions alongside our pinafores. On boyswear we’ve introduced a slimmer leg trouser and a skinny leg trouser too.
Everything is tested to British standards and all done by independent testing laboratories. We do colour fastness tests on all colours, and pull tests on buttons, zips and all trims.
We get feedback from customers at listening groups and we also visit schools and speak to headteachers to find out about their uniform policies. A lot of schools have changed to Academies recently and we’ve seen a shift to new uniform colours like purple, brown and green.
At Asda we offer school uniform all year round on George.com. This year we’ve introduced more multipacks so you can buy a five-pack of shirts or polo shirts, two-pack of skirts or trousers and a two-pack of sweatshirts or cardigans. But you can still buy two packs of polos and shirts, or single packs of skirts and trousers if you want to top up at any time.
We work as hard as we can to keep our prices low. For example we added the stain-release Teflon finish to the polo shirts without increasing the price for the customer. This year there’s been no price increases compared to last year across the whole range.
The volumes we buy help drive our costs down and we work really hard with our supply base to make sure we get the best quality product for the best price. We work with the mills direct on fabric so that we can pool our fabric across the business: the fabric we use on school shirts is the same as for mens’ shirts. By adding the volumes we can get a better fabric price across the board.