Wednesday 24 July 2013

Aldi - Best price back to school range

I know, I know, the schools have only just broken up and here I am banging on about school uniform.  Me, who is always the one making a midnight dash to the shops the night before school starts in September.

But there is sense in forward planning.  You see, many stores only have a limited amount of school uniform stock, and when it's gone it's gone, leaving you with no option but to hit the pricier shops.

In store from tomorrow, Aldi launches the country's lowest price back-to-school package, allowing parents to stock up on 2 polo shirts, a skirt or trousers and a jumper for £4 the lot.

That's pretty incredible isn't it?  A pair of school trousers for just £1.50 and a round necked sweater for £1.25.

Aldi claim to have rigorously tested their garments to ensure they wash and wear well; whites stay white; hems are secure and they withstand kid's wear and tear.  What's more, the prices are consistent whatever the age - so whether your child is 4 or 11, you'll pay the same price.

We were sent some uniform items to try out, and obviously as we broke up today, they haven't been tested to the max, nor have I been able to see how they withstand regular washing, but first impressions are good, especially when you consider the price.

The girl's trousers have Teflon fabric protector, designed to repel stains.

They are machine washable, and can be tumble dried.  They have a handy name and class section on the care label, so no worries about sewing in name tags.

We were sent age 5-6 for Ruby who is 5 and a half, and they fitted very well length wise, and there's adjustable elastic in the waistband.  They were a flattering, feminine cut, with a deep waistband and button details.  She really liked them and they do look smart.

There's also a skirt available in the range priced at £1.50.

A pack of 2 polo shirt is only £1.25, and again, these fitted well.  Nice girlie detail with the gathered cap sleeves and the pretty scalloped edge collar. These are 100% cotton, so will keep her cool and fresh.

There's a lot I like about picking up school uniform while out doing the necessary food shop - it saves that horrendously tortuous trip to town to get kitted out, but on the other hand, if you're buying clothes this cheap you have to ask how much did the person in Bangladesh making them get paid?  Although, I do applaud them for signing up to the Accord to improve health and safety of workers after the Rana Plaza tragedy, unlike some other supermarket giants.

For more detail on Aldi's Corporate and Social Responsibility policies, see their website.

What do you think about the battle of the low-cost school uniform?  Great for those on a tight budget, or do you have a concern about ethics?

Disclosure: We were sent these items for the purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.


  1. Ooh I'm not sure, an entire uniform for 4 quid sounds a bit too good to be true doesn't it? If the items themselves are decent quality etc, then something has to be lacking elsewhere... My son starts school in September, and I've had a look at all the usual suspects for school uniforms online and price wise, there really isn't much between them... As for quality and ethics I'm sure they vary hugely. Cor, this school stuff is confusing isn't it?! Great review, I'll definitely bear them in mind :)

    1. It's hard to know where to start isn't it, and when it's their first year at school there's just SO much stuff to buy!

      I guess it's us the consumers who have driven down the cost, but I just wonder at what price?

  2. Wow £4.00 per child is VERY low and my first thoughts would also be to how much the seamstress was being paid. Personally I do worry about that and I cannot believe people in the chain weren't hard done by here. I would hate to think I was clothing my children at the expense of an even poorer family on the other side of the world.
    It makes me uncomfortable so I'd prefer to spend a little more and be sure my money goes to the right people.

    1. I think it's a big concern for a lot of people Mari, and a massive emotional battle when you can't afford to pay more. It's a complicated issue. x

  3. That is very cheap, assuming Aldi paid, I suspect, about a pound for them the cost per item must be depressingly small. It doesn't sit well with me at all.

    However, for a child going into Reception with the focus on outdoor play and fun, £4 a uniform sounds a plan because they will trash them repeatedly and there's something not very pleasant about having to throw away clothes that you've only just bought because the whiteboard pen will not come out.

    I've already kitted mine out (mainly because they grew out of everything at Easter - very inconsiderate!) so I will watch the pricing for next year.

  4. I agree that especially for Reception year clothes get trashed so it's nice not to have to spend a fortune on them.

  5. On the flip side, they could be 'lost leaders' of course. Cheap products to get you into the store to buy other bits whilst you're there. Just putting it out there ;)

  6. Yes Jen, they could be. Back-to-school is a big battleground for the supermarkets. x

  7. Really thought provoking post Liz! While it may simply be a loss leader (and I really hope it is) that does strike me as ridiculously cheap and does make me question whether machinists are getting a fair deal. I'd love to hear what Aldi have to say and it would be great if they could get a spokesperson to feed back here. When so many of us are currently questioning the ethics of the clothing we buy in the wake of recent events I think it is really important for traders to be transparent and to take the opportunity to transform the clothing industry. With four children price is very important to me but I would rather buy from the secondhand stall at school than line the pockets of greedy supermarkets at the expense of workers elsewhere. I'm crossing my fingers that my suspicions are wrong and that it is a loss leader!

  8. I got sent some Aldi stuff last year and it washed and wore really well. I do try and buy fair trade as and when I can afford it, but sometimes when money is tight I do go for the cheaper option. I was at Alsi this morning and got the boys shorts, polo shirts and jumpers. All the trousers had already sold out!

  9. Now I googled Aldi uniform ethics (because Gemma asked me about my concerns) and you were the fourth result on the search page. I've just gone and dug out Aldi's Corporate Responsibility Policy on your advise and found their intentions and requirements quite reassuring personally, what do you think? Further research via a Parentdish article shows that most supermarkets have policies and regulations because of this. I've been asked by several different companies to review uniform for them, and I will definitely be asking them for their client's policy now as a matter of course.

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