Firbank Grammar School in Melbourne has had to backpedal on their new uniform announcement after receiving extreme backlash from their community.
Impressively, the new uniform is the first-ever to be totally sustainable. However, this initiative didn’t get the recognition it deserved as the community were distracted by how “hideous” the collection is.
FGS excitedly posted the below image to their social media announcing their eco-friendly options for students. The image only stayed online for a short time before the school removed it from their platforms.
One student has even started a petition to pressure the school to revise the uniforms. Now with 1,000 signatures, the supporters would like to see a committee of students, parents and administrators formed to work with the designer to create necessary adjustments.
“A school uniform should empower young girls and women. Make them feel confident, proud as well as be practical and comfortable so they can focus on their education and sport. A school that prides itself with raising future leaders has made a uniform reminiscent of wartime Europe. From its colour palate to the design it is not only impractical but unflattering. It is not the uniform of progressive leaders.” wrote the petition creator.
While she praised sustainability aspect, this student believes their is still work to be done. The school worked with renowned designer Kit Willow to create the ensemble from fully biodegradable materials like nut corozo buttons in place of plastic and ‘upcycled polyester’, a world first.
Those who signed the petition were not shy to say why they had problems with the uniforms.
“As a student concluding my final year in 2020 I am quite relieved to not have to wear this ancient uniform. Although uniform is not about accentuating figures, it’s still important to flatter and cater for all body shapes and sizes.”
“The Firbank uniform was already known as one of the ugliest uniforms due to its colour and design – this was an opportunity to really bring it into the 21st Century- somehow they have managed to make it even worse! ” said a parent.
“As a Firbank old girl who was proud to wear our old uniform (two uniforms ago), I’m very sad to see that we have ‘backdated‘ instead of ‘updated’ our uniform. If you want to become the first sustainably produced school uniform in Australia, make it work for generations to come, and not just to be the first,” an alumni said.
“This year has already been tough enough, and now you roll out something as horrible as this? These designs do not reflect a progressive era. These reflect the time when women were not allowed to vote or use their voices, and went to school to become ‘well-behaved and equipped housewives,” a current student said.
What do you think of the Firbank Grammar School uniform? How does it compare to what you wore or your kids currently wear? Text us, email us or send us a message on socials we’d love to hear your opinion.
Have a listen to Kirste and Mike discuss this news on the podcast below: