Broke in Bristol

Featured Review

Save £££s on school uniform!

Are you seeing back to school signs and not only thinking "where did summer go"? but also "...and just how am I meant to afford a whole new uniform?" While we might not be able to help with the first question (although I think I saw it heading south in a hoodie) we can definitely help with the second.

We took over Practically Perfect at the Broadwalk in Knowle in November and have made our focus cheap, good quality clothing – alongside our travel systems, toys, books and baby essentials. And we have a great range of school uniform too, including the entire stock of Hillcrest Primary School's second hand items, which we are selling on their behalf in a not-for-profit pilot we hope to roll out to the other local schools come next term.

If you've ever kitted a child out for school you'll know that a) half their clothes will be ripped, paint splattered, grey or covered in some unidentifiable yet unremovable substance by the time they've made it through the first week (or, as with my children, by the time they've made it through breakfast) and b) uniform is expensive! So why buy new? Our second-hand items look great and do the job, leaving you more money to spend on the fun bits of raising children.

We are parents on a shoestring ourselves (albeit a pre-loved shoe string winding its way out of a demon pair of flashing Sketchers) so we make sure we cater for similar: as well as stocking new items and beautiful handmade clothing, blankets and gifts created by crafters in the local area. Which is just one more reason to shop with us: you'll be supporting a small family business as well as lots of local traders.

On top of that, by buying pre-loved you're also helping to save the planet. Every second-hand item bought, whether it's clothing or car seats, books or Bumbos is one less in landfill. So you can shop for essentials; splurge on treats; stock up for next season knowing that you won't break the bank or the planet.

Our own little bundle of chaos (and chief toy checker. Her 18 month old sister is in charge of accounts) will be staring Reception in September and, aside from a new jumper (that should arrive by the time she's out-grown it) everything else is second-hand. ...And I get to finally start running groups at Practically Perfect. So alongside our baby massage, story-crafting, Pilates and memory prints, there will be sensory play, singing and a dad's group.

If you want help easing those back to school bills, to commission a bespoke gift or are preparing for a new-born, pop into Practically Perfect: you'll be richer for it.

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