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Australia $33,000-a-year private school under fire over 'sustainable' uniform

09:50  26 october  2020
09:50  26 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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An elite $33,000-a-year grammar school has come under fire from some parents and students for the 'dowdy' look of its new eco-friendly uniform.

Firbank Grammar School in the affluent bayside Melbourne suburb of Brighton last week unveiled an Eco Uniform designed from fully biodegradable materials like nut corozo buttons in place of plastic and 'upcycled polyester'.

Firbank touted the outfit - made in collaboration with designer Kit Willow - as the world's first sustainable school uniform but the big reveal on its Instagram page attracted criticism.

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One unhappy student set up a petition to protest the design, saying the new uniform was 'reminiscent of wartime Europe', 'impractical' and 'unflattering.'

a group of people posing for a photo: An elite private school has come under fire after unveiling its re-designed sustainable uniform (pictured). One critic said the new uniform was 'reminiscent of wartime Europe' © Provided by Daily Mail An elite private school has come under fire after unveiling its re-designed sustainable uniform (pictured). One critic said the new uniform was 'reminiscent of wartime Europe' a sign in front of a fence: The $33,000-a-year grammar school said its board would be reviewing the design following the negative feedback © Provided by Daily Mail The $33,000-a-year grammar school said its board would be reviewing the design following the negative feedback

The petition has garnered almost 900 signatures since it was first launched over the weekend.

'I fully support sustainable uniforms, but please listen to the people wearing them to make the uniform appropriate for the 21st century,' one person wrote.

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'I graduated 33 years ago and our uniforms were less, dare I say it "dowdy",' another added.

An e-brochure released by Firbank last week showed a complete overhaul to the existing uniform in both the senior and junior school - covering winter and summer - plus student sportswear.

Willow became a household name in Australia in the early 2000s before making a comeback with her KitX label in 2015 - a brand priding itself on sustainable materials.

The school's principal Jenny Williams told parents in an e-mail the school board would meet on Monday to review the feedback to the designs.

'Changing a uniform is one of the most controversial things a school can do,' she said in the email seen by the Leader.

'All I ask is you remember our values and respond in a manner expected from members of our community.'

Firbank is a co-educational school at primary level, and a girls-only school at secondary level.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Firbank Grammar School for comment.

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