High prices for school uniforms and the lack of them on the stands heated up passions before the start of the school year. He scolded parents and manufacturers, raised again the question of whether it is necessary for children to go to school in the same clothes.
After the democracy once again crossed out the uniforms from the Soviet Union, they were first restored in Plovdiv – in the Mathematics High School. Over the years, more and more schools have started introducing them. The decision to require a particular dress or item of dress is made by each school. The motive of the principals is that in this way belonging to the school community is created and resolved
the problem of bare navels and the competition of who has more expensive and branded clothes.
The practice is for the type of uniform to be chosen by the community council or school board. Here the first conflict arises – to what extent the opinion of a few representatives of parents represents the attitudes of hundreds of families. Then comes the next shock – the prices. One uniform t-shirt turns out to be the price of two that can be bought from another store.
It is always chosen from at least 3 offers, but the main players on the market in Plovdiv are the companies “Pen Silhouette” and “Forest Jeans BG”. However, their prices are currently close – if in one company the short-sleeved t-shirt exceeds BGN 25, in another it even chases BGN 32.
Opening of the academic year at Plovdiv National University “Hristo Botev”
After the schools that, for example, “Pen Silhouette” dresses, there are OU “Dusho Hadzydekov”, SU “St. Patriarch Euthymius”, NU “Hristo Botev”, SU “St. Konstantin-Kyril Filosof”, “Sofroniy Vrachanski” Elementary School, “Kocho Chestemenski” Elementary School, “Vasil Levski” Elementary School in Manole. The short-sleeved “Lacosta” type t-shirt with a collar and buttons costs from 19.80 to 25.80 BGN depending on the size, and with a long sleeve – from 21.30 to 28 BGN, a sweatshirt – 46 BGN, a sleeveless sweater – 37, sukman – BGN 54.80. Even if you buy sparingly, the cost tends to BGN 200.
We paid BGN 39 for just a shirt and a tie, and T-shirts are BGN 20 each, says a father whose son is from a vocational high school with a contract with the other company. If the point of the uniforms is that there is no division between rich and poor, why does it come to this by imposing them
people with more limited means are forced to buy more expensively clothing,
than they would otherwise take, he asks. In addition, the expense is not one-time – children grow, wear out, the colors fade from frequent washing and new patches are periodically required for more layers of the uniform.
In addition to them, the parents were also faced with the lack of them in the stores, which in recent days has literally led to rude quarrels and insults between customers and sellers. The reason is that companies are in no hurry to invest money in production in advance, without it being clear what sizes and quantities they will realize. Families, on the other hand, do not meet deadlines and go at the last moment, when there is no time to deal with the avalanche of orders.
The producer: It is not a social gain for parents to order on time!
“We don’t have a drastic price difference. If the materials have increased in price by 50%, the increase in the label is at most 15-20%. Even so, compared to the clothes on the free market, the uniforms are about 1.5 times cheaper – comments the owner of “Pen Silhouette” Penka Raycheva. – Parents should stop thinking that uniforms are a social asset. No one is giving social subsidies to our industry to produce them.”
When asked if additional elements such as embroidery and emblems cost extra, she added that companies do not calculate them. “The jersey is getting more expensive every day, but I can’t add 2-3 BGN on top every week. We keep the prices as much as possible”, Raycheva assured. The increase in the price of materials reaches 50% – for fabric, buttons, threads. Trying to balance with the amounts we want from the client, we can’t even increase wages. If we raise the fees, another 10% increase in the price of the product will fall on the parents, said Raicheva. And he added that the prices are like that as a result of inflation, which makes everything more expensive.
“And the fact that there are no available quantities in the stores is not our fault – added Raycheva. “We dressed all the students from the schools 3 times”. In order to avoid heart attack situations in September, the company informs when the contract is concluded that the uniforms must be bought on time or ordered by June 30. After this date, the order is fulfilled within 40 days. However, families rush in at the last minute.
“They come in the week before September 15 and start fighting with us, insulting the saleswomen. We had a case where a father came on September 15th to the workshop at 7 o’clock to check if there was any number for his child. “Parents must learn the culture of shopping,” Raycheva is emphatic.
She explained that the company keeps its consumption statistics, but the graduations are different. One can never know exactly what numbers will be needed and how many families will request. “In the large numbers 2XL and 3XL, materials are used, as much as for two t-shirts for a height of 152. If we produce a lot and they don’t sell, we will be drowning in loans,” the owner calculates. And calls on parents to order on time next year. Raycheva assured that although the poles are now half empty, the company will maintain stocks throughout the school year – it will be able to produce when the current offensive is over.
According to her, although the prices seem high to parents, the schools will not give up the uniforms, even with the current inflation. “That way it’s cheaper to buy and wear.” It saves a lot of money for other clothes, and it also brings identity to a given community,” Raycheva insists. We do not make a profit from the uniforms, we even rely mainly on the production of costumes and theater clothes, which balances us in maintaining the prices of school clothes, the owner of “Pen Silhouette” also said. There is a trend lately to look for the more practical elements – t-shirts and blouses instead of shirts. There are also schools that over time order additional things – SU “St. Patriarch Euthymius, for example, has been insisting on a uniform sports team for a long time, but the company has not decided to start production of this item in the current complicated situation.