TCF Sri Lanka

Ethical School Uniforms

Project summary

The Project was set up by both Brian Trenbath (Kensington, WA) and Madihiya Hilme (Galle, Sri Lanka) as an effort to ease the lives of needy weavers and tailors in Sri Lanka by creating new work for them in their coastal village.

In Gintota village, a small family owned hand weaving workshop was eager to find an export market for their weavers by manufacturing school uniforms kilts for use in Australia. By working with recycled UK tartan material, the village tailors learned to make kilts while the weavers wove their first tartan.

By using yarns containing 70% acrylic and 30% wool, a fabric was made that kept its pleats in machine washing. With this fabric, the Sri Lankans sewed 4 kilts in the colours of the Collier Primary School in Perth, WA. After extensive testing, the school accepted the kilts as part of their winter school uniform!

After a school has designed its own tartan, a woven sample of material for the cost of the postage and minimum quantities of any extra yarns needed will be sent to the school.

The search for new schools is urgent because of the damage done by the 2004 tsunami.

Our Progress

  • There are 150 weavers eager to join the project if we can find more schools to weave for.
  • Kilts were sent from Sri Lanka by expensive airmail, but Dilmah Teas have offered us FREE transport to Melbourne with their tea. This lowers the cost of production.
  • Like Dilmah, Oxfam likes our project and are exploring for possible schools in VIC and TAS.

Over to you…

  • Do you know of a school which would like to know more about rhis non-profit project, or consider kilts for their students? Possible accessories are matching pencil cases, cushions or curtains for the school, offices, etc..


Further details are available upon request to:

TCF Sri Lanka Brian Trenbath
[email protected] Phone: +61 (08) 94741161 / 0405 044 455