I regularly get asked why we design uniforms or some variation on the same question. In more formal situations it might be “what is our company’s mission?”. In more casual conversation is generally a curiosity about why we chose to start this particular type of business. Either way it comes down to the same thing- why do we do what we do.
When we started our company, we wanted to create a connection between children and the community in which they live and grow. Communities are all about people. Every day, thousands of people work hard to help us all live healthy, happy, and safe lives. They teach us, care for us, keep us safe, keep us healthy. They transport us, feed us, deliver our post. They are the very fabric of our towns, villages, and cities. They play incredibly important roles in our communities and our everyday lives.
Professionals working in our community are people that our children can relate to, can meet, can see at work every day. They are our friends, family and neighbours and they model positive behaviours such as kindness and empathy, honesty, bravery, and integrity. They are dedicated and hard-working, and their job often impacts directly on others. They are perfect role-models for our children as they grow to become responsible citizens.
Learning though play
So, we decided to use costumes to connect children to the professionals in their community. When children put on a costume they adopt a new persona, they get into character, and they role-play. Role-play allows a child to explore the jobs and responsibilities of their character, the tools they use, the place they work, the people they meet. Whilst they play, children develop an understanding of their character does, and the impact they have on the wider community. Children can go out into their communities and meet the people they are learning about and see where they work. They can visit their local Post Office; they can see the Postman or Postwoman out delivering mail. They can talk to their local shopkeeper and see what they do, they can visit the Garda station or the local Veterinary clinic and meet their role model in person. They are connecting with their wider community, learning about their role in it and developing a sense of belonging.
Countless times we have been told that our little uniforms provide children with a connection to their community, that by putting on their costume children feel like a real Firefighter, a real Chef, a real Garda. We are sent pictures of children meeting their heroes in local Fire Stations, of children out on traffic duty with their local Gardaí, of children going on rounds to deliver the mail with their Postman.
We are truly honoured to be part of these important moments in a child’s life and to help make that special connection possible.