Did you know Canada Goose winter coats have been banned at a school in the U.K? Moncler and Pyrenex coats have also been banned at Woodchurch High School in Wirral, England. According to this article: “It is not because kids are stupid, lose things or steal off each other…Rather it is because of inequality.”
The Canada Goose website advertises youth parkas starting from $350 up to $750. Moncler has coats for teen boys (12-14) that are upwards of $1000. Pyrenex jackets are the cheapest of the three ranging from $200-350 for children’s jackets.
What is the priority?
When I have looked for a winter jacket for myself or for my kid – I go with one priority, to find something that will provide warmth for our winters without breaking the bank. Canada Goose, Moncler and Pyrenex may be wonderfully warm coats, but there are other, cheaper brands that are also sufficiently warm by my experience. Thus, I struggle to understand why anyone would spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a single item of clothing especially for a child who would outgrow that item even if they don’t wear it out, lose it or otherwise wreck it?
Does name brand matter?
Over the years there are many brands that have held the spot light and thus been in high demand: Nike, Polo, Levi, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tommy Hilfiger, Sketchers, Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch and so on. For some, sporting these names helps to establish the individual as someone who is ‘cool’. The problem is that the popularity of a brand can influence the price tag making it harder for everyone to afford and thus reinforcing the difference between those who have and those who don’t.
In a time when wealth provides a sense of status and entitlement and when people are famous essentially because they have money, those who are unable to ‘keep up with the Jones’ (or perhaps the Kardashians) are looked down upon and can thus become targets of bullying. In essence, while status is associated with wearing the ‘right’ brands, stigma is associated with the absence of such brands. The assumption is that if you don’t have those brands it is because your family is poor and can’t afford them.
One Facebook post complained that banning expensive, name brand coats is the equivalent of ‘wealth shaming’ – making people feel bad because they have money and can buy (really) nice things. All of this, however, depends upon seeing the brands you wear as a means to define who you are. Is this really the ideal we should teach in a school?
What do you think?
How important is what a student wears? Should schools ignore those ways in which students define one another based on clothing? Or should the classroom and playground stress character and other qualities allowing young people to define themselves beyond what they wear? Is limiting the brands students can wear a way to achieve this ideal? We want to hear from you.
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