Wishing you a wonderful holiday season 

Christmas is nearly here and we would like to take this time to reflect on the years success. With the hard work of all the team, we have seen UMS expand rapidly. Our retail solutions package has really taken off this year, with the addition of both Loreto and Unity College. It’s been quite a busy year for us all! We look back with appreciation for your loyalty and continued support, and we look forward to moving into the New Year together. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone here at UMS.


Please note that UMS will be closed for Christmas from Friday 18th December and we will start business back on Monday 4th January.  


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New Retail Solutions School

UMS is pleased to announce the further expansion of our retail solutions package. We would like to warmly welcome Unity College to the UMS community! UMS will run the school uniform shop on campus, with the help of Dorelle, who has many years experience in the industry. Uniforms can now be ordered online through our new flexible ordering system. We are looking forward to working together for the many years to come.

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 UMS Vietnam Factory 

Lunar New Year or Tet is the biggest and most popular festival of the year in Vietnam. Tet is celebrated for the Vietnamese to express their respect and remembrance of their ancestors and welcome the New Year with their loved ones. The celebration plays an important role in the religious beliefs of the Vietnamese people and many will start preparing for the occasion well in advance. In the hope to get rid of bad luck from the previous year, they will spend a number of days cleaning their homes, polishing utensils and even repainting. Many decorate the house with kumquat trees, branches of peach blossom and other colourful flowers. The Vietnamese believe that what they do on the dawn of Tet, will determine their fate for the whole year to follow, which is why this day is spent always smiling and behaving, in the hope for a better year.

Tet takes place from the 6th – 14th February 2016. Please remember that the UMSV factory will be closed during this holiday so make sure to double check all back to school orders and to place any urgent orders prior to this date.

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Now is the time to start preparing

Managing uniform fit-outs for nearly 3000 students at Northlakes State College is tough, but with 8 years experience, Deb Hansen has got the back-to-school rush perfected!

Here are some things Deb suggests you could do right now to get the jump on the back to school rush:

  • Encourage existing students to have their uniform fitting in Term 4. Get the word out in the school newsletter or social media page;
  • Monitor your stock levels closely to ensure there are no shortfalls. If it looks like you’re running out, let your supplier know ASAP to see if they can help;
  • Hold a meeting with your schools’ Principal to report on matters affecting the uniform shop and provide feedback from students and parents. They can usually help to resolve any issues, before they become problems;
  • Decide on your opening hours for 2016. Will you be opening during the school holidays, or on the first day back of Term 1? Make sure your school community knows when you’re open via the school’s newsletters, social media and website announcements.
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UMS at P&C state conference

The 2015 ‘Riding the Wave’ conference was held last month in Brisbane. With a multitude of prominent guest speakers and an extensive agenda, the conference allowed UMS to explore some of the education mega-trends that are shaping and changing the educational landscape.

We were very excited to be exhibiting our school uniform solutions and getting to meet new suppliers and clients.

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Girls day out!

UMS was a proud sponsor of the annual St Margaret’s Race Day earlier in September. The school’s sales rep, Michelle, reflected on the day saying “The UMS girls had a lot of fun dressing up and spending a day at the races. The St Margaret’s community are always so welcoming and we were thrilled to be involved in this wonderful fundraising event again this year.”

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Vietnamese Celebration

In Vietnam the Mid-Autumn Festival, known as Tet Trung Thu is the second most important holiday, after the Vietnamese New Year. Tet Trung Thu usually occurs on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. This is a traditional festival dating back thousands of years and it places a huge emphasis on the children. It is believed that this festival was originally celebrated to give parents time to catch up with their children after the summer harvest was completed.

There are many activities held to celebrate the festival, such as carrying fish shaped lanterns, and performing traditional lion dances. Usually, a ceremonial platform is set up in the backyard, on which fruits, wine and various moon cakes are laid.

Family members sit together to eat the food while appreciating the moon. The platform is not taken down until midnight, once all the food has been eaten. Most families also set up a special platform for the children with their own selection of treats.

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UMS exhibiting at next month’s conference

The 2015 ‘Riding the Wave’ conference will be held next month in Brisbane. With a multitude of prominent guest speakers and an extensive agenda, the conference is set to ‘explore some of the education megatrends that are shaping and changing the educational landscape’.

UMS will be exhibiting at the conference with a showcase of school uniform solutions so please come by for a friendly chat!

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from Australia to Uzbekistan

Believe it or not, school uniforms are not just clothes for students. They stand for the culture of a country and encapsulate social attitudes and ideals. Take a look at this interesting clip which provides an snapshot of uniform trends in countries across the world.

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UMS Vietnam administration manager is off on maternity leave.

We’re all excited for Hoa to have her second baby later this year, and it’s bittersweet to say good bye. Hoa has worked for UMS since 2013 as our Administration manager and will certainly be missed while she’s away.

In 2013, Vietnam extended it’s maternity leave entitlements to 6 months. The then UNICEF Vietnam representative, Ms. Lotta Sylwander, commented that “Viet Nam was the first country in Asia and second in the world to sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child. By voting for extension of maternity leave to six months, it has become a leader in developing protective laws that safeguard the well-being of children and mothers. It stands as the model to follow in the whole East Asia and Pacific region in promoting breastfeeding protection”.

In Vietnam, the Law on Social Insurance states that all women must receive 100 percent of their average salary during their six-months’ maternity leave. UMS is pleased to be working in a country that upholds the rights of women and children to this degree.

We look forward to seeing the baby pictures soon!

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baking to save animals!

Yesterday UMS staff brought in their homemade cupcakes, raising not just our sugar levels, but much needed funds for the RSPCA.

The RSPCA says Cupcake Day is all about “baking, eating and most importantly donating to help us rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals each year.” So far the 2015 campaign has raised over $650,000 across Australia!

Thank you to all the UMS bakers for such a delicious charity event.

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Renewed arrangement

Last week DET confirmed that they were renewing the Arrangement with UMS as a Preferred Supplier under DETSOA 101124 – Wholesale supply of School Uniforms to P&C and school run uniform shops, affirming that we are a suitably qualified and experienced organisation. The DET arrangement provides State Schools across Queensland with numerous benefits, including:

·         Pre-negotiated discounts and pricing structures;

·         No need to seek quotations when using the SOA;

·         The SOA is proactively managed by designated Corporate Procurement staff; and

·         SOAs are governed by the Government Standard Terms and Conditions to protect the buyer

Purchasing is made easier when you choose a DET preferred supplier. If you would like any more information about the Arrangement, contact your UMS Sales Representative or see the P&C’s Queensland factsheet.

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UMS can help

The beginning of Term 3 officially marks the half-way point for the school year. For some, this also means the farthest point in the annual calendar from holidays! If you’re lacking motivation and in need of some stress relief, there are many ways to alleviate the pressure. Many people swear by the benefits ofmeditationexercise, or talking to a friend.

However, UMS believes we have discovered a fool-proof method to help in any stressful situation, and the facts are staring us in the face – ‘stressed’ spelt backwards is ‘desserts’!  To tackle the pressure in Term 3, here’s our healthy chocolate fudge recipe:

Slightly melt 1 cup extra virgin coconut oil with ½ cup honey. Mix in 1 cup cocoa and a pinch of salt. Stir until it’s all combined, pop it into a lined slice tin and freeze for 1 hour. This will make 30-35 pieces! It’s best kept in the fridge, or even in the freezer for a fudgey frozen treat.

So grab a cuppa and relax with this delicious dessert, knowing that it is as good for your waistline as it is for relieving stress!

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with a brand new Uniform Shop!

Last week UMS commence trading with our brand new Retail Solutions customer, Loreto College. We’ve had a great response from parents and students so far, all very happy with our Murarrie uniform shop as well as the UMS online shop.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Retail Solutions packages, please contact your UMS Sales representative.

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How it works

While the last decade of economic growth in Vietnam has meant that around 20 million people have risen above the poverty line, it has also brought unprecedented environmental challenges in urban and industrial areas. Managing waste is one of those challenges, but Vietnam is addressing this by creating a sound legal framework, investment plan, and an emphasis on improving local services.

UMS understands it has a part to play and, among other initiatives, operates an effective recycling system on the factory floor. The recycling process involves all employees putting their used fabric rolls, marker paper and other cardboard scraps into designated recycling bins. Once a month the recyclers (a lovely husband and wife team, pictured) pack up all the materials into their cart, weigh them, and pay UMS for the value of the scraps. From here, the scraps are delivered and sold on to the recycling plant.


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for UMSV sourcing assistant, Bong Tran.

Last month UMS Vietnam was pleased to share in the wedding joy of our key sourcing assistant, Bong Tran. The traditional Vietnamese ceremony was followed by a spectacular bridal entrance to the reception event. There, the night was filled with dinner, dancing and partying, with both Peter and Trish Winlaw joining in the fun.

Bong has sent us the lovely wedding pictures, adding that it was an unforgettable day and so wonderful to share with both Peter and Trish and the other UMSV staff.

We wish the newlyweds much happiness!


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12th June 2015

Globally, it is estimated that around 120 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour. The garment industry is particularly notoriously for using children to perform many arduous tasks, including sewing buttons, cutting and trimming threads, folding, moving and packing garments.

Although it is forbidden by law in most countries, many garment factories and textile mills hide their practices and continue to exploit underage workers. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) identifies that the persistence of child labour is rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults, lack of social protection, and a failure to ensure that all children are attending school through to the legal minimum age for admission to employment. Read more 

UMS offers complete transparency and accountability of our factory and guarantees that there is NO child labour in our supply chain. We ensure that all of our employees, in Australia and in Vietnam, are treated with respect and operate with integrity. If you would like any more information about the UMS Supply Chain please let us know!

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Saint Stephen’s College celebrates 2o years.

The 2015 Saint Stephen’s College 20th Anniversary Masquerade Ball took place on the 30th May at the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort. Lisa Woodward attended on behalf of UMS, reporting that it was a glittering event and a fun-filled night of dinner and entertainment.

Saint Stephen’s College began operation in the family residence of Goda and Humphrey Firkins in 1996. Pictured below is Mr. Humphrey Firkins accompanied by the SSC Headmaster Jamie Dorrington and his wife, Grace.


UMS was one of the proud sponsors of the evening. Funds raised on the night will go towards providing Saint Stephen’s students with a number of exciting and challenging programmes through the Goda Foundation. For more information about the Goda Foundation click here. 

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Check out our great new premises

After 15 years in the wonderful community of Wynnum, we have sadly bid adieu. We are now excited to call Murrarie our home. With a lot of hard work from the team we have successfully moved the entire office and warehouse to 2/205 Queensport Road North, Murarrie. We have a new modern office and warehouse, as well as a UMS shop to service our retail partners.

We’d love to have you drop by for a coffee sometime and check out our new place for yourself!

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Our new Retail Solutions partner!

UMS is excited to welcome Loreto College to the UMS community! With our Retail Solutions package, Loreto College will be utilising our brand new shop at Murrarie, as well as using our online flexible shopping features. We look forward to working with them for the years to come.

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What should Australian companies be doing to avoid another disaster?

On 24th April 2013 there was heartache felt across the global community as we experienced the worst industrial disasters in history – the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. Large cracks had been discovered in the building the day before the disaster, but workers were forced to return to work despite fears about their safety. When the 8-storey building collapsed, 1134 people were killed and over 2500 people were seriously injured. As a result of distant outsourcing practices, many of the high-fashion brands that were produced in the Rana Plaza factory, including Primark and Walmart, were not even aware that they were a part of such an unethical supply chain. The Rana Plaza tragedy reminds us all about the real human cost of the clothes we wear and has been a turning point for consumers to consider ethical clothing alternatives.

It is imperative that Australian consumers take responsible for their supply chain. Oxfam Australia has developed a checklist to find out whether the company you import from is ethical.

Ask suppliers the hard questions about their outsourcing practices and make sure you’re informed about their supply chain choices.

UMS has donated through the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) to help the survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse. If you would like to make a donation, or simply find out more about workers’ rights visit the TCFUA website.

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to launch our Retail Solutions online shop.

With the expansion of UMS Retail Solutions, we now offer integrated online ordering for our partner schools. To match our new online shop we wanted show off some great new photos too. Thanks to our lovely models, Jonah and Chelsea, we had a fun day on location to the playground and snapped some amazing photos in the Guardian Angels Primary School uniform.

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Singing and dancing the night away!

Lunar New Year is the most important traditional Vietnamese festival and is celebrated for sixteen days! Last month, the staff of UMS Vietnam reigned in the New Year with a massive celebration hosted by Peter and Trish Winlaw. A buffet lunch with Tiger beer was followed by a lucky dip bonus which was handed out to all staff for their hard work throughout 2014. The celebrations continued well into the night, with dancing and karaoke held up on the main stage, even for those who couldn’t sing!After having a well deserved holiday, the staff are happy, well rested and returned to work for 2015.

Click on the link below to watch a short clip of the UMS Vietnam New Year’s party!

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Peter talks to John-Paul Langbroek about ethical manufacturing. 

West Moreton Anglican College invited Peter Winlaw to attend their lunch with the Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment last month. Peter took the opportunity to discuss ethical trading in offshore garment manufacturing, asking the Minister to consider integrating this as a key factor in assessing suppliers for Queensland Government tenders.

Offshore manufacturing accounts for the majority of the Australian garment industry, with most clothes being manufactured in Asia. Unfortunately, unsafe workplaces and a lack of union rights are widespread in this region. There is no international certification or guarding body to hold factories accountable for unethical practices, so it is up to Australian consumers to take responsibility for the human cost of the clothes they wear. Ensuring that clothes are sourced from an ethical supplier with a transparent supply chain will go a long way to stamping out exploitation of garment workers.

John-Paul Langbroek was very receptive to the suggestion and we hope to see this incorporated in the Queensland Government tender process soon. Click here to find out more about our ethical trading initiative.

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UMS celebrates Tết

Tết, or Vietnamese New Year, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán, which means “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day”.

Tết is an occasion for family reunions, visiting relatives and temples, forgetting about the troubles of the past and hoping for a better upcoming year.

The UMS factory celebrated Tết with a traditional Vietnamese feast, pictured left.

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Introducing UMS at Woodridge SHS.

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our retail services and welcome Woodridge State High School as our latest UMS school shop. We opened our doors for the first time on Monday 19th January with a brand new building and retail fit out.

With the introduction of a new uniform for the junior school, we have had a busy schedule of back to school fittings to get students ready.

We are pleased to be a part of this great school community and look forward to working with them for the years ahead.

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Continuing the support for our local community 

The importance of caring for one’s community is deeply embedded in Vietnamese culture. ‘Whole leaves wrap torn leaves’ is an old folk saying which reflects this strong tradition of charity, a sentiment which we strive to foster throughout UMS.

In 2012 our long-time employee, Hanh Minh, introduced UMS to her local Buddhist temple. From here, the monks took us on a heart-warming visit to their schools and orphanages in the Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province where we got the opportunity to play, talk, and sing with the children.

Although the monks farm a lot of food themselves, they also rely on monetary donations to help with the cost of providing shelter, care and education to the orphans, some of who are just a few days old.  Our company is proud to be offering support to this organisation, and look forward to seeing it prosper into the future.

Over Christmas the Winlaw family visited the pagoda to make a donation on behalf of UMSV. The children were quite excited to meet Peter’s granddaughter (pictured right) andtook her on a walk around their lovely gardens.





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19th December – 5th January

UMS will be closed for Christmas from Friday 19th December and we will start business back on Monday 5th January. We hope you have a great Christmas break and we will see you all in 2015!

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Wishing you a holiday so jolly!

The Christmas Holidays are nearly upon us, and, before we all break for festivities we would like to take the opportunity to thank our customers for their support throughout 2014. This year has been an important one for UMS, and your role as our client cannot be underestimated. We’ve had a busy year, obtaining accreditation with DETE as a preferred supplier, welcoming both Kate and Lisa to our sales team, and growing the UMS factory to well over 200 employees.

As we think ahead to next year, our clients are at the forefront of our planning. In this industry it is important to stay ahead of developments and we hope you will be as excited as we are about the upcoming events and product lines we have in store for you in 2015.

We would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Peter Winlaw and the UMS team.

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Our expert designers are here to help.

We pride ourselves on creating uniforms that provide the very best fit and functionality for students. If you would like one of our expert designers to assist with revitalising or updating any part of your uniform, please contact us! We would be happy to work with you and provide recommendations on fabric and styling updates.

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