Student Lab Coat Resale Service

Short description

A scheme for the collection, cleaning, and resale of lab coats at reduced cost to encourage reuse.

Long description

Every year, hundreds of incoming students pay upwards of €40 for a lab coat, while hundreds more are thrown out, or not used again. Many students buy a lab coat for short term use such as for Medical Anatomy labs. This project aims to reduce the requirement for students to buy-new and encourage reuse by providing a service whereby students sell their used, good condition lab coats to TCDSU to be sold back after cleaning at slightly above cost in SU shops. After the first year of the scheme being seed-funded by UNI-ECO, the aim is to become financially self-sufficient, allowing operation well into the future. It is envisaged that as the project matures and the practice of buying second-hand coats becomes more widespread, the number of new coats being purchased every year will be reduced significantly.

Scope of the project

This project seeks to cater for students across the Faculties of STEM and Health Science who have practical wet lab sessions as part of their degree programs. These labs are mostly centralised in the east end of campus, where there is an existing TCDSU shop, giving us an ideal physical location to r


We estimate that costs will be minimal, and only required to launch the project where it is then expected to sustain itself. It is estimated we will require €505 to run this scheme for 30 lab coats, providing every student with a €15 refund and once it has been laundered, will then be made available to students at a cost of €20. With an estimated laundry cost of €55 and charging €20 per coat, we estimate a profit of €95 which will then be reinvested into the scheme.

How do you envisage dealing with COVID-19 restrictions?

Students wishing to partake in the scheme will fill out an online form with their college email address and IBAN, and a declaration that the lab coat has been adequately decontaminated. They will then be sent instructions to post their lab coat to the TCDSU offices in a package containing a note with their same college email address for identification. Once the coat has been verified to be in usable condition, the student will receive their refund. The students will not have to physically attend college at any stage. Once the full quota of lab coats has been received, they will be sent to be commercially laundered, before being stocked in the TCDSU shop in the East End of campus, which has been operating in full covid compliance throughout level 5 already. Students will already be travelling to campus to attend labs, meaning no extra journey is needed by the students or the coats themselves, which is beneficial both for covid journeys and the carbon cost of the scheme.


Trinity College Dublin

Target audience

  • Students

Expected date to be completed


Team Leader Information

Name: Daniel O'Reilly
Faculty/Department: TCDSU
Position: Student
Number of members of this group: 1

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