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The hidden environmental cost of Christmas jumpers, where 1 in 4 are binned or unlikely to be ever worn again.

Posted on Dec 20, 2017 6:28:00 PM

Christmas Jumpers.jpgIt’s that time of the year, when they are hard to escape, from novelty flashing dogs dressed as Rudolph to more sophisticated alpine motifs, I am of course talking about Christmas jumpers. In the UK alone, new figures suggest that £220 million will be spent on festive jumpers in the run up to Christmas. For many, last year’s jumper will not do! New research revealed today by environmental charity Hubbub reveals that 1 in 3 under 35s buy a new Christmas jumper every year.

However, this incessant need for “new” is harming the environment – the Ellen MacArthur foundation recently exposed the scale of the waste generated by the fashion industry, and how the throwaway nature of fashion has created a business which creates greenhouse emissions of 1.2bn tonnes a year – larger than that of international flights and shipping combined.

The survey of over 3,000 UK consumers showed 24% don’t want to be seen in the same jumper as previous years and 29% said they’re so cheap they might as well get a new one every year. 1 in 4 jumpers worn last year were either binned or are unlikely to be worn again.

Now, Hubbub a charity which explores innovative ways to interest mainstream consumers in important sustainability issues have launched a #GiveAKnit campaign which is urging the public to think twice before splashing out on a brand new Christmas jumper and do the following instead:

• Reuse one you already have and wear it with pride in the knowledge that you are helping the environment

• Swap with a family member or a friend - 35% of people only wear their jumper once in the festive period so many will be as good as new!

• Jazz up a jumper - turn an uninspiring sweater or moth bitten jumper into a winter season statement piece.

Hubbub’s ( @hubbubUK Sarah Divall said: “The Christmas jumper phenomenon is now a firm part of our Christmas celebrations in the UK and it has raised a lot of money for charity. However, it’s also the perfect opportunity to reflect on our addiction to fast fashion which is having a devastating impact on the environment. I’d urge people to think twice about whether they really need to buy a new jumper this year. Instead let’s dig out all those Christmas jumpers hiding away in wardrobes and swap with a friend or donate them to charity shops or even refashion something you already own.”

For ideas on how to make a DIY Christmas jumper click here

A more sustainable fashion industry will be one of the topics at World Bio Markets 2018 (Amsterdam, March 20th-22nd)  which features speakers including Gabe Davies (European Surf Manager, Patagonia), Reimer Ivang(CEO, Better World Fashion) and Eva Van Der Brugge (Innovation Manager, Fashion for Good) focussing on this area.  

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Read: Ecover launches bottle made from 50% ocean plastic. 



Topics: BBWNBrands, Apparel

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About the Author

Luke Upton
Luke Upton
Luke is the editor and co-founder of Bio-Based World has edited this site since its launch and previously worked for b2b media companies across industries including energy, advertising and sport. His more