Britain’s favourite festive garment, the Christmas jumper, is adding to the world’s plastic pollution. With 95% of the UK’s Christmas jumpers being made of synthetic fibres, last year environmental charity Hubbub discouraged us from buying them. The charity estimated that the UK will buy 12 million new festive jumpers in December, despite the fact that we have about 65 million stashed away already – collectively, of course. And most depressingly, 40% of them will only be worn once, making the novelty Christmas jumper one of the most extreme examples of fast fashion.
But before you cry over your umpteenth mince pie, this crisis needn't spell the end for altogether, just take note of the below:
This is the predominant sustainable solution. What's the point in buying a new one when perfectly good – or potentially even better – Christmas jumper is already in existence? Although choose wisely when it comes to what it's made from.
Here are Christmas jumper materials ranked – in terms of how kind they are to the environment – from worst to best:
Acrylic releases the most microfibres in the wash, which make up a massive proportion of the microplastics found in our oceans. So, yes, obviously acrylic is the worst.
Polyester and nylon
While polyester and nylon release five times less microfibres than acrylic, they still release microfibres – try again.
Not quite there yet.
Save the Children's annual charity event, Christmas Jumper Day, is happening on Friday 11th December this year. Wherever you are, all you have to do to participate is wear your favourite Christmas jumper and donate £2 (but, please, try to avoid buying a new one for the occasion).