A Sustainable Approach to Christmas Jumpers
In the UK, we have gone crazy over Christmas Jumpers. With a Charity Christmas Jumper Day each year, we are now buying them more than ever. The BBC estimated that ASDA alone sold around 650,000 adult Christmas sweaters in 2018. This is just one retailer, and although they will probably sell the most, there are others not far behind.
While Christmas jumpers are a lot of fun and a good amount of money is being raised for great causes, there are a few things we need to consider.
Firstly, it’s no secret that most Christmas jumpers are cheap to buy and cheaply made. They usually consist entirely of plastic fibres and there is little information given on how or where they were made. This is bad news for the environment as we are introducing massive amounts of new plastics in this way each Christmas season.
Secondly, while you probably wouldn’t call them ‘fashionable’, Christmas jumpers are a classic example of ‘fast fashion’. They are made as quickly as possible and in as large numbers as possible, ready for one month of the year. Again, this is a bad use of the planet's precious resources.
Thirdly, data shows that even when we have bought them, we aren’t making the most of them. According an article from the Guardian, 25% of Christmas jumpers in 2016 were worn once and discarded. You could say this tradition is becoming just another form of single use plastic.
Now before I start hearing shouts of, ‘bah humbug’, let me bring you some good news. We can wholeheartedly partake in this crazy tradition in a sustainable way if we give it a little thought.
Here are just 3 ideas:
1) Before binning last years jumper, consider taking it down the local charity shop instead. But do it now rather than in January as there is a demand that won’t be there in Jan. Charity shops don’t want to be storing them from Jan to Nov, so the end of Nov is the perfect time to donate.
2) Looking for a Christmas Jumper for this year? Now is the perfect time to find one in a Charity shop! There are many reasons that this is a brilliant way of going about it. For example; it means existing jumpers get more wears and a longer life, Charities get more money and fewer new jumpers are made if the demand decreases.
3) Don’t want to buy a second hand jumper? Ok, why not invest in a well made festive jumper that can last you much longer. Consider finding one that you will look forward to wearing again and again rather than getting bored of it after one wear. teemill.com are doing some very fun, ethically made sweaters right now (click here to view), well worth a look.
So what are Good Tee up to for Christmas? We decided to approach the festive option a little differently and design a super low key, but beautifully made festive sweater.
It's not your classic, wild Christmas design, but it's definitely a classy nod to the festive season.
It has been designed to wear again and again and is available for both kids and adults. Our ‘feeling festive’ design will be available to buy from now until the 12th of Dec and is made to order which means no wasted stock. The sweater itself is made from organic cotton and a small amount of recycled polyester. So instead of adding plastics, we are repurposing the ones already out there.
Also, we will be donating 20% of our profits on these sweaters to the Night Shelter - an initiative in Brighton that provides accommodation and good food for the homeless during the winter months.
Let us know your thoughts one Christmas Jumpers. Do you love them or hate them? What ideas do you have that would help make this tradition more sustainable?