A report shows that a third of young adults purchase a new festive sweater each year.
Britons’ love of novelty Christmas jumpers is helping to fuel the world’s plastic pollution crisis, a report has warned.
12m jumpers, whether they are adorned with alpine motifs or flashing lights, will be snapped up in spite of 65m still languishing within UK wardrobes.
Hubbub’s research has found that many new sweaters are made of plastic. This is in addition to causing huge amounts of waste. The analysis of 108 jumpers on sale at 11 online and high-street retailers, including Topshop/Topman, George at Asda, and Primark, revealed that 95% were made entirely or partially of plastic. According to the charity, the garment was now considered one of the most harmful examples of fast fashion and is being labelled as ‘hugely detrimental’ to the environment.
With so-called Christmas jumper day – an annual publicity push by the charity Save the Children – looming on Friday 13 December, millions of consumers are expected to scour shops for eye-catching festive woollies.
Hubbub’s research revealed that two-thirds of Christmas jumpers are worn only once during the holiday season, and that one-third of adults under 35 purchase a Christmas jumper each year.
Three-quarters of all the jumpers tested contained acrylic, and 44% were made entirely out of it. Only 29% of Christmas jumpers consumers knew that plastic is a common ingredient.
Plymouth University recently conducted a study that found that acrylic releases nearly 730,000 microfibres each wash. This is five times more than the polyester-cotton blend fabric, and almost 1.5 times more as much as pure polyester.
Sarah Divall is the Hubbub project coordinator. She said that while we don’t want people to feel restricted from dressing up and having a good time, there are many other ways to make this happen without spending a lot of money. Fast fashion poses a threat to the environment and Christmas jumpers can be problematic because they are made of plastic. We urge you to buy secondhand, rewear or swap your jumpers. Remember that a jumper is not just for Christmas.
Its tips for eco-friendly options include .customising existing sweaters .and hunting for charity shop and vintage bargains.
Leah Riley Brown is a sustainability advisor at the British Retail Consortium. She stated that the average clothes consumers buy have lower environmental impact. Retailers are working hard to make it possible for old clothes to be recycled and reused in a circular economy. They have increased the number of takeback programs to ensure that clothes can be reused or recycled to divert them from landfill.