Christmas jumpers have become an icon of the festive season – you can find them in an infinite number of styles and puns and they win us serious cool points at the annual “ugly Christmas jumper” party (Who doesn’t love a pug in a Santa hat?). But for all the cheer and joy that they inspire, the same can’t be said for their effect on the environment.
According to research by environmental charity Hubbub, up to 95% of Christmas jumpers are made with plastic. The charity also estimates that just in the UK alone, 12 million jumpers are bought each year! Nearly half of these will be worn just once, adding to the massive amounts of waste already caused by the festive season.
Most of these Christmas jumpers are made with acrylic, which releases nearly 730,000 microfibres per wash. These microfibres eventually make their way to waterways, where they are ingested by animals and humans.
What can we do about it – can we still have our Christmas jumper fun while caring for the planet? As with most eco-dilemmas, you can get the best of both worlds, with a bit of effort!
How to choose an eco-Friendly Christmas Jumper
Before going out to buy a new jumper, here are some tips for finding one in a more eco-friendly way:
- Do a wardrobe check – you could already have a Christmas jumper that you forgot about. This is also a good excuse to donate old clothes!
- Host a Christmas jumper swap with your friends/ family/ colleagues – one man’s trash is another’s treasure, after all!
- Check out second-hand platforms for a pre-loved (but still high-quality) Christmas jumper. Popular apps and shops in Hong Kong include Carousell and Green Ladies.
If you’ve exhausted all of the options above and have come up empty-handed, you can buy a new Christmas jumper made from sustainable materials. Here are some that we like:
FUND Embroidered Jumper
These jumpers are made from 100% lambswool which, like all wool, is a sustainable fabric. They’re all embroidered to order, so they’re not made in massive batches, and you can change up the colour if you want. Plus, for every jumper sold, the company donates 100 meals to children living in poverty!
Get it here
Marks & Spencer Organic Cotton Jumper
This punny jumper is sure to be a crowd pleaser this Christmas, and it’s kind to the planet, too – Marks & Spencer sources all their 100% cotton sustainably. Cotton is sustainable, renewable and biodegradable, making it a more eco-friendly fabric.
Get it here
Ralph Lauren Wool-Blend Sweater
This gorgeous jumper won’t win any “best ugly sweater” awards, but you’ll still win style points. While it does contain some acrylic in it, the sweater is made from mostly wool and alpaca hair, both of which are considered sustainable fabrics because they’re renewable and biodegradable.
Get it here
It’s difficult to change our habits, especially ones that seem so innocent and don’t happen often, like wearing Christmas jumpers. But if we put in just a bit more effort to source more sustainable clothing, even costume-esque clothing like Christmas jumpers, our small actions will all add up. After all, would you really want to see your “Santa Paws” jumper in a landfill?
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