Do you dislike Christmas-themed jumpers? Does the idea of wearing Rudolph across your torso - possibly with flashing red nose - fill you with Yuletide dread?
If so, you might be in luck. It has been reported that Christmas jumpers are 'helping to fuel the world’s plastic pollution crisis'.
Environmental charity Hubbub says that despite an estimated 65m of these seasonal monstrosities already being hidden away in the country’s closets, a further 12m will be purchased this year.
Analysis covering 108 examples from 11 retailers (high street and online) found that 95% of the jumpers were made partly or wholly of plastic materials.
Acrylic was found in 75% of the jumpers. Of those, 44% were made entirely from the material.
Plymouth University recently found that acrylic could release about 730,000 microfibres per wash, which is 1.5 times more than pure polyester and five times more than a polyester blend.
As you may know, microfibres are microscopic particles of plastic, thinner than a human hair, which come out in the wash and ultimately make into the sea
Sarah Divall, project coordinator at Hubbub, commented that “fast fashion” is a threat to the natural word and Christmas jumpers, due to the high plastic content, are more problematic than most items.
She recommended buying second-hand sweaters, swapping sweaters with friends – or simply wearing the same one from last year. As if the jumper itself was not a sufficient fashion faux pas. For shame!
While the estimated number of stored and purchased jumpers seem a bit off (based on those figures we only started buying Xmas-related pullovers a little more than five years ago), this seems like a decent reason not to wear one.
So if you don’t want to wear an Xmas jumper on 13 December, Christmas Jumper Day (or any other day, for that matter), say it’s because you’re reducing your environmental impact.
Whether that same excuse will wash with your nan after you open her present on Christmas Day is another story.
(It should be noted that if you like Christmas jumpers, it is recommended to wash these items at a low temperature in a full load and do not tumble dry. This will help to reduce the amount of microfibres breaking away from the material.)