'Plastic' Christmas jumpers among worst examples of fast fashion, environmental charity warns

James Marshall
December 8, 2019

Christmas jumpers often contain a lot of plastic, something that many people don't realise.

Given the high use of acrylic, Hubbub warns that an average Christmas sweater is "likely to add to the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans".

Hubbub, a United Kingdom charity, found that 95% of the 108 sweaters it analyzed - taken from 11 high-street and online retailers - were fully or partially made from plastic materials.

Three-quarters contained acrylic, the most commonly used plastic fibre, while 44% were made entirely from acrylic.

It is estimated that shoppers in the United Kingdom alone will purchase as many as 12 million festive jumpers this year, despite an estimated 65 million already in circulation.

Hubbub is a creative agency that focuses on environmental advocacy campaigns.

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.

A study by Plymouth University found that acrylic was responsible for releasing almost 730,000 microfibres per wash - tiny bits of plastic than can find their way into the oceans and even end up in the food chain.

Sarah Divall, project co-ordinator at Hubbub, said: "Fast fashion is a major threat to the natural world and Christmas jumpers are particularly problematic as so many contain plastic".

According to a survey of 3,000 adults, one in three people under 35 buy a jumper every year, but just 29% knew these garments contain plastic.

"There's a way you can join in: wear a Christmas jumper but swap it or see what you have in the cupboard, or see if you can borrow a friend's so you don't have to go out, spend loads of money and buy something new that you're probably only going to wear once".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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