New figures today from environmental charity Hubbub have shown the shocking truth behind the UK’s Christmas jumper obsession. With us Brits set to spend £220 million on them this year, the stats show that most jumpers are only worn once before being binned! Participants of the survey said that as they were so cheap, they felt comfortable buying a new one each year for just one use. Aside from the labour exploitation that makes them so cheap, encouraging the throwaway mentality (even when it is for a good cause like Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day) is inexcusable. As parents, we are well aware that the Christmas outfits do not stop with Christmas Jumpers - there are Christmas PJs, outfits needed for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year...it gets very expensive, and potentially wasteful, very quickly. But dressing your children up is fun, and we love to buy them something special, so without being a Christmas Grinch, how can you be more environmentally conscious during this time? We have some helpful suggestions:
- If you are buying any kind of Christmas jumper, PJs or outfit for your child - commit to making them wear it more than once through the Festive season. Jumpers can be worn throughout December, and look great when visiting Santa or delivering cards, as well as on Christmas Jumper Day. If you are saving Christmas Pajamas or a nice outfit for them to wear on Christmas Eve and the big day, then see if they can rewear it or parts of it in the period between Christmas and New Year.
- If you haven’t bought any of your festive outfits yet, instead of hitting the supermarket, look for an organic or ethical alternative. We really like the ranges from Mini Rodini (as seen above), Frugi, Shirley Bredal, Tootsa Mac Ginty and Familyhood. Think of the item more as a family heirloom than a one wear item, and pass onto other children in your family. It would be so lovely to see the item reappear in family Christmas photos through the years! Of course - you can also check Reshopper to see if anyone has anything for sale in your local area.
- After Christmas Jumper Day - instead of throwing the outfit away or putting in a donation bin, where the charity will have to store it for a whole year, put it on Reshopper. As the app shows what is in your area, it means that another local family will have the opportunity to pick it up ahead of Christmas and so the item can be reused this year. If you wish, you could always donate the money from your sale to Charity - which is a more efficient way of making your donation count!