Nothing says 'Christmas' quite like novelty knitwear, with Christmas jumpers adorned with flashing lights, festive motifs and magical characters already starting to crop up on the high street this season.
SEE: 18 beautiful, sustainable and eco-friendly presents you'll actually want to gift this Christmas
They may be festive and fun, but the UK's love for Christmas jumpers is a dangerous contributor to the planet's pollution levels. As studies published in the Guardian have shown, most high street offerings contain plastic microfibres, whilst a quarter of festive jumpers bought in the lead up to 25 December are already in landfill come the New Year.
WATCH: 5 times the royal family recycled their outfits
Luckily, there are several sustainable ways to source a Christmas jumper in 2021, from getting creative with upcycling to making use of clothes swap events to switch out this season's partywear. Read on to discover our handy guide...
MORE: How to have a sustainable Christmas: eco-friendly trees, gifts & Christmas dinner solutions
5 ways to source a sustainable Christmas jumper
Buy your Christmas jumper from a small business
There's no better time to support and celebrate small businesses than at Christmas time, when overconsumption and consumer waste is at an all-time high. Purchasing your festive knitwear from a small business not only puts money directly into the pockets of artisan creators who likely knit by hand, but also limits the impact major fashion giants have on the environment.
Etsy is the perfect place to source small creators and family-run businesses. Designs are usually unique and can sometimes be personalised, too. What's not to love?
Handmade Christmas Cardigan, £140, Etsy
Knit your own Christmas jumper
Whether you're a total textiles rookie or a secret Sewing Bee pro, knitting your own Christmas jumper is a fun and festive way to get into the seasonal spirit - while limiting your impact on the planet.
With hundreds of patterns, beginner kits and online tutorials at your disposal, why not put your Christmas leave to good use and whip up a sustainable sweater you'll be proud of? Not On The High Street offers several patterns and knit kits for total beginners - simply pick your yarn and get creative!
Easy Jumper Knitting Kit, £75, Not On The High Street
Upcycle a vintage jumper into a sustainable Christmas jumper
The most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own - fact. When it comes to sourcing your festive knitwear this season, you may be surprised to find the chunky oatmeal knit jumper you'd stashed away three winters ago is actually back in trend this Christmas.
Alternatively, clothes swap events are the perfect place to pass on your preloved partywear and snap up some new garments, without contributing to a rapidly warming planet.
Ditch glitter and shop from brands that use recycled materials
Recycling old materials protects the planet's natural resources, meaning far less carbon emissions are wasted extracting, refining and processing materials like cotton and polyester to make new clothes.
Brands that commit to using recycled materials are contributing to a circular economy, a sustainable way of living that preserves the planet's supply of raw materials.
WE LOVE: Recycled Blend Jumper, £25, Marks & Spencer
Purchase a Christmas jumper you'll wear forever
The problem with fast fashion is not just the mass production, it's also the rise of 'throwaway culture' that sees millions of tonnes of clothes heading for landfill every year - just because they're out of season.
Long gone are the days of wearing an item once and throwing it away. Follow the lead of royals and celebrities alike, including the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Beatrice, and opt for a quality Christmas jumper that will last you, year on year.
Lula Embroidered Wool Sweater, £225, RIXO
We love royal-favourite RIXO's 'Lula' sweater spun from soft wool in a vivid red hue. It has a sweet Peter Pan collar, delicate embroidery and voluminous sleeves that taper towards the cuffs.
MORE: 9 things you can do every day to help the environment and save money
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