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How to source a sustainable Christmas jumper: 5 eco-friendly tips

Find the perfect sustainable festive knitwear this season, from recycled materials to upcycling tips

How to source a sustainable christmas jumper
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
Updated: 11 October 2023
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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.

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. 

Luckily, there are several sustainable ways to source a Christmas jumper, 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...

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? 

etsy christmas jumper
Handmade Christmas Cardigan

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!

demi jumper easy knitting kit
Knit Your Own Cable Knit Jumper Kit

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. 

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 Princess of Wales and Princess Beatrice, and opt for a quality Christmas jumper that will last you, year on year.

We love royal-favourite Boden's Fair Isle sweater spun from soft wool in a vivid pink hue. It has a sweet christmas-tree design, delicate embroidery and colour to brighten the darkest day. 

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