Banburians dreading receiving the annual Christmas jumper as a present may have a little less to fear this year.
Town charity Love Your Clothes is launching a 12 Jumpers of Chrismas competition to get people to ‘upcycle’ a jumper they already own instead of buying more festive fashion.
People who feel they don’t have the sewing skills can buy a second-hand jumper or swap with friends and family instead.
According to new estimates from Love Your Clothes, UK consumers are likely to spend more than £300 million on Christmas jumpers this year, with 40 per cent of jumper wearers planning to wear them only once or twice during November and December.
Sarah Clayton, head of Clothing at WRAP, the organisation behind the Love Your Clothes campaign, said: “We are really excited to be launching our 12 Jumpers of Christmas competition and hope it will inspire lots of people to get upcycling.
“With most Christmas jumpers being worn only a handful of times over the festive season, transforming an existing jumper into a one-off Christmas masterpiece is a great way of adding some ‘green’ style to your wardrobe this Christmas, and saving some cash at the same time.
“We know the average lifetime of clothes is just over two years. Entering the 12 Jumpers competition is a great way for people to extend the lifetime of their old jumpers and make a jumper last for life not just for Christmas.”
To encourage people to enter, the consumer campaign is offering tips and tutorials on its website – loveyourclothes.org.uk/12jumpers/ – and will publicise the top 12 creations in December.
A Janome sewing machine will be awarded to the best design with subscriptions to Simply Sewing and Reloved magazines for runners up.
To enter, people need to either decorate a jumper or cardigan they already have, or decorate a second-hand one (for example, from a charity shop), so it can be worn instead of purchasing a new Christmas jumper.
It can be for adults or children and should feature a creative Christmas theme.
It also needs to be washable and designed so the decorations can be easily removed after it has been worn so it can continue to be used after Christmas.
The designs will be judged by the Love Your Clothes team based on creativity, what inspired the design, how the design was made and what materials were used (extra points are available for incorporating reused materials).
Competition entrants should submit a good quality colour photograph (at least 72 dpi resolution) of their jumper plus a description of what inspired the design, how the design was made and what materials were used by email to email@example.com with the subject ‘12 Jumpers of Christmas Competition’ in the email title by 10am on Monday, December 7.
People can also follow the campaign on Twitter @loveyourclothes and #12jumpers.
The clothing industry has the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK industry.
Extending the length of time clothes are worn by three months would lead to a five per cent to 10 per cent reduction in carbon, water and waste footprints.
The new research from Love Your Clothes revealed that over seven million people across the UK would currently consider decorating their own jumper to make it festive.