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‘Almost all' Christmas jumpers made using plastic, UK charity warns

By Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Correspondent

Almost all of the millions of Christmas jumpers expected to be sold to UK customers this year are made with plastic, according to research by an environmental charity.

Hubbub is urging consumers to buy second-hand Christmas jumpers or swap old ones with friends after finding that as many as 95% of them are made using plastic.

It estimated UK shoppers will buy 12 million jumpers this festive season, despite already having 65 million stashed away from previous years.

The charity described the Christmas jumper as "one of the worst examples of fast fashion", finding that two out of five are only worn once over the festive period while one in three under-35s buy a new one every year.

The poll suggests that just 29% of shoppers realise that most Christmas jumpers contain plastic.

Hubbub checked 108 jumpers available this year from 11 high street and online retailers, finding that 95% are made wholly or partly of plastic materials.

The most common plastic fibre used is acrylic, which was found in three quarters of the jumpers tested, with 44% made entirely from acrylic.

A study by Plymouth University found that acrylic was responsible for releasing nearly 730,000 microfibres per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as pure polyester.

Hubbub project co-ordinator Sarah Divall said: "We don't want to stop people dressing up and having a great time at Christmas, but there are so many ways to do this without buying new.

"Fast fashion is a major threat to the natural world and Christmas jumpers are particularly problematic as so many contain plastic.

"We'd urge people to swap, buy second-hand or re-wear and remember a jumper is for life, not just for Christmas."

Censuswide surveyed 3,008 UK adults in November.