Christmas is a great time of the year but sometimes it is a time of excess and when it comes to clothes there is one fashion statement that our friends at Green-Schools Ireland want you all to know about - the Christmas jumper!

The Fast Fashion industry may have pulled the wool over our eyes in the past, but today people are increasingly aware of its dark side.

You may have seen shocking images recently of clothing dumped in a South American desert or social media campaigns naming and shaming big brands for their treatment of garment workers.

Fast Fashion – including the seemingly benign Christmas jumper - is a huge problem- for us, and for the environment.

In this article you can find three videos that show you how you can turn a regular jumper into a Christmas one!

Mass produced, cheaply made, trendy items of clothing have resulted in overwhelming amounts of consumption, and waste.

All the elements of fast fashion—trend replication, rapid production, low quality, competitive pricing—add up to having a detrimental impact on the planet and the people involved in garment production. Many of today's top fast fashion brands use toxic chemicals, dangerous dyes, and synthetic fabrics that seep into our water supplies.

These garments—full of plastics fibres, lead, pesticides, and countless other chemicals—rarely break down. Instead, they sit in landfills, releasing chemicals, polluting the air and underground water channels. Fast fashion’s carbon footprint is enormous, giving industries like air travel and oil a run for their money.

Let’s Fix Fashion

In October 2021, Green-Schools launched the 'Let’s Fix Fashion’ Project. Students and teachers from 22 secondary schools across Ireland signed up to take part in four online events to learn about the environmental and societal cost of fast fashion, the circular economy, how to upcycle your clothes, design thinking and much more. The project will culminate in a live catwalk event in May 2022 (subject to Covid restrictions).

Festive FixesNow we’re all about festive cheer, but we can’t avoid the fact that Christmas jumpers have been listed as one of the worst examples of fast fashion.

In 2019, Environmental Charity Hubbub found that two out of five Christmas jumpers are only worn once over the festive period and yet they’re still bought in their millions each year. What’s worse, the study found that 95% of Christmas jumpers on the high street were made wholly or partly of plastic materials.
This year Green-Schools decided enough is enough. It’s time to fix fashion and create (upcycle) our own Christmas Jumpers! The process of upcycling means transforming used items into something new and more valuable.

All you need is an old jumper and a few simple things like scissors, wool, felt and glue. With a little bit of creativity, you can make the most exuberant, outrageous, funniest or even most stylish Christmas jumper. The end result will be a huge sense of achievement, and a unique piece of fashion!Let's Fix Fashion Workshop

As part of the Let’s Fix Fashion Project, Green-Schools have organised an online jumper upcycling workshop with sustainable fashion designer Arran Murphy from the Rediscovery Centre on Wednesday, 15 December at 1pm.

During this workshop, Arran will show students how to breathe new life into an old jumper, by turning it into a hat, scarf, mittens, headband, and a hooded scarf. Attendees have been asked to wear upcycled Christmas Jumpers to the workshop, to spread some sustainable festive cheer!

Join us online (Twitter and Instagram @GreenSchoolsIre) on Wednesday when we’ll be sharing photos of upcycled jumpers from students; why not share your own Christmas creation with us?

Click here to find out more on the Green-Schools Ireland website!