Christmas sweaters, decorated with reindeer, Christmas trees and snowmen: those who love them now have a more than valid reason not to buy a new Christmas sweater this year. Christmas cardigans and sweaters are among the worst garments produced by fast fashion, because in addition to generating a huge amount of waste immediately after the holidays, they contain a large amount of plastic fibers that increase the pollution of our seas.
The charity Hubbub analyzed 108 Christmas-themed garments sold in 11 physical stores and online, finding that 95% of the products were made entirely or largely of acrylic.
Acrylic was responsible for releasing about 730,000 microfibers per machine wash, an amount 5 times more than that produced by polyester and cotton blended fabrics and about 1.5 times more than polyester. The plastic particles released from these materials inevitably reach rivers, seas and oceans, polluting the waters and creating enormous harm to aquatic animal species.
According to the research, 1 in 3 adults under the age of 35 buys a new Christmas sweater every year, and in the next few days as many as 12 million Christmas-themed sweaters will be purchased in the UK alone. 2 in 5 sweaters are worn just once during the festive season and then thrown away.
Hubbub recommends recycling sweaters from past years instead of buying new ones, swapping your own sweater for a friend's, or personalizing existing sweaters with Christmas-themed decorations and pom-poms.
For children, you can ask parents with children older than your own for whom the previous year's sweater is definitely too small.
Another alternative is to turn to the second-hand market, always paying attention to the labels: it is better to choose garments produced with natural fibres, which have a much lower impact on the environment than acrylic.
The goal is to limit as much as possible the production of waste and plastic pollution, certainly not to stop having fun during the holidays. (source: greenme.it)
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