Like eating too many mince pies and decorating the tree, getting your annual Christmas jumper has become an essential festive tradition for many of us.
In fact, according to new estimates from Love Your Clothes, British shoppers are likely to spend over £300 million on Christmas jumpers this year, even though about 40 per cent of us only plan on wearing our new festive warmer once or twice this festive season.
But now Love Your Clothes want to encourage you to give a new lease of life to your old Christmas jumpers rather than forking out for a new one. As well as saving you money, recycling and upcycling your old clothes much is more friendly to the environment, and creates far less waste.
So to encourage you to dig out your craft box, Love Your Clothes has launched a 12 Jumpers of Christmas competition to find the best upcycling design out there with a prize of a Janome sewing machine for the winner and subscriptions to Simply Sewing and Reloved magazines for the runners up.
To enter, you just need to either decorate a jumper or cardigan you already have in the wardrobe, or a pre-loved one from a charity shop or friend. 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 be used even after Christmas is gone. 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 (there's bonus points if you incorporate re-used materials!).
If you're concerned that you usually buy a Christmas jumper in response to charity fundraising appeals, Love Your Clothes is urging people to jazz up a jumper and make a charitable donation with the money they’ve saved to their chosen cause instead.
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 e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘12 Jumpers of Christmas Competition’ in the e-mail title by 10 am on Monday 7th December. Then join in the fun by visiting loveyourclothes.org.uk/12jumpers and @loveyourclothes on Twitter.
You can also check out top tips and tutorials on decorating your clothes throughout November and December here.