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New for 2023: Christmas Jumper Swap

The Harpenden Sustainability Market has been hugely popular this year with new traders and visitors at every event. This November, we’re introducing a Christmas Jumper Swap to help save money and save textiles waste too, alongside our traders’ range of green gifts, eco treats and sustainable alternatives for the festive season. Read on to find out more and put the date in your diary to find a new-to-you jaunty jumpers and natty knitwear at Harpenden Common!

With over 30 stalls every other month, Harpenden Sustainability Market has become a regular fixture in the district, showcasing quality, local businesses with a focus on sustainable, circular and planet-friendly products and services.

This November 2023, we are delighted to be introducing our first ever Christmas Jumper Swap Stall at the Harpenden Sustainability Market on 19 November, next to the regular Sustainable St Albans gazebo. We will also be collecting donations for the local food and hygiene banks alongside the swap to help visitors support others in the community.

Why swap?

In research published by Hubbub in 2021, 2 out of 5 Christmas jumpers will only be worn once each year, and 1 in 3 people under 35 will buy a new jumper each year creating a single fast-fashion disaster every year. The vast majority of Christmas jumpers are made of plastic (acrylic, polyester, polyamide and similar) which leach micro-plastics every time they are washed, and take thousands of years to biodegrade.

The message is simple. There are millions of barely-worn jumpers which may not even be worn this year, and a potential audience for novelty and fun. No one needs to buy a new Christmas jumper: let’s just swap what we already have!

How will it work?

Sustainable St Albans volunteers will collect a ‘starter’ set of jumpers and also take festive knits on the day too. Market visitors can come along and browse our available stock and help themselves to any that fit your size and family needs: you don’t need to bring along one to swap and you don’t need to pay us a penny either!

(If you’d like to support our work, you can donate here, but that’s entirely optional of course and not necessary!)

And that’s it! A simple swap that keeps everyone happy!

Can I help?

If you’re having a pre-season clear out, we will happily take donations of any festive jumpers, outfits, cardigans and clothing in the coming weeks.

We will also be encouraging schools and businesses in the district to help out so you could collect on our behalf and we can arrange to collect your bounty!

If you’re around on the day (Sunday 19 November) we would love any time that you can volunteer to help at the market. All our events are run by volunteers and just an hour (though more would be great!) will really help the team.

Please get in touch if you are able to help.

What about any leftover jumpers?

Of course, we will make sure that any unclaimed jumpers will be re-homed responsibly in local charity shops, with local schools and with textile recycling banks too.

This project is one of many ways that Sustainable St Albans helps our community to find ways to enjoy and thrive while leaving as light a footprint as possible on our precious ecosystems. For ideas to celebrate sustainably, check out our blog and Festive Streets pages too. For other ideas for the rest of the year, check out our general pages.

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