Upcycling of Christmas Jumpers in Limerick

Christmas Jumpers Limk 008Students from the Fashion Department of Limerick College of Further Education (LCFE) had the festive season all sewn up through their participation in an innovative upcycling project in December 2013.


The upcycling of Christmas jumpers in Limerick involved the students partnering with the Southern Region Waste Management Office (SRWMO) to transform jumpers owned by members of the public into Christmas jumpers in an effort to re-use some of the estimated 1 million tonnes of textiles thrown away annually from domestic sources. The general public were invited to bring their jumpers along to a workshop in Limerick on the day.

It was a great event despite the weather…….it rained non stop for 6 hours on the day. In total over 80 people attended the workshop & over 60 jumpers were upcycled.

The students had 5 different designs you could choose from but the favourite was rudolph made from carpet underlay off-cuts followed closely by a snowman made from upholstery off-cuts.

Almost all materials were sourced from local upholstery & carpet businesses as well as our recycling centres. Staff generously provided “unwanted Christmas bling” from their offices & homes.

“Fashion trends are forever changing and many items such as seasonal jumpers quite quickly become waste. This workshop demonstrated how to cleverly transform something you already have using fabrics, plastics and other materials that are segregated for recycling,” explained Pauline McDonogh, SWRMO Waste Prevention Coordinator.

She continued: “We all love to feel festive and Christmas jumpers have become very fashionable whether you are participating in a family event or partaking in the 12 Pubs Of Limerick. Why buy a jumper on the high street that won’t make you stand out from the crowd when you can create something unique for yourself or for someone else using materials that would otherwise become waste.”

Textiles represent between 3% – 5% of the household waste stream even though it is estimated that an item of clothing still has 70% of its useful life left after it has been discarded. Meanwhile, over 70% of the world’s population use second hand clothes.

In November 2013, the SRWMO also hosted a separate upcycling event at Limerick County Hall. Furniture and household items donated by the public and obtained from Recycling Centres throughout Limerick were restored and put on display by participants of the Back2New project, which is run in conjunction with West Limerick Resources. For more visit www.managewaste.ie.

Some pictures of the upcycled jumpers on the day (click to enlarge):

Jumper 4Jumper 7Jumper 3

Further information from:

Pauline McDonogh

Waste Prevention Co-ordinator

Southern Region Waste Management Office

Tel: 087 2755538 / 061 496844

Email: pmcdonogh@managewaste.ie