How to bag a cheap, sustainable Christmas jumper... from only £3

Jumpers are for life, not just for Christmas, but most of us only wear our most garish festive get-up for one or two days a year, then feel pressure to buy a new one the following year. That's neither MoneySaving nor good for the planet, so what can we do about it? I have a few ideas...

Search your local charity shops – I found a Christmas tree jumper for just £3  

It's this time of year that charity shops bring out the Christmas stock that’s been donated throughout the year. So have a browse and you may stumble on second-hand Christmas decorations, trees and (you guessed it) cheap Christmas jumpers! They’ll likely have only been worn a few times. I managed to snag a sequin Christmas tree jumper (originally costing £15 from H&M)... that turns into a pizza! Festive, functional, and only £3.

I’ve started with this as it’s the most sustainable option if you’re buying a ‘new’ Christmas jumper (and of course it’s nice that a good cause will benefit as well), but it’s obviously hit-and-miss whether you’ll find what you’re after, at the right price. 

Can friends (or local clothes swaps) help?

If you've friends who have a massive back catalogue of jumpers from Christmases past, check whether you could borrow one.

Or, failing that, maybe even find one at a local clothes swap event – see my MSE charity clothes swap blog for inspiration if you fancy setting one up yourself.

Get crafty with an existing jumper

Do you have a Christmas jumper in your wardrobe already? Or even an old jumper that has nothing to do with Christmas, which you could make look a bit festive by getting creative? Well, even if you can’t sew, I’ve some crafty ideas that may help:

  • 🧷 Use safety pins to hang baubles from a regular jumper
  • 🎄 Attach battery-powered lights to a jumper in a tree motif
  • 🎅 Stick shiny festive stickers on your jumper – but remember to peel them off before washing!
  • 🖌️ Use fabric paints to write a festive message, such as “Lethal Weapon is a Christmas film” (if it's set at Christmas, it's a Christmas film!)
  • ❄️ Embroider or crochet small snowflakes on a jumper or top (see my attempt below)
  • 🧵 Sew (or glue) on small beads or sequins (these last two may require a bit of needle-and-thread know-how)

Even the smallest handmade accent can make a statement, and the best part is nobody else will have the same jumper as you! Although if you make the Lethal Weapon jumper, please do send a photo. Bonus points if it’s a family-themed set of matching jumpers, with extra credit if there’s one for the dog.

Here's my Christmas 2020 crochet attempt at making a £3 charity shop jumper Christmassy with crochet snowflakes ❄️ (no, I still haven't finished it in 2023)

Rent a Christmas jumper from £6 for three days

This year, Lidl has teamed up with fashion rental app By Rotation to rent out its Christmas jumpers (normally £8 each to buy) in sizes 8 to 18 from £2 each day, for a minimum of a three-day rental period – so it'll cost you at least £6 in rental fees only. Jumpers are available to rent until Sunday 31 December, with 'all profits' going to the NSPCC. 

It's also important to note that the renter pays return postage, and you'll pay more if you need the jumper for more than three days so you'll be financially better off buying second-hand, or even buying the £7.99 jumper new from Lidl than picking this option.

However, if you've fallen in love with the idea of renting a Lidl Christmas jumper this year, see our Top designer clothes rental sites guide to learn more about how By Rotation and other clothes rental apps work.

Top tip: When I checked online, Lidl Christmas jumpers were selling for up to £20 on eBay, so if you can find one of this year's £7.99 jumpers in a store (find your nearest) then you might be able to buy it, wear it, wash it (please!), and then sell it on and get your money back, rather than renting.

If it's new or nothing for you, here are some cheap places to look…

Finally, if you’ve had no luck in the charity shops, don't want to rent, and there’s no Christmas miracle in the shape of an old jumper just sat waiting in your wardrobe – I’ve still got you covered. Here are the cheapest Christmas jumpers I could find new, but do remember to help keep things sustainable by donating them to charity if you’re not going to wear them again – or hang onto ‘em and remember my revamping tips above for next year!

  • Everything5pounds* has jumpers from £5.95 (plus £3.95 delivery)
  • Home Bargains has women’s, men’s, kids’ jumpers from £8 in stores, plus dog jumpers from £4.
  • B&M Bargains also sells dog jumpers from £4. They also fit some soft toys, for example, manatees if your kids want to dress ‘em up. If you've smaller toys, it also sells jumpers for bottles for £2. Seems a bit far to go for the family photo but who am I to judge?
Mr Hugh Manatee in his 'small dog' Christmas jumper

Will you be buying a new Christmas jumper this year? Or revamping an old one? Or perhaps you've got photos of dogs in Christmas jumpers? Let me know on Twitter.