Family is at the heart of everything this Christmas for singer and songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor as she takes inspiration from a poignant tattoo dedicated to her children and husband to design her exclusive ‘Love’ jumper for Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day on Thursday 7th December.
The charity’s ambassador and mother of five, who entertained fans with her family kitchen discos during lockdown, has collaborated with Chinti & Parker to create a limited-edition ‘mini-me’ recycled cashmere blend jumper available for both adults and children. Knitted from 70 per cent recycled merino and 30 per cent sustainable cashmere, the striking red sweater showcases an intarsia pink heart bearing the word ‘Love’, inspired by Sophie’s own tattoo on her arm.
Sharing her inspiration for the design, Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: “Having supported Save the Children over the years, Christmas Jumper Day has always been a big day in our house. Being able to design my own jumper this year has been a dream come true – I’ve absolutely loved it! The inspiration for the design is very close to my heart, or more specifically my arm, as I have a tattoo there that represents the love I have for my family. During the design stage with Chinti & Parker, we wanted to make sure we created something that could be enjoyed at Christmas – but also worn year-round with so many outfits. I can’t wait to twin with my youngest!”
Designed for a classic fit, the jumpers also feature Sophie’s signature and a disco ball embroidered on the back, in a nod to her career as a musician and as Queen of the Kitchen Disco. Available to purchase at www.chintiandparker.com from 10th November, the jumpers retail at £95 and £45 respectively for adults and children, with 100% of the profits being donated to Save the Children.
Rachael Wood, Founder of Chinti & Parker, said: “Working with Sophie to create such a beautiful, timeless jumper for Save the Children has been such an exciting and fun process. These jumpers are made with natural, sustainable materials including recycled yarn using planet-friendly methods, so will last well beyond the festive period. We hope to raise much-needed funds to support the work Save the Children does all over the world and we hope people will choose a well-made jumper that will stand the test of time in favour of fast, throw-away fashion this Christmas.”
Sophie has been a Save the Children ambassador for over five years and recently visited a children’s centre in West London which is funded by the charity to see how money raised from Christmas Jumper Day can be spent in the UK.
The programme, which runs sessions for parents, carers and children, gives local families a chance to connect, feel supported, as well as providing a safe space for children to play.
One of the mums who Sophie met with was Nazra, the founding member of a SEN group which runs weekly sessions to support parents and carers of children with special educational needs.
Nazra has five children from 8 months to 11 years old, four of whom have been diagnosed with neurodiversity. She helped launch the SEN group three years ago when she was struggling and feeling isolated. The group has since become a safe space for her and her children to play and be with other families facing similar issues.
Nazra described to Sophie what the group meant to her, “When you have children with special needs, it can sometimes be lonely if you don’t have a network or anyone to connect with and talk to. This place is somewhere I can turn to, where I can meet with my friends to express, to share and to learn from one another– it’s like a little family to be honest.”
Speaking about her visit, Sophie said: “It has been an absolute privilege to meet with some of the families Save the Children supports here at the centre. Hearing Nazra speak about how this session has been vital for her to understand and accept her children’s autism has been truly inspiring. She is now able to support other families who are experiencing similar worries she once had. Equally, the team who run the centre have built such a supportive community for local families to feel like they belong, and where each child’s need is so cared for.”
Since launching in 2012, Christmas Jumper Day has raised a total of £35 million to help transform the lives of children around the globe. The money raised supports children in the UK and around the world to stay safe, healthy and learning. To take part, get together with friends, family, colleagues, or classmates, throw on your favourite sustainable sweater or second-hand jumpers on Thursday 7th December, and donate £2 (or £1 for kids) to Save the Children. All funds raised will help some of the most disadvantaged children across the world, including the UK, get access to food, healthcare and education.
To find out more and sign-up, visit www.christmasjumperday.org.