David James, Wayne Hemmingway and Bill Bullen pose with winter jumpers to launch Wear Warm campaign

Turn the heating down and ‘wear warm’ to cut bills and support charities

Almost half the nation’s homes are heated to 24°C for half the year, according to research by Utilita Energy. That’s 3°C higher than is recommended and adds 13 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, the equivalent to the pollution generated by 7 million cars.

To promote the importance of getting cosy over getting costly this winter, the Wear Warm campaign is happening now at more than 600 charity shops, where people can get hold of preloved warm clothes – and keep them out of landfill.

The campaign was officially launched by environmentalists former England goalkeeper David James and fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway.

David James says: “One of my personal bugbears is seeing people sitting at home in the winter, wearing a T-shirt, with the heating cranked up. There’s absolutely no sense in it, and now we have the evidence to reveal the impact that this type of behaviour is having on the planet and the pocket.

“To offset the pollution generated by overheated homes here in the UK, we’d need to plant 51 million trees each year – that’s enough to cover 392,000 football pitches.”

Wayne Hemingway adds: “It totally makes sense to put another layer on and it makes sense on many levels: for the environment, for your health (cooler environments help prevent the spread of a number illnesses) and your pocket. Why wouldn’t you?”

Maria Chenoweth, CEO of TRAID, has signed up its 12 charity shops to participate in the Wear Warm campaign, and says: “The UK is so fortunate to have a thriving network of 11,200 charity shops, on nearly every high street. Let’s use them to stay warm.

“If you need to replenish your winter wardrobe, buy second-hand. It’s one of the best things you can do for the environment, especially when you consider that 10,000 items are thrown into landfill every five minutes in the UK alone, while the global fashion industry pumps out 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, contributing significantly to the climate crisis.

“TRAID’s charity shop rails are packed with affordable, high-quality winter wear. So, when your home starts to feel the chill, reach for your wardrobe – and your local charity shop – instead of turning up the heat.”

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