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UK >

Multi-faith jumper designer seeks warmer relations between religions

Madeleine Davies

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 28 Nov 2014 @ 12:16

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GROWING up in the 1960s gave the knitwear designer Cheryl Madley "quite a hippyish outlook", she thinks. "It was about peace and love! It would be lovely if this could draw people together."

She was referring to her latest design: a Christmas jumper incorporating the symbols of the world's religions, including the Christian cross, the Star of David, the Islamic crescent moon and star, and the Hindu Aum. Sweater-lovers who tick the "none" box might enjoy the peace symbol, while Richard Dawkins acolytes may appreciate a diagram of the atom.

"Britain has never been more multicultural, so we thought we'd create a Christmas jumper with a twist - something that brings people from all walks of life together in the spirit of love, joy and festive cheer," reads the sales note next to her design for British Christmas Jumpers online. "We think everyone should be able to wear a British Christmas Jumper and celebrate the festive season - however they wish, no matter what their colour, creed or culture."

Describing the inspiration for her creation on Wednesday, Ms Madley said: "I had it my mind: wouldn't it be brilliant if you could put some symbols together that mean things to people? . . . It would be brilliant if it would actually unite people. . . I just hope it has a message to people and makes them think about it. Why should you not have your own religion and everyone accept that?"

The jumper goes on sale on Monday. British Christmas Jumpers reports that Christmas jumpers have been a "growing trend" for the past five years. ASDA revealed last week that it had already sold its millionth, and that sales were up 160 per cent on this time last year.

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