Willow and Patch both got penguin sweaters recently. Patch was being a model for our friend Checkers Penguin, who lives in New Zealand where it’s winter. The neat thing about these sweaters is that they are made from a pattern used for actual penguins. But why would penguins need sweaters?
A Short Penguin Sweater History
In 2014, “Time” wrote a story based on a call from The Penguin Foundation’s call for sweaters. They use the sweaters for several purposes. The first one is to keep penguins contaminated in an oil spill from preening themselves while waiting to be cleaned. Sweaters can only be used once to avoid transfer of disease and oil between birds. The call was so successful that The Penguin Foundation’s website, as of June 18, 2020, says that no more are needed. The Foundation had received so many sweaters that they decided to use those that weren’t suitable for rehabilitation for educational and fund-raising purposes.
Are They Useful?
According to Snopes, other organizations say the sweaters aren’t useful for the birds and may cause extra stress, which is a primary problem with oil spills for penguins. Still, the knitting of the sweaters helps connect people with doing something good, and the money the sweaters raise can help the organizations in their mission. However, shipping sweaters and having the charity deal with the stock may be more than you want to spend on your project. If you want to support a penguin charity, sending them the money you would’ve spent on mailing and supplies is always a better idea.
Our Penguins and Sweaters
Of course, our penguins look adorable in their sweaters. If you like the look of the sweater and you need a project, you can knit one for your favorite stuffed animal. You can also adopt one of our penguins and have a model to use for your favorite sweaters. Or ask us to knit one for you. A portion of the adoption fees goes to support the Royal Albatross Centre in New Zealand and their work with blue penguins. That way you know that the sweater is going to help a worthy cause.