Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came to Joe Biden’s inauguration wearing homemade mittens knitted by a teacher. The unusual outfit made him a meme, and it helped him raise $1.8 million for charities in his native Vermont.
The amount came from the sale of merchandise depicting Sanders sitting cross-legged, wearing a brown parka and mittens made of recycled wool. The senator sold T-shirts, sweatshirts and stickers with such a photon, and the first batch sold out in less than 30 minutes, he said. More items were added over the weekend and sold out by Monday morning, he said. “I’m glad I can use my online notoriety to help Vermont residents in need,” Sanders said.
Sanders’ mittens were sewn by Jen Ellis, an elementary school teacher who makes clothing from recycled wool. She made three more pairs of mittens and donated them to a fundraiser for Passion 4 Paws Vermont, Outright Vermont, and she will also sell a pair on eBay to raise money for her daughter’s college.