Helsingin Sanomat Launches Holiday #uglytruthsweaters Collection Based on Controversial News Throughout 2018

The annual ongoing trend of the “ugly sweater” during the holiday season has now got more interesting with the #uglytruthsweaters. Created by Helsingin Sanomat, the largest newspaper in the Nordics, launched a series of ugly Christmas sweaters depicting the year’s ugliest news topics. The highly limited collection of “ugly truth sweaters” aims to keep important topics such as climate change, war and #MeToo in the public eye during the holiday season.

HS SUN 20181127 Sunnuntai-toimituksen uutisvillapaidat. HS, Villapaita, jouluvillapaita. #rumatotuus, Ruma totuus. Kuva: Sami Kero / HS

Per Helsingin Sanomat’s press release, instead of garish designs, the ugliness in the #uglytruthsweaters is more due to the subject matters presented. The series comprises of five shirts and depicts some of the past year’s ugliest news topics: climate change, plastic in our oceans, war, sexual harassment and technological manipulation.

The #uglytruthsweaters collection was introduced under the tagline “The truth may be ugly, but it never goes out of style” to remind people that there is no matter that journalism should turn a blind eye to.

“Truth is the cornerstone of journalism, no matter how ugly it is. We can’t shy away from topics that are difficult, in your face or hard to swallow. That’s why this Christmas we are wearing them on our sleeve, literally. It is our responsibility to bring these matters into the public consciousness and keep them there as long as they remain unsolved”, says Kaius Niemi, the paper’s Senior Editor-in-Chief.

The shirts will accompany a set of articles published in Helsingin Sanomat that take a look at each subject in detail. They will also be sent to a number of people who have contributed to resolving each matter. Below is a list of the current recipients:


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger: The former California governor signed a number of bills that aimed to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas impact during his tenure, and later on his climate action work has continued as the founding chair of the R20 – Regions of Climate Action organization.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio: The actor has spoken on the urgency of climate action and made considerable donations in the fight against climate change through the Leonardo DiCaprio foundation.


  • Martti Ahtisaari: The former UN-diplomat, Finnish president, and renowned peace mediator has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and continues his work for world peace in the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI).
  • Malala Youszafai: The Pakistani activist for female education is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate ever. Her work in promoting girls’ right for education helps build a more conflict-free world.
  • Nadia Murad: The Iraqi human rights activist is the founder of Nadia’s Initiative, an organization that helps women victimized by genocide, mass atrocities and human trafficking rebuild their lives. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.


  • Boyan Slat: The Dutch inventor is the founder and CEO of Ocean Cleanup, an organization that aims to rid the oceans of plastic with advanced plastic collection systems.
  • Lewis Pugh: The British-South African endurance swimmer and ocean advocate has been one of the most vocal commentators on the plastic pollution in our oceans, reporting from his swims around the world. He has also been appointed as the UN Patron of the Oceans.


  • Chamath Palihapitiya: The venture capitalist was an early executive at Facebook but left the company in 2011, later urging people to be cautious regarding social media and its influence on people.
  • Charlie Brooker: The creator of the dystopian Black Mirror -drama series has made multiple statements on the dark side of technology and dealt the subject in his work.
  • Mikko Hyppönen: Global security expert, renowned for the “Hypponen Law” on IoT security and credited by Twitter for improving its security. Accredited speaker who continues to educate corporations and professionals in the field of Cyber Security and IoT.


  • Tarana Burke: The original founder of the MeToo -movement, which has seen her named in 2018 TIME 100 -list, continuing to help survivors of sexual assault find pathways to healing.
  • Alyssa Milano: The world-renowned actress and activist turned the #MeToo -campaign into a rallying cry against sexual assault and harassment.

The highly limited collection of 100 % woollen shirts have been produced locally in Finland, in the small town of Lieto. I think this is a great initiative on reminding people globally of the current issues at hand.

To learn more about the #uglytruthsweater please visit: https://www.hs.fi/media/UglyTruthSweaters/uglytruthsweaters_v9.html.


Source: https://www.hs.fi/media/UglyTruthSweaters/uglytruthsweaters_v9.html