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‘Bernie’ mittens creator to launch line

The teacher who created the wool mittens US Senator Bernie Sanders wore to Joe Biden’s inauguration is to create a whole line to meet soaring demand, with some of the proceeds going to charity.

“I can’t be more thrilled because I personally can’t make 18,000 pairs of mittens,” Jen Ellis said Saturday, estimating how many people have contacted her.

“Everybody will get their mittens – everybody.”

Ellis, a Vermont elementary school teacher who has a side business making mittens out of recycled wool, gave Sanders a pair as a gift and he wore them to President Biden’s inauguration.

His fashion look, also featuring a winter jacket made by Burton Snowboards, sparked countless memes.

The former presidential candidate could be found on social media timelines taking a seat on the subway, the moon and the couch with the cast of Friends, among other creative locales.

Sanders raised at least $US1.8 million ($A2.4 million) in merchandise for charities stemming from the January 20 image of him seated with his arms and legs crossed, clad in his brown parka and the recycled wool mittens.

He put out so-called “Chairman Sanders” merchandise, including T-shirts, sweatshirts and stickers, on his campaign website.

Vermont Teddy Bear, which makes handcrafted bears for all occasions, including a Bernie one, reached out to Ellis to see if she’d be interested in partnering.

“Jen is going to work hand-in-hand – mitten-in-hand – with each one of our designers” to ensure the ‘Bernie mitten’ design in multiple patterns is produced in a way that meets her standards of quality, said spokesman Hayes McCarthy.

“We’re excited to be in the mittens category.”

It’s not clear when the first mittens will be available.

In the past, Vermont Teddy Bear has made special bears to raise money for Make-A-Wish Vermont, and recently gave office space to the organisation for $1 a year, said James Hathaway, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Vermont.

Hathaway said the charity lost $US250,000 in revenue during the pandemic.

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