(Citizen Free Press) — The Vermont school teacher behind the comfortable gloves Senator Bernie Sanders wore during President Joe Biden‘s inauguration on Wednesday said she has received many requests from people wanting to buy a pair. But they are no longer for sale.
“Thanks for all the interest in Bernie’s gloves!” wrote Jen Ellis on Twitter. I’m so flattered that Bernie used them at the inauguration. Unfortunately, I don’t have any more gloves for sale. There are many great artisans at ETSY who make them.”
A few years ago, Ellis, who teaches second grade, gave the Vermont senator his hand-printed and woven smittens – part gloves, part sweater – on the campaign trail. But she didn’t expect him to start wearing them in high-profile events like the inauguration. The gloves are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles, she commented in a tweet last year.
Now they are an iconic accessory in the “grumpy chic” meme of Sanders sitting with his arms crossed in a jacket and blue mask. On social media this week, Sanders has been Photoshopped to the throne of Game of Thrones, transported to historical photographs, shrunk to fit in the dress of former first lady Melania Trump and seen out of your door via a new app that uses Google Maps.
The image is also sold on T-shirts, mugs, and as a $25 bobble head. Some sellers on Etsy are already promoting “Bernie-inspired” gloves. Last year, online merchants took advantage of what caught the attention of former Vice President Mike Pence during the debate with Kamala Harris. The Biden campaign sold more than 35,000 fly swatters under the slogan “the truth about the flies”, a play on the campaign slogan “the truth about the lies.”
Ellis could not be reached for comment, but told Jewish Insider that “there is no possible way I can make 6,000 pairs of gloves, and every time I go into my email, several hundred people write to me.”
“I hate to disappoint people, but gloves are unique, and sometimes in this world, you just can’t get everything you want,” she told the news site.
The virality and lightness of Bernie’s meme is reminiscent of the more carefree days of the internet. How captured a user from Twitter, “Bernie Sanders memes and montages are what the world needs right now.”
This is not the first time that gloves have been in the spotlight. Last year, Sanders wore them for the Women’s March in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; some called them “oven mitts” and a dedicated Twitter account was born, @BerniesMittens. At the time, Ellis said she was “touched by the support” and “what started as a simple act of kindness more than two years ago has turned into something beyond my imagination.”
“This glove frenzy really distracts me from finishing my mid-year report cards,” she added.
In a statement to Citizen Free Press on Thursday, Sanders said this week’s meme “makes people realize that we make good gloves in Vermont… We also have some good coats.”
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