Bernie Sanders Puts Meme-Inspiring Photo on $45 Top, Proceeds Go to Charity

It sparked the biggest memes of 2021 so far, and now the image of Bernie Sanders at Joe Biden's inauguration is on official merchandise.

Sanders' campaign team have used the photograph—showing the Vermont senator sat wearing mittens to fend of the cold—on a sweatshirt, in aid of charity.

All proceeds from sales of the $45 top will be donated to Meals on Wheels Vermont, the campaign said. However, "due to overwhelming demand" the item was sold out at the time of publication.

Reacting to the sweatshirt launch, the largest provider of Meals on Wheels in the state said it had "BLOWN AWAY by the support."

"The sweatshirt may be sold out but you can still support Meals on Wheels," it said in a tweet on Saturday.


Made in the USA, Union printed. 100% of proceeds go to Meals on Wheels Vermont.

— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) January 22, 2021

Sanders' style became an unexpected hit at the event, at which Lady Gaga donned a giant golden bird broach, and Michelle Obama's outfit was widely praised.

Asked about the internet's response to the picture after the January 20 inauguration, the 79-year-old laughed and commented: "I heard about that."

Sanders told CBS' Gayle King that he was not trying to make any kind of statement with his clothing at the inauguration. "In Vermont, we dress warm, we know something about the cold," he said. "And we're not so concerned about good fashion. We want to keep warm. And that's what I did today."

We are BLOWN AWAY by the support for our Meals on Wheels program by @SenSanders and so many folks local and across the country.

The sweatshirt may be sold out but you can still support Meals on Wheels:

— Age Well (@AgeWellVT) January 23, 2021

Those comments did not stop fashion websites from offering suggestions on how to "get the Sanders look."

Those now-famous mittens, however, won't be going on sale anytime soon, according to their designer.

Jen Ellis, 42, a second grade teacher who lives in Vermont, made from gloves from repurposed sweaters and recycled plastic.

"I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they're one-of-a-kind and they're unique and sometimes in this world, you just can't get everything you want," she told the Jewish Insider website on Wednesday.

"I don't have any mittens to sell. I don't really do it a lot any more. I'm flattered that they want them, but there are lots of people on Etsy who sell them and hopefully people will get some business from them. But I'm not going to quit my day job."

She added: "I am a second grade teacher, and I'm a mom, and all that keeps me really busy. There's no possible way I could make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, another several hundred people have emailed me."

Bernie Sanders
Former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th U.S. President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. AFP via Getty Images/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI