Wear It Once Culture
Festival fashion is notorious for its one-wear-and-done approach to clothes. Music festivals especially create this:
“Censuswide and Barnardo’s found that single-use outfits for music festivals, such as Glastonbury and Coachella, alone, account for approximately $307 million worth of items per year or about 7.5 million outfits worn only once.” – The Fashion Law
This is often because of a culture at festivals that looks down on wearing an outfit twice. Also because of a fashion industry that encourages a rapid cycle of wearing and disposing of outfits. Often this means we, the customer, have much more choice in what to buy, and have a wide range of trends and styles to choose from.
The problem is that this is harmful for our planet. Constantly producing and throwing away so many clothes means that we add to the damage done to our planet. By creating so much waste we are actually not getting the full value from our clothes that we should be.
And are making sure that a lot of the fashion industry will not change. The culture of festival fashion and its single-use clothes is indicative of a larger trend, in that we do not care for our clothes (by repairing and re-wearing) and instead throw them away.
Statistics show that we now wear our clothes (in the West) less than ten times before they become waste.
At the same time, the clothes we do choose to wear are proving to be harmful to our ecosystems. A lot are easily replaced and made using non-renewable resources. The harm comes not just in the more obvious elements, such as glitter, but in ways we can’t see, such as the way our clothes are produced.
Glitter is a staple of festival fashion. It looks pretty and seems harmless, especially with glitter and sparkle in fashion being such a constant trend.
But it can do real harm, especially to our ecosystems. Being made of tiny amounts of plastic, glitter is not biodegradable. It adds to waste in landfills and oceans, and so pollution. It creates huge amounts of plastic waste in our oceans, which can damage the wildlife.
“like most other forms of plastic, glitter cannot be recycled. It never breaks down and, if you’ve ever used glitter, then you’ll know that it is almost impossible to clean up, meaning that it finds its way almost everywhere. Much like the tiny, and extremely harmful, microbeads which were recently banned in countries across the world, glitter is classified as a microplastic” – trustedclothes
The fashion industry often creates clothes in a way that is unsustainable, by using non-renewable resources, such as harmful chemicals and fossil fuels. The factories which produce clothes create wastewater, water which contains toxic waste. This can leak into local water sources and our oceans, and cause harm to humans and animals.
The way these are made mean that pollution is often a serious concern. Climate change is an issue that many of us worry about. We should think about how we, as consumers, can influence the industries we love to be better.
So, what can we do? First of all, the influence of social media and activism should not be diminished. These do have an effect on companies and brands and how they run. For example, single-use glitter has become banned at music festivals.
Each of us can help, though. We can buy biodegradable products when they are available, such as glitter and wet wipes. And buy the festival outfits we want to wear in ethical manners. We can rent clothes, buy vintage, and make sure we buy clothes we will re-wear.
There is also the option, with some brands, to engage in re-commerce. This means selling clothes only worn once back to the company, who will sell it on for a lower price. We c also hold brands accountable by choosing to buy only from brands who are ethical and environmentally conscious. #
You can do this by checking sites such as goodonyou, which list the most ethical brands to buy from. By doing these things we can make sure we are being conscious about our fashion and have guilt-free fun at festivals – by knowing we aren’t harming the planet.