June 21st. Warm nights, fairy lights, the end of lockdown is in sight.
The excitement for summer is at large, with the current lockdown finally coming to an end (cases permitting)- companies and other brands are opening their store doors once again.
When you think of summer what do you think off? Personally I think of beer gardens and friends- but this year the buzz is mainly circulating around festivals. Leeds festival to be specific.
All excitement aside, it isn’t a surprise to anyone when they discover that music festivals generate a lot of waste that doesn’t help the environment in any way. It has been discovered that music festivals create around an average of 23,500 tonnes of waste. Including plastic bottles, left behind clothes/tents etc.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) music festivals cause severe noise pollution which isn’t just a issue to the environment but doesn’t help public health either.
One of the largest issues for festivals is not just the waste produced it’s also the clothing.
When you think about it, how many people do you know have bought an outfit for a festival with the knowledge that after the festival is over, that outfit will either be thrown away or never worn again?
Clothing and fashion allows us to express our individuality in how ever way we want. It’s 2021 meaning you can wear whatever you desire, what ever colour you feel like that day. Everyone is unique and is free to express that through clothing.
But when it comes to festival culture, as fun and beautiful as it is. The clothing theme does not really help the environment at all. Those bright plastic sequins that come off with a slight breeze, takes hundreds of years to decompose, not to mention the glitter.
There are solutions now, more eco friendly and less dangerous to the planet!
Biodegradable glitter. You can wear as much as you like and the only issue it might cause is still finding it weeks after the event is over.
The glitter sold by Peace of the wild is 100% biodegradable, vegan and recyclable.
The well known brand ‘Claire’s‘ do their own version of eco friendly glitter. Which comes in all colours.
Using this form of glitter will be so much more safer for the planet. And means you can continue to express yourself however and not feel guilty when they need to be discarded!
So why have we adopted this type of wear-it-once mentality? where did it come from?
It could be said that the whole ‘wear-it-once’ mentality could stem from pressure from social media and TV shows like ‘Love island’.
Social media is used wide spread, and influencers have a lot of power over their audiences especially when it comes to promoting brands etc.
Influencers at the moment are using the hashtag #OOTD which stands for outfit of the day, allowing people to have new clothes everyday.
The TV show love island is supported by clothing brands such as Boohoo, PLT and saw it first.com. these type of clothing brands can be described as ‘fast fashion’.
‘Fast fashion’- “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.”
These type of clothes aren’t produced or manufactured to sustain long periods of time, which means that they are bad for the environment. (read our articles on circular fashion for more knowledge about this issue)
When Love island was at its height of popularity there was clothes being advertised for as cheap as £1.
Cheap clothing is made from materials that are cheap and not environmentally friendly.
Referring back to my previous article on plastics, these clothes will be filled with Microplastics that will most likely end up in the ocean.
Considering fast fashion causes 10% of all carbon emissions and is the second biggest consumer of water globally.
Buying the cheap clothes with the intention of wearing it once, is not just a waste of money for yourself. But also really harmful to the planet.
The clothes that are being discarded will end up most likely end up in landfills, decomposing and releasing harmful and toxic gasses into the environment.
What else can you do at festivals to be eco-friendly?
One thing you could do is take a reusable bottle with you, whether it be for water or juice. Most festivals have a free water filling station.
When travelling to the event perhaps instead of taking the car for a spin, get there by public transport, this can help lower carbon emissions.
By swapping most things with reusable bottles you can help reduce waste by a large amount. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could even make your own products rather than buying into the plastic single use products that are often sold.
The famous festival Glastonbury has banned all single use plastic bottles from being sold in their festivals, which is a massive step forward when it comes to reducing pollution.
They have also made it a rule for all performers to have reusable cups and bottles.