After Covid-19 putting our lives on pause, it is understandable that we are eager to return to festivals and hear music live again.
As we wait in anticipation to know if festivals will take place, you may have already started to plan your festival looks. But how sustainable are they?
Festivals are notorious for fashioning the latest trends, but this often comes from fast fashion. Many materials used to make festival fashion outfits are not sustainable and contain lots of plastic. Most fast fashion garments are plastic based or contain mixed fibres. These cannot be recycled and will not naturally decompose in landfill.
In 2019, Britons were expected to spend more than £2.7 billion on summer outfits they will only wear once.
The festival notion of fast fashion needs to stop. We should start welcoming sustainable and biodegradable styles into our wardrobe.
Fast fashion at festivals
Mainstream fashion trends have resulted in disposable fashion becoming an unfortunate normality in the 21st century.
Festivals undoubtedly serve trends from animal prints to sequins. Year on year there are new desired looks.
Often people will wear something out of the ordinary to festival weekends, which may not be a staple clothing item all year round. The Independent found that one in four people would feel embarrassed to wear an outfit to an occasion more than once. This fear of outfit repeating is a dominating factor in the future of fast fashion.
Festivals commonly inspire colourful looks, but this can be detrimental to the ecosphere. Globally, textile dying is the second largest water polluter. It takes almost 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans.
The UN found that the fashion industry produces 20% of wastewater worldwide and 10% of carbon emissions. Alarmingly, they produce more emissions than international flights. Should nothing change the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the worlds carbon budget by 2050.
Consequently, there needs to be changes made to fashion business models. There should be more development of sustainable production methods, including not using water when dying products.
However, times are starting to change and hopefully with more momentum fashion will become more ethically sustainable. Stella McCartney teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to create a report on redesigning the future of fashion.
We as consumers should make more conscious efforts to wear sustainable festival fashion.
How to make your festival fashion sustainable
Although it is challenging to avoid fast fashion, there are ethical alternatives that can help create the ultimate festival fashion.
Whether you are looking for neon, flares or fringe fashion. There are a variety of options to choose from to create fashionable festival outfits.
For those wanting to attain a unique look there are many second hand or vintage pieces which will allow you to create a distinctive look. Additionally, this allows clothes to be re-purposed and introduces circularity into your styles. Lots of businesses source preowned clothing. Depop has proved to be highly popular to find second-hand styles as it provides a social media format for buying and selling clothes.
If you are buying a statement piece that you would only wear occasionally, you could swap around clothes with friends so that the garments can be reused, this prevents supporting the notion of fast fashion. Alternatively, there are many fashion brands which provide rental services which would enable you to make a statement whilst being sustainable in your actions.
Rotaro are a rental brand which have over 200 statement clothing items and a wide selection of bags. All the packaging from the brand is biodegradable and recyclable, which is beneficial for the environment. Orders made can be ready for next day delivery and significantly, they arrive via a carbon neutral courier service. Once returned they are cleaned by a wet-washing service, which is an eco-friendlier alternative to dry cleaning.
Hirestreet offer rentals of premium fashion pieces at affordable prices. They sell a range of clothing for all kinds of events including jumpsuits, dresses, tops, and skirts.
If you are updating your festival fashion looks, you could support small businesses. Etsy has a wide collection of handmade clothing meeting all the festival requirements, including tie dye and accessorises.
In terms of footwear, we all know that substance over style is more viable in a festival field. However, who said sustainable footwear cannot be fashionable?
Lakeland is a brand that prides themselves on creating ethical boots. They make wellies from FSC certified natural rubber and they line them with natural cotton. This deems to be a more sustainable footwear option as boots are usually made by mixed materials meaning they cannot be recycled at the end of their use.
Additionally, Dr Martens has a vegan range of shoes which are iconic and durable for all types of weather. They are made from a synthetic material called ‘Cambridge Brush’ which gives the same feel and appearance as their other shoes.
Sparkle with biodegradable glitter
No festival look is complete without some accessorise and a persistent festival trend is adding sparkle with glitter.
Most glitter is made of aluminium and PET plastic and it is hazardous, especially in the oceans. Glitter is a microplastic meaning it is a fragment of plastic less than five millimetres in length. The size of the plastic can appear like food for many animals.
There has been an increase in the amount of biodegradable glitter meaning you can still champion sparkly styles on festival weekends.
Manchester based glitter company MUOBU sell a selection of glitter, body jewels and gems with a wide range of over 30 colours.
Eco Glitter Fun are a business who raise awareness about plastic pollution. All their products are made from biodegradable cellulose film, meaning they are plastic free. Every aspect of their business has eliminated the use of plastic, even their packaging is biodegradable.
It is important that we remain mindful and vigilant towards our clothing choices when choosing our next festival outfits. Hopefully, we will be able to model sustainable fashion at festivals this summer.
For further information on fashion and festivals visit Mindless Mag.