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The Joys of a Guilt-Free Festival

Anticipation of finally being able to hear live music in a crowd of thousands is at an all-time high. After going through a worldwide pandemic, leaving us all locked inside for almost a year, anybody would daydream about it.

There’s something magical about the buzz of picking out an outfit. The glee of arriving at a festival with friends. Bringing us together for the sole purpose of having a great time.

Fashion at festivals has been a way of expression over the last 60 years, from a field of flares to all the way to fishnets. Festivals have been an opportunity to flaunt new extravagant summer outfits that lets us be whoever we want to be while we explore this music and glitter-filled world.

The acid trip of choice

The excitement of picking out a festival outfit leads us to start looking months in advance. This is a trap we all fall into. The moment you start looking for funky garments you’ll quickly fall into the deep hole of countless decisions.

Months and months of scrolling through a parade of high-street shops advertising the newest trends. Causing you to sink deeper into consumerism and choice. This oversaturation of choice leads to us not actually considering the impact these single-use outfits actually cause.

Most of the outfits that are bought for festivals are abandoned the day after and left to rot at the back of the wardrobe. Very sad.

A London-based survey revealed that outfits produced for music festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella, accounts for approximately $307 million worth of clothing items per year. That’s roughly 7.5 million outfits worn only once.

This is a huge monopoly for companies, but is that really what fashion is about? To wear an incredible, well-thought-out outfit for the day just to never wear it again seems abundantly wasteful. And that statistic doesn’t even account for the mountains of tents, plastic and other things that have now become rubbish.

A good outfit deserves to be repeated

Certain ideologies that repeating an outfit again is illegal, should be a crime. The never-be-seen-in-something-twice concept has been a worry set by society for the entire longevity of fashion. Some people even voice their own rules like ”I only wear the same outfit if it has passed the three week benchmark”.

Surely, t’s more embarrassing to wear an outfit only once because it’s environmentally harmful.This wasteful thinking needs to stop and more creativity will follow. Alternating pieces of the outfit such as swapping tops or bottoms, shoes or hat will make a huge difference on a look. Not only that, but it saves you money.

Constant purchasing to keep up with trends is out of fashion. Why not try selling an outfit or bits of it, online? Depop has become a major platform for sustainable fashion. People can sell their clothes or buy clothes that they like off somebody else on the app.

On Depop, you can look up virtually anything and you will find it, including a massive selection of festival clothes that people have worn once. If all of us sold our festival outfits, we’d all be wearing different outfits that have had a previous life. Vintage, if you must. This method of circular fashion keeps clothes in circulation by passing it on to the next lover.

Other ways of being sustainable

It is estimated that 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK every year, amounting to 900 tonnes of plastic waste going into landfill. An alternative? Reel Tents have launched a plastic-free tent made from water-resistant paperboard, using 70% recycled fibre content (one-person, £75, two-person, launching soon).

The creators say they have been tested “in horrific weather conditions including snow, sleet, torrential rain, wind” and were “dry as a bone inside”. They’re intended for several uses before being completely recyclable, and are relatively easy to transport (one metre flat-packed).

The Marine Conservation Society has seen a 400% increase in wet wipes found along the UK coastline in the past decade. This has caused a lot of blockages, one of which was discovered in a sewer in Sidmouth in Devon earlier this year.

This fatberg was longer than six double decker buses. A mindful alternative would be to spend the extra 10p on biodegradable wipes. Simple Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes (Superdrug, £1.59) are made from soft sustainably-sourced plant fibres and wood pulp.

Fun without waste

The excitement of festivals is on everybody’s minds but we don’t need to harm the planet when we have fun. There are many alternatives for tents, wipes, and other replacements for single-use plastics. Be aware, care.

And we can have a sustainable mindful festival season.

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