Ah, festivals. The fringe. The glitter. The mud. As soon as summer hits, we’re all craving that festival feeling. However, starting to shop for your ideal festival outfits can be daunting for your bank as well as the planet. Never fear though, there are many ways to sustainably switch up your approach to festival fashion without hindering your creativity.
Shop your wardrobe
This may seem like a novel idea to some when it comes to festival fashion, but it’s a perfect place to start when you're first planning the weekend of outfits. Plus, if you’re an avid festival attendee, you’ve almost definitely got some hidden gems in the back of your wardrobe that you’ve forgotten about since the last festival season.
Found yourself in an outfit slump with your wardrobe? Don’t worry, styling your clothes in innovative ways can be daunting at the best of times. My biggest piece of advice is to browse Instagram and Pinterest. This can help find inspiration for creating outfits (for festivals but also every day!). You never know what outfits you’ll be able to create from clothes you already own, that you otherwise might not have even thought of.
Shopping your wardrobe also means mending some of your worn out pieces. I know, a horrid thought. But trust me, re-sewing the button that fell off two months ago or fixing a hem will make you see the piece in a whole new light! Or perhaps it’s time to upcycle to fit the current festival trends or even to your new personal style.
Upcycle your clothes
Cropping, dyeing, bleaching, bedazzling - the upcycling opportunities are endless. And the beauty of it is you don’t need to be a sewing master to create new pieces. Got an old pair of jeans? Chop the legs off. Bring some life back into the colour by dyeing them, and you’ve got yourself a new pair of shorts. Got an old t-shirt? Hop onto the tie-dye trend that has been ever so popular this past year. Then cut it into a shrug and bra or skirt, or both! The world is your oyster!
If you’re stuck for inspiration, there are so many blogs out there to check out. Cucicucicoo is an amazing site if you need any tutorials or sewing patterns. Over on YouTube, I love Annika Victoria, bestdressed, and Nava Rose for all things upcycling, thrifting, and styling.
Shop second hand or vintage
If your wardrobe offers a limited selection for the festival season, then opting for second hand shopping is the next best thing. And now the charity and vintage shops are opening up again, it’s the perfect time to start browsing. Maybe even try a kilo sale or visit your local market for a rummage.
My biggest tip for shopping second hand is to go in with a list of pieces you’re after (or you fancy upcycling) and an open mind. It is definitely longer than shopping first hand, but in my opinion, it’s so much more rewarding! You may find things that are currently on trend for half the price. Or even a one-of-a-kind vintage piece that’ll definitely make you stand out at the main stage.
Swap or borrow
We’ve all got a friend or two that live for festivals, right? Why not arrange a swap? They'll already have that statement piece that you're after, without you having to worry about whether or not you'll wear it again. If you're interested in some vintage pieces but aren’t sure about buying something new - raid your grandma’s wardrobe. Heck, raid your grandad’s wardrobe - they have got the best shirts after all.
There are some amazing clothing rental services out there that allow you to wear pieces you might not be able to afford at face value. The Devout offers rental boxes that include five separate items. There are a variety of different styles available - ideal for switching it up at the different festivals out there. This gorgeous Free People midi dress for instance would be perfect with some white cowboy boots and a fringed jacket for Glastonbury. And this Realisation Par tie-dye dress would look absolutely sickening with a pair of Doc Martens and a leather jacket at Reading & Leeds.
Consciously consuming festival fashion
There are important factors to take into consideration when sustainably shopping for festival fashion. How often are you going to wear it post-weekend, or if you even wear it again? Shopping sustainably has never meant spending a fortune and you don't need to rush to the fast fashion sites to find trendy statement pieces. Remember, the most sustainable way to shop is to not shop at all. Unless we’re counting shopping your wardrobe, of course.