How to Dress Sustainably at Festivals

How to Dress Sustainably at Festivals

As festival season begins, so does the excitement, preparation, and outfit planning. For many festivalgoers, it's not just about the music—it’s a chance to dress up. Yet, amidst the band tees, denim shorts, and colourful accessories that define festival fashion lies a troubling reality: the pervasive influence of fast fashion.

From crochet tops to mesh dresses and neon bodysuits, these garments epitomise a culture of disposable fashion. This year's on-trend festival outfits will mostly likely be worn just once and then discarded without a second thought, adding to the mountains of textile waste that overwhelms our planet.

Festivals should be about celebrating music, art, community, and sustainable living, instead of being a runway for the latest microtrends. A simple way to rave responsibly is to buy less, thrift more, and repeat outfits.

Whether you've secured a day ticket or you're preparing for a weekend of camping, here are some practical tips and inspiring ideas for curating a sustainable festival wardrobe that will last long after the music fades.

How to Dress Sustainably at Festivals

Sustainable Festival Fashion

Thrift Festival Outfits

Whether you're heading to a festival or not, one of the best ways to dress sustainably is to thrift your clothes. Thrifting provides a way to buy unique and stylish pieces without contributing to the demand for new clothing production. Thrifting gives old clothes a new life by supporting a circular fashion economy, helping to reduce the environmental impact of unwanted garments.

Share Clothes with Friends

Sharing clothes with friends provides a way to refresh your festival wardrobe without buying anything new. It's a fun way to try out new styles and ensure your clothes are reused rather than discarded. By sharing wardrobes, you can reduce waste while changing into as many different outfits as you want during festival season.

Avoid Fast Fashion

Steer clear of fast fashion brands that produce cheap, disposable clothing. These items are often made from poor-quality materials that don’t last. Instead, invest in well-made, quality pieces you know you'll wear multiple times and can be styled into different outfits. Quality over quantity is key to a sustainable wardrobe.

Choose Sustainable Brands

When the time comes to buy new clothes, make a conscious choice to support ethical brands that prioritise sustainability. These brands not only follow eco-friendly practices but also tend to produce higher-quality garments that stand the test of time. By investing in pieces that are durable and well-made, you reduce the frequency of replacements and contribute to a more sustainable wardrobe.

Opt for Natural Fibers

Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, hemp, and bamboo are a good choice for long festival days, not just for their comfort and breathability but also for their eco-friendly qualities. Unlike synthetic fabrics, which shed microplastics and degrade slowly, these natural materials decompose more readily and cause less harm to the environment.

DIY and Upcycle

Transforming your old clothes into festival-ready outfits through creative customisation is not only a fun and rewarding activity but also a sustainable choice that minimises waste and saves money. By adding patches, experimenting with tie-dye, and repurposing fabric, you can breathe new life into outdated pieces that might otherwise be discarded.

Rent Your Outfits

Renting clothes for festivals offers a sustainable approach to enjoying a variety of different outfits without contributing to the environmental toll of fast fashion. With numerous rental services now specialising in trendy festival clothes, you have access to an extensive wardrobe of stylish options without the commitment of permanent ownership.

Buy Eco-Friendly Accessories

When choosing accessories to complement your festival outfits, choose those crafted from durable, eco-friendly materials such as wood, cork, and organic fabrics. Opt for jewellery made from recycled gold and sterling silver, which not only reduces the demand for new mining but also promotes the reuse of precious metals.

Wear Durable Footwear

Festivals can be rough on footwear, with dusty grounds, unpredictable weather, and hours of walking and dancing. To ensure your feet stay comfortable and your shoes survive the festivities, opt for footwear crafted from durable and sustainable materials. Investing in high-quality shoes made from these materials not only guarantees comfort throughout the event but also extends their lifespan beyond the festival grounds.