Your full guide on The 5 steps to Shopping for more Sustainable & Ethical Festival Outfits (and your improving your wardrobe in general!)
Stylishly late as ever, I’m just now celebrating last week’s Fashion Revolution Week by asking… Who Made My Clothes? in this special ethical festival fashion feature!
“Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.”
Fashion Revolution week was started in reaction to the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013, when a factory collapsed and killed 1138, in an effort to make clothing supply chains more transparent and open up a more clear dialogue about who makes the clothes we wear and what impact that might have on people as well as the environment. Read more about Fashion Revolution here.
In the world of festival wear I think this is so important to think about – more recently I’ve noticed throw away culture at festivals has become more and more prominent; whether that’s leaving your tent and your plastic cups behind or your cheaply bought, one wear, costume.
In this post I’m focussing on festival fashion brands that are making an effort to open up that conversation and look at new ways of making less impactful garments, whether that’s through the way their items are produced, the sustainability of their materials or other ways. None of these are necessarily entirely guilt free (is anything!?) but definitely routes to more more conscious costume shopping….!
Insane in the Rain
RECYCLED PLASTIC RAINCOATS! Yes, yes & all the yes. Tackling the single use plastic problem from a fashion angle IITR create raincoats made from recycled plastic bottles in a gorgeous slouchy design that not only give you practical rain protection but also ensure you’re never lost in a crowd with their vibrant prints. You might have spotted them before in my Meadows in The Mountains post and remember meeting Hannah the founder in my post about the That Thing festival season launch.
“When you purchase an INSANE IN THE RAIN jacket you help reduce the unnecessary production of virgin plastic rain jacket fabric and simultaneously, upcycle from 17 to 23 plastic bottles that would otherwise roam our oceans. Also, your INSANE print helps by spreading awareness and getting the message out in the world to refuse single-use plastic.” See the range and read more about their ethics here.
‘Sassy and sustainable‘ is Duvet Days tagline and toooo right it is! Duvet Days’ lush two pieces, playsuits, trousers, crops, jumpers and more are all handmade by the lovely Emma in her Bristol studio out of, you guessed it, DUVET COVERS! The ultimate in jazzy prints and up-cycling…
“Duvet Days is fuelled by ethical mentalities and joins an army of environmentally conscious names in fashion, upcycling and using locally sourced fabric. Not wanting to waste a single scrap, all of the duvet cover is used, smaller pieces used for children’s clothing and hair scrunchies.” Check out her range here.
Lady Jane Sequins
You might recognise these spangletastic delights from previous posts of mine, like my outfit at Love Saves the Day… In terms of ethicality, sequins and their painstaking hand sewn nature usually get alarm bells ringing and visions of sweatshops popping into your mind. However, my friend Janey lives and works in Bangkok for half the year working closely with fairly paid producers that she’s known for years.
Some MORE sequins, obviously. A stalwart of the festival fashion scene and queen of the sequin statement piece, Rosa Bloom has recently become more transparent about her supply chain in Bali and the women who sew all of your sequins on one by one – and it’s fascinating. Head to her instagram to hear more about what she’s up to.
P.S how delicious is that image from this year’s new collection? That’s the stuff my dreams are made of….
Lucy & Yak
Me (along with the rest of instagram) have become OBSESSED with this brand and their colourful, yummy, slouchy pieces in all the colours of the rainbow. All their stuff is produced in a small factory in India (like me!) and after a few years they’ve got to the stage where they’ve built their tailors a whole new factory!
“But most importantly, our goal is to prove that you can do all of this without someone in the chain not receiving their fair share. We believe it doesn’t have to be at the expense of someone like many capitalists will have you believe. We think the system doesn’t have to be “winners and losers”. The system is whatever we all decide to make it, so let’s make a system where everyone wins.” Read more about their ethics here.
I got the best pair of black cord dungas from them (not exactly wild festival wear mind!) and some raspberry slouchy trousers – probably the most comfortable things I own!
Lycra, a festival staple, is a tricky one as the environmental impact of the fabric is really not the best! But Bristol based lycra babes Burnt Soul have been doing their bit towards more conscious catsuit production by working on a new eco fabric called ‘life lycra’ made from recycled fishing net and tulle… How cool is that?
Additionally, all of their production is kept in the West of England, check out this lovely behind the scenes to get more of an idea of their processes. They’re also giving recycled scraps to dreamy babe Headspace Headdresses who turns them in to fabulous festival headgear so you can get that full matching flavour!
How can you be more ethical in your festival fashion choices??
Throwaway culture in festivals and festival fancy dress is not new thing – but you can make better costume choices! I still definitely have a long way to go myself but here’s some top tips, that will also save you money in the long run…
- Buy to last – spend more to save in the long run, avoid buying mass produced fancy dress shop stuff you only intend to wear once and think about investing in something by a local independent designer. You’re more likely to be able to ask for something tailored to fit too!
- This goes for pieces that ‘shed’ too – eg. items are embellished with feathers, glitter, sequins etc. if you’re gonna buy them, buy quality or risk leaving a trail of non-biodegradable destruction behind you.
- Up-cycle! Take something old you own and make something new!
- Borrow items off your friends – if you’re trying for a specific festival fancy dress theme then see if your friends have something that fits!
- Think about what you’re putting on your face as well as well – my post on ethical festival beauty is a thorough guide; from biodegradable glitter to dry shampoo!
Let me know if you have any more tips! I’m pledging to think more about this this festival season… starting down with cutting down on my wig purchasing habits…!