A recent study conducted by Better Waste Solutions, a waste management firm, indicates a notable shift in the preferences of British festival-goers towards sustainability over the allure of fast fashion and glitter. This shift comes in response to the concerning 25,800 tonnes of waste produced annually in the UK due to music festivals
Fast fashion and glitter have long been synonymous with festival culture, but the survey highlights a significant change in behavior. A substantial 74 percent of respondents no longer use glitter at festivals, while 51 percent refrain from buying new clothes exclusively for such events.
Abstaining from purchasing new clothing
Stephen Wilce, founder of Better Waste Solutions, commends the growing number of individuals adopting positive changes even before attending festivals. The decline of interest in fast fashion is evident, with popular brand Boohoo experiencing a dramatic drop in organic search traffic to its festival-themed webpage. Concurrently, the preloved clothing market has surged in popularity, with 22,247 “festival outfit” results on reputable resale platform Depop.
Stephen Wilce notes that not long ago, environmental consequences were ignored as cheap clothing was discarded after a single use. However, the rising awareness of combining style and sustainability is encouraging, as festivalgoers increasingly embrace secondhand shopping and utilizing existing wardrobes.
Glitter has also come under scrutiny for its environmental impact, leading many festivals to pledge a ban on non-biodegradable options. Pinterest searches for “glitter makeup” decreased by 36 percent in June 2023 compared to the previous year, indicating a positive response from attendees.
While most respondents avoid glitter, 12 percent still enjoy the sparkling allure but opt for biodegradable alternatives. However, 10 percent continue to use conventional plastic glitter, which poses environmental challenges due to its microplastic nature.
Stephen Wilce said the rising popularity of biodegradable glitter but cautions about some options still containing plastic. He advises adopting eco-friendly practices, such as using cosmetic products and reusable cotton pads, instead of plastic wet wipes.
The shift towards sustainability marks a commendable step forward for the British festival scene.