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How to dress more sustainably at a festival

13 Apr 2022


Easy ways to dress more sustainably at a festival. Wear what you own, swap rent or borrow clothes, wear biodegradable glitter, bring reusables and recycle.

British charity Barnardo’s “found that single-use outfits for music festivals, such as Glastonbury and Coachella, alone, account for approximately $307 million worth of items per year, or about 7.5 million outfits worn only once.”

Here are some easy ways to dress more sustainably this festival season:

Easy ways to dress more sustainably at a festival

Wear what you already own

We’ve said it before and we will say it again: the most sustainable thing you can wear is something you already own. Find new inspiration by experimenting with colour or pattern clashes that you wouldn’t usually put together. Focus on layering and don’t forget to consider comfort when assembling your look.

Swap or borrow from friends to save money

Even extending the life of our garments by an extra nine months of active use would reduce the carbon, water and waste footprint by around 20% to 30% each.” (Fashion Revolution). Ask friends if they have anything you can swap or borrow. Many people fall into the impulse of purchasing outfits that they only wear once at a festival and they’ll welcome the opportunity to lend it out. You might even have an old look that you can swap with them yourself. It’s cheap and sustainable…ideal. “

Easy ways to dress more sustainably at a festival


Reskinned’s pre-loved section has plenty of items to inspire this year’s festival look. Bright colours, fun patterns and a focus on physical comfort is where we recommend placing emphasis on.

Sportswear and outdoor wear can be a good investment as they will serve you for years to come. We always encourage you to think about how many wears you will get out of something - don’t buy something you will only wear once. If you can’t find the right thing for you on Reskinned, explore your local charity shop to find some hidden gems.

Easy ways to dress more sustainably at a festival


When shopping for festival season, choose classic styles that you know won’t go out of fashion. That way you can be sure to have a festival look for years to come. 

Avoid micro-trends that will be out of favour before next year, and opt for iconic cowboy boots, tassels and fun accessories that you can see yourself being excited to bring out each festival season, instead of just wearing once.

The great thing about timeless festival pieces is that they’ve been knocking around for a while, so you might even be able to nab a bargain! Look for festival styles in charity shops, thrift stores and second-hand shops to keep them out of landfill, and dancing in fields for years to come.

festival fashion


People can get bogged down with trying to dress ‘festival-ly’ when they go to a festival, but in reality, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in what you wear.

Wear clothes that suit your personal style instead of opting into trends that you know aren’t going to make you feel good. There’s nothing worse than dressing up to the nines and wishing you were in plain shorts and a t-shirt. You know yourself better than anyone else does, so go with your gut feeling and you won’t end up making any bad choices.

At the end of the day, you’re there to have fun and enjoy the music, not to put on a fashion show.


You can give the impression of having great festival style by only wearing one or two key items or accessories that have the wow-factor.

Investing in a fabulous festival hat or a statement jacket that you can bring out each year is a more sustainable way to dress for festivals than buying a full new look, and means that the rest of your outfit can be pieces from your wardrobe. Opt for your trusted comfy footwear and sporty layers underneath for optimum comfort and don your festival accessories for an immediate outfit lift. 

Bonus points if you buy from a small business or sustainable brand.


Festivals are the best place to unleash your creativity and get inventive with what you wear. 

Literally anything goes, so why not use it as an opportunity to embrace your artistic side and make something out of the clothes you already have in your wardrobe? YouTube has an expanse of D.I.Y. tutorials for beginners and seasoned sewers alike, so don’t be shy if it’s out of your comfort zone.

You’ll end up with unique and original festival pieces for a fraction of the price, and save old clothes from landfill at the same time.


Do you really want to be that person that brings two suitcases to the festival? We don’t think so.

Once you get there and start having fun, the last thing that’s going to be on your mind is what you’re wearing, so who cares if you wear the same thing more than once?

Rewear your favourite festival accessories for multiple days, and if you’re going to a few different festivals (lucky you!) then you can wear the exact same thing, and the bonus is that you’re going to know that you look and feel your best when you’re wearing it. 

That means no uncomfortable surprises when you realise your “waterproof” boots end up not being so waterproof, or you find out your fun festival hat escapes from your head in even the lightest gust of wind. 


It’s okay to buy new things from time to time, as long as you’re shopping consciously, and buying with longevity in mind. 

If there’s something you have your eye on for an upcoming festival, and you know you’ll love and wear it for years to come, it might be worth buying.

Before you shop for new pieces for your festival wardrobe, ask yourself these questions:

What is it made from?

Is it something that is recycled or recyclable, or made from materials that will biodegrade?

Do I really need it?

Have I already got something similar, or something I can wear instead, or is this a truly unique and necessary addition to my wardrobe?

Do I love it?

Does it make me feel great? Or am I just buying it for the sake of it, and it’s not something that excites me? 

Will I wear this multiple times?

Is it a one-wear-wonder? If it is, how can I buy it pre-loved, and make sure it’s worn again by someone else after me?

Can I get it second hand?

Is there a way to buy it that doesn’t involve using new materials?

If the answers align with your personal ethics, and you can feel good about your purchase after answering them, then go for it, and enjoy your new festival piece! 


Transform your festival style for free with creative makeup and accessories.

Go for a bold graphic eyeliner in a bright colour, or use eyeshadow as a blush - 80’s style. you don’t need to be an MUA, just make it up! Get some friends together to test out looks beforehand.

Test out fun hairstyles, update your look with a hat, some jewellery or hair accessories and you’ll start to feel - and look - festival ready, without making any new purchases.

Just remember to remove your festival makeup with biodegradable wipes or reusable makeup remover so you’re not sending anything unnecessary to landfill.


Glitter is synonymous with festival makeup looks.

According to a 2019 paper published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, glitter may be a significant source of microplastic in the environment and become a hazard to various organisms, as well as contribute to ocean plastic waste. It can be confusing - how does the glitter I wear end up in the ocean? That’s because our water systems are connected to the sea. Filters are usually good at catching anything that goes into the ocean but glitter is so fine it can bypass that filter system. So everytime you wash your glitter off your face and down a sink, it risks the chance of contributing to ocean plastic.

Biodegradable glitter exists. Look for Bioglitter certified retailers who offer glitter that is made from eucalyptus trees.


Ok, this one isn’t about your outfit but it’s not to be sniffed at. Bring reusables. More and more festivals are building sustainability initiatives into their setup and many independent stalls offer incentives for those who pack a reusable. Reduce plastic waste by bringing your own Tupperware and water bottles. It will save you money, too.


A 2015 report ‘The Show Must Go On’, was based on 279 UK summer festivals and estimates of 3.17 million people attending UK music festivals every year creating 23,500 tonnes of waste. The report further estimates that over three-quarters of that waste ends up at landfill.

The impact of this waste is staggering. It can cost Glastonbury nearly £1million to clear up the waste left behind each year. All this can be upsetting for animals and ecosystems, as well as using up financial resources that could be better invested in positive environmental initiatives.

Don’t litter. Don’t leave anything behind. Be respectful to the land and help keep our environment clean. Definitely don’t leave your tent behind.


Festivals are great opportunities to experiment with more eccentric styles but it can mean that sometimes we end up with clothes that we don’t end up wearing for the rest of the year. If you’ve damaged an item or just no longer want it, and it is eligible for one of our programmes, send it to us. We’ll make sure anything that can will be fixed, resold or up-cycled and anything beyond the point of repair will be recycled responsibly.

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