Discovering The Best Ways to Fest - BottleRock 2019

I am writing this as I continue to recover from a Memorial Weekend spent doing all the things I love the most - dancing to live music, drinking wine and hanging with my sisters and brothers-in-law. I was at Bottlerock Music Festival in Napa, and it was heaven.

As a HUGE fan of live music, I’ve been attending festivals almost every summer since my early 20s. However, this was my first time going into the experience with the challenge to make more eco-conscious choices. As I was considering the environmental impact of these festivals, and where we can make tweaks here and there to benefit the planet, one thing kept coming up for me - festival fashion.

As festival culture has grown and grown, festival fashion has become a category where we justify spending money on cheap, trendy, fast-fashion clothes that will make for some KILLER ‘grams but we’ll likely only wear once. I get it, the temptation is real. After all, how many occasions are there to create the most outlandish outfits you can conceive and STILL fit right in with the crowd? Yet I promise you, there is a better way to do this! Otherwise, all of 2019’s trendy, festi-fashion becomes 2020’s landfill fodder…no bueno. Here are a few alternatives ways to create super-unique looks for your next festival:

  1. Thrifting - I mean, if you want to wear something NO ONE else will have, thrift stores are the best place to start. For music festivals especially, they’re a great place to source old logo tees that can be doctored up into crop-tops, tie-offs, tanks, etc. You can also almost always find unique and SUPER cheap sunglasses - a festival staple that you don’t want to spend a fortune on as the chances of you losing them may go up after that third glass of wine…

  2. Shop Your Wardrobe - …Or your friends’, or your sisters’. Another great way to give new life to older garments. Host a clothing swap with your squad the week before the festival and put on a makeshift fashion show as you test out festival looks, weigh in on one another’s outfits, and lend or donate your own clothes and accessories to help them complete their looks!

  3. Fair-trade statement jewelry - I love the bright, bold and colorful pieces on Fair Trade Winds, an a digital artisan co-op store that believes people and planet should not be exploited for the things we buy. These pieces are utterly unique and will fit right in at any festival.

  4. If you must shop new, shop ethical - Maybe you’re 90% there with your outfit, but could use one or two more new pieces to complete the look. This is a great opportunity to shop from places like Reformation, tonlé or Ninety Percent that work towards an ethical supply chain and minimal environmental imapct.

  5. BONUS: Nix the glitter - Microplastics are a BIG no no, but that doesn’t mean you need to forgo your shine - many companies are coming out with biodegradable glitter options. I like GlitteRevolution, especially because they contribute a percentage of sales to the 5 Gyres Institute, a non-profit organization that empowers action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure.