3 Women dancing at a festival wearing festival fashion

Leading Brands in Festival Fashion

Updated: March 1, 2024
4 minutes read

Sustainability in Festival Fashion

As sustainability becomes more of a priority for festival goers, with initiatives like using turf to generate electricity at the Isle of Wight Festival, or Green Man Festival’s solar-powered stages, and hydrogen and hydrotreated vegetable oil power; fashion will experience similar trends. Many consumers are turning to renting a summer wardrobe to experiment with interesting pieces. More and more brands, such as Selfridges, Mango and Karen Millen, have begun offering rental clothing as an environmentally friendly alternative. These schemes also offer an opportunity for hopeful festival goers to make some extra income on peer-to-peer rental apps, like By-Rotation where there is a category dedicated to festival fashion with pieces that would usually retail for hundreds going for as little as £10. 

In addition, clothing brands that are known for their sustainable values have released show-stopping festival pieces. Good Guys, for example, was established in Paris in 2011 with the mission to create a ‘cruelty-free closet’ where no animals or people are exploited. Good Guys has a fantastic range of vegan trainers, sandals and some iconic Western boots made from an eco-friendly alternative to leather, Apple skin.

Ultra-Femininity in Festival Fashion

The trend of ultra-femininity in beauty and fashion captured the hearts of many in 2023. Elements such as hair ribbons, ballet flats, coquettish lace and blooming florals have all experienced a resurgence and brands are likely to get even more creative with it come festival season. In 2023, festival favourite ‘for Love and Lemons’ released a summer collection that celebrated all things charming and delicate – lacey silk maxi dresses, tiny embroidered roses, and huge bows adorning the model’s shoulders. We predict this trend will continue to thrive in summer and as it ties in perfectly with escapism and nostalgia marketing, it’s a strategic no-brainer for brands considering their festival fashion collections. 

Consumers Crave Transitional Pieces

There is a selection of fashion brands that unfailingly pull out all the stops during the UK festival season. E-commerce sites like ASOS, PrettyLittleThing and NastyGal will undoubtedly have dedicated festival shops radiating sequins, glitter and colour. However certain sites like ASOS and BooHoo saw a revenue drop in the summer of last year, which ASOS partly attributed to ‘challenging weather conditions’. In 2023, the UK experienced a fairly wet summer which led to a drop in consumer summer wardrobe activity. If brands can learn anything from the UK’s notoriously unpredictable weather it’s that shoppers crave versatility and transitional pieces in their clothing collections. Whether operating online or in physical stores, the answer lies in offering collections that transcend the seasons and complement various outfits. Brands that can adapt to these dynamic preferences will both capture new customers and re-engage with returning ones.

Looking Ahead with Mintel

Despite the prevalence of the cost of living crisis in 2023, the concert and festival industry has seen a significant recovery since the pandemic in ticket sales and attendance. The holy grail of UK festivals, Glastonbury, saw 2.5 million hopefuls trying to snag a ticket in 2023, but with a capacity of just 210,000, many were left disappointed. Similarly, Green Man Festival reported that 2024 tickets sold out in just four hours; and in 2023, Parklife saw a record demand for tickets. With rising ticket prices paired with incredibly quick sell-out times, many festivals have become exclusive to a lucky few. So what does this mean for festival fashion?

Attending a weekend festival now involves spending hundreds, not only are ticket prices high but transport, food and drink costs are also rising. This can have several implications on festival fashion. On one hand, consumers may regard their festival wardrobe as an investment, as a result, they might be more willing to spend money on fashionable and standout outfits, considering it a part of the overall festival experience. As previously mentioned, sustainable renting platforms, like By-Rotation, will propel this sentiment and make it more accessible. On the other hand, we may see a continued appreciation for DIY and second-hand among attendees who are more budget-conscious, this is supported by the fact that 33% of consumers have bought second-hand clothing in the last 12 months. If brands can deliver on sustainability, versatility and creativity then it looks to be a fruitful year for festival fashion.

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