Thirty years ago, an enviable summer vacation might have been touring the Caribbean islands via cruise or lounging at a posh resort in Maui. Today both of those options sound lovely in theory, but why drop $500 a night on a hotel when you can use Airbnb? Instead, we Millennials are more likely to invest our vacation budget in the one side of the music industry that isn’t slowing down — music festivals. Whether you’re packing your bags and dreaming of checking out the latest indie star, or you’re more eager to dress up and attend the surrounding parties, I put together a list of festival essentials to help you do good while you’re looking good. Check it out, let me know your favorites and make sure to add anything I may have missed in the comments below!
Combat boots are a concert staple; they pair well with everything from flowy dresses to cut up jeans. Every major footwear brand offers them, but for the conscious fashionista not just any boots will do. My favorite pair are the Sinclair boots from Nicora Shoes. These sleek beauties are mud proof and water resistant — perfect for frolicking through the farm at Bonnaroo. All Nicora shoes are cruelty free, vegan and made ethically in the USA, and this particular pair is crafted from a leather reproduction made out of recycled materials. Sign up for their email list and receive $25 off your first purchase!
A beach blanket is a festival must-have. Trust me, three days is a long time to stand out in the sun, and in my experience, for some of the dreamier sounding bands (think The xx, Tame Impala) it’s more fun to lay out on a blanket and bask in both the sound bath and Vitamin D. Siestas For Fiestas blankets are super cute (hello pom-poms!) and for each one purchased a Christmas dinner is delivered to a family in need in Cancun, Mexico. Last year they were able to distribute 1,000 dinners!
Speaking of standing out in the sun, a good sunscreen is crucial so that you don’t get completely burned day 1. There are a lot of good options out there, but I prefer a sunscreen mist so that I can quickly apply to places like my hair part without getting the caked look. The 100 Percent Pure Yerba Mate Mist is SPF 30, sprays on, has no synthetic chemicals and contains antioxidants that help protect against free radicals and environmental pollutants.
Both function and fashion are important to keep in mind when shopping for the perfect purse to bring with you to a festival. I prefer a small crossbody bag that’s big enough for your wallet but lightweight enough to not bother your shoulders. Cameron Dale, the costume designer from Pretty Little Liars, designed this fun Opie bag for Louise & Eleanor. I was initially drawn to it for the gold/pink color blocking and playful tassel, and I was thrilled to discover that they donate to Two Wings — the same non-profit that we support through The Tote Project! $5 from each purchase is donated to either Two Wings or the Lotus House. On top of their donations, Louise & Eleanor also holds Fashion Days for both non-profits where they support the women who participate in them by providing clothes, beauty products and tips, and career advice.
Statement making jewelry will take your festival outfit to the next level. I love this hammered neck cuff from Haiti’s Jewels because it’s minimal yet bold, easy to throw in a suitcase with out worrying about tangling, and it compliments almost any neckline you choose. This piece is made from 100% post consumer recycled aluminum, and the company is located in Haiti where they provide jobs to artisans who are in need of work.
It’s a given that you need to bring sunglasses with you to an outdoor music festival because you don’t want to squint at the stage the whole time. Plus, shades may be a small accessory but they add a lot to your style. These Malawi sunglasses from Solo Eyewear are manufactured out of 20% recycled plastic with repurposed bamboo SOLO letters, and with each purchase SOLO restores vision for a person in need by funding eye exams, eyeglasses and cataract surgeries.
Junim Los Angeles is my go-to clothing brand when I’m looking for a bold, head-turning outfit. Jumpsuits are more popular than ever, but if you rock the Jayne jumpsuit you won’t find another one like it in crowd. This is hippie-chic at it’s finest! All Junim pieces are hand sewn in Eagle Rock out of reclaimed fabrics, so when the compliments start rolling in, don’t feel shy, you earn major bragging rights with this purchase.
Thanks to my lovely friend Brooke from Charity Girl Problems for introducing me to This Bar Saves Lives. Their delicious snack bars are fair trade, non-GMO, gluten free and each one literally saves a life — for each bar purchased they donate live-saving food to a child in need. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better one-for-one model than that! Make sure to bring your favorite flavor with you in your festival purse (these fit in the Opie bag!) because your meal schedule will likely be thrown off. If you need a burst of energy to get through one more set before braving the food truck lines, these guys will come in handy.
9.) RE/DONE Jeans
By day three of your festival experience you may be feeling a little grungy, especially if you camp. That’s the time to throw on your favorite pair of jeans, and hopefully you packed a pair that are as comfortable as they are trendy. With that in mind, I’ve had my eye on these cropped, painted jeans from RE/DONE. All RE/DONE denim is made in Los Angeles from pre-loved Levi’s jeans that are repurposed and sewn into modern (killer!) silhouettes. Their factory uses water conserving methods and no harsh chemicals, and each pair is handpicked and one of a kind. RE/DONE pieces are an investment, so if you have the sewing chops another option is finding a vintage pair of Levi’s at a secondhand store and tailoring them yourself.
This final pick is for all you concert-going minimalists. If you’re simply looking for a stylish option to keep your valuables on hand, the Valencia is the only accessory you’ll need. Throw this studded iPhone purse over your shoulder and tuck your ID, credit card and spare cash in the attached pocket. It fits the iPhone 6s and 7, and features a clasp on the strap that you can clip your keys to. 100% of the proceeds go to distributing meals to the homeless population in NYC, making the Valencia a #forgood essential.
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