Since the 23rd March, the country has been in what feels like a never ending lockdown. Losing all of our summer months due to restrictions banning households mixing and the closure of businesses, the summer of 2020s memories are certainly different. For many, summer would mean it was festival season; a coveted time of year for Brits. With a whole variety of festivals on offer, acquired to any taste, from dance music festival Creamfields, to Reading and Leeds, to drum and bass specialist Boomtown. We all miss the feeling of strapping on our bum bag, putting on our boots, and heading off out the door with a ruck sack heavier than ourselves, and spending the weekend partying in a field with our friends drinking warm cans of cider.
Apart from the festival itself, one of the best parts is outfit shopping. Festivals are an opportunity to step out the box with the most exquisite and bold outfit choices. From neon, fishnet, to cycle shorts, every single outfit is different to the next. Over the years, festival outfits have appeared to consist of less and less clothing, with many even opting for swimwear, making us shiver as a British festival doesn’t come without rain.
Taking over Instagram, are British handmade festival and swimwear boutiques, specialising in ‘rave wear’. These boutiques take pride in their unique handmade garments. Each year they provide festival goers with their own custom made outfit, prices vary with some outfits costing over £100. These include custom made prints such as Burberry, Dior, and Gucci, or neon sets; whatever your personality, there is an outfit for you. However, these usually successful boutiques have seen business hindered with the Coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to the 2020 festival season.
We caught up with Instagram shop Jazzy Garms, who have almost 30k followers on their successful ‘rave wear’ boutique. They specialise in quirky psychedelic prints, perfect for festival season, and make dresses, unitards and two piece sets. Festival season for Jazzy Garms is usually a very busy time of year with a high demand in sales, but the coronavirus pandemic has taken a big toll on business. They said: “Covid and lockdown was very hard for Jazzy Garms, in March when lockdown was announced, my sales dropped to the lowest they have ever been. Until festivals return, the future of Jazzy Garms is very uncertain.”
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To make up for the lack of sales in festival wear, many brands have had to come up with a solution to save their business. For many, this has been launching a loungewear range because of the demand for this type of clothing. Jazzy Garms have started a ‘Mellow’ loungewear unisex range, which consists of t-shirts, hoodies, tracksuits and hats. This still includes their signature psychedelic image, however, is more appropriate to the times of lockdown, and the increase in demand for loungewear. About the new collection, Jazzy Garms said: “Hopefully this will carry us through to next summer when festivals can resume.”
Halloween saw brands branch out to this occasion to try bring in some extra revenue. Brands such as EBC Swim, who usually specialise in swimwear, jumped upon the idea of Halloween, taking to social media to promote their garments in a Halloween light to try boost sales.
20 year old Lauren Watson is a regular to the festival scene, who uses Instagram boutiques as her main source of festival outfits. The news of festivals being cancelled came as a blow to Lauren, who said: “I was devastated about the news, I usually go to around four festivals a year, and always get my outfits from Instagram boutiques as I like to be unique, but because of the rules I haven’t bought one festival outfit this year. I really feel for the boutiques in this industry.”
With times still so uncertain it remains unclear when festivals may return, leaving the future looking bleak for many Instagram boutiques. With many of these relying on the 2021 festival/ holiday season to keep their business afloat we keep everything crossed for a successful 2021.
Are you excited for festivals to start up again? Let us know on Twitter @Fashion_North!