E tū is turning festival waste into everyday bags
It may be hard to believe but there was once a time when camp gear cost a pretty penny because it was made from rugged materials and built to last. These days, you can pick up a two person tent for as little as $12. The availability of low-cost camping equipment coupled with the rise in summer music festivals has created a perfect storm with a report from Green Music Australia revealing that one in five attendees at Falls Festival, Party in the Paddock and Unify purchased a new tent for the festival and that punters were four times more likely to abandon it if their friend did it too. While it’s indeed a bleak scenario, there is a glimmer of hope – Melbourne’s E tū is turning the tide on festival waste and transforming discarded tents into everyday bags.
If you’ve ever hung around to witness the aftermath of a multi-day music festival, it’s a pretty grim sight. Bins overflowing with rubbish spewing onto the ground, entire campsites abandoned presumably because it was easier to walk away than pack it up and tents blowing in the breeze like tumbleweeds – it’s eerie, almost post-apocalyptic and overwhelmingly sad. It was a sight that reduced Melbourne-based designer Rachel Kelly to tears when she arrived at Pitch Festival in Victoria to collect festival waste. Named after the Maori word for ‘stand up’, E Tū is a hybrid of design, activism and art and is dedicated to raising awareness of the harmful impact festival waste and textiles in landfill has on our environment.
Currently in a pilot phase, Rachel’s goal is to make 50 bags from festival waste by 2020 and exhibit the product and photography of the collection to make people think twice about the impact of our purchasing decisions. E Tū’s debut collection will be showcased at Undress Runway‘s sustainable fashion festival in Melbourne on November 22 and you can follow E tū‘s journey on Instagram or Facebook. If you’re hitting up a festival this summer, be kind to mother nature and consider borrowing before buying or if you’re a frequent festivalgoer, invest in quality gear that is less likely to break after one use.