An Insight Into Sustainable Fashion | Hay Festival 2013


Working closely with Oxfam, I was lucky enough to be sent down to Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wyre, a Literature and Arts festival in Wales, for two days to act as the resident Style Spotter and to attend some sustainable fashion talks with model Lily Cole and Alannah Weston. I also spotted one of the many comedians at the festival Dara O'Briain, in between talks.

Hay Festivals take place all over the world with two festivals taking place in Hay-on-Wyre, Wales a year; a spring-summer festival and a Winter Weekend festival. I was welcomed with beaming May sunshine and soaring temperatures when I arrived, but was also blessed with the ambience of a music festival from the wet mud caused by rainfall earlier on in the week. Luckily, I had packed my wellies which I had previously considered leaving at home!


I attended the Hay Festival on the 30th and 31st May and stayed in a beautiful French-meets-British-Victoriana style home. The talks I attended were the Lily Cole and WWF Amazon Adventure and Alannah Weston talks to Dylan Jones Business Breakfast which lasted about an hour each. All talks are extremely affordable at an average of £6 each. The Amazon Adventure explored the world of fashion sustainability in the Amazon where Lily learns about extracting rubber from trees (yes, I know - I thought all rubber was artificially made too) and the Business Breakfast delved into the world of Selfridges, covering the TV series Mr Selfridge and the future of Selfridges.


The festival has a range of talks from Philosophy to Fashion and entry is free. There is an eclectic mix of shops, charities, restaurants, bars, outdoor activities, famous figures and book signings. It's great for all ages, all minds (I'm not a literature/arts buff) and is a refreshing change from music festivals, not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper. It exercises and inspires the mind and would make a great day out for as little as £0. [Also, the bar men were incredibly hot...and they read!]


Separate vintage store owners Kelli and Jo come together for Hay Festival and run Hay Does Vintage which sells vintage clothing, accessories and homeware. I had my eye on a vintage typewriter and a leather suitcase which I was torn about buying. Find Kelli at Vintage Tramp and Jo at Hay Does Vintage.



Tips and Notes
If possible, bring your own food as it can be pricey
Bring wellies
Take a bus from the bus station across from Hereford train station to get to Hay-on-Wyre (I got the X99 which is not signposted on the bus but it is a First bus. NB - This bus is expensive!)
There is a shuttle from Hay-on-Wyre to the festival that's £1 and is valid for the entire day
Visit Hay-on-Wyre village itself
Bargain hunt; some books in the bookshop can be expensive so take a look in the Oxfam bookshop first. Also, some items in the Hay Festival shop are available in the National Trust shop. I picked up the Farmers Lip Balm for 50p cheaper in the National Trust shop than the Hay Festival shop at £4.50.


I'd like to say a huge thank you to Oxfam for covering travel and food expenses for this event and for giving me this opportunity. My visit was truly inspirational, invigorating and I would definitely visit again.