Image from Connected Goods

I keep reading about upcoming festivals on blogs written by northern hemisphere residents! Even though it’s winter here, we get a look in next weekend with one of Australia’s biggest and best music festivals Splendour in the Grass.

There’s a few things to note about dressing for festivals: firstly, your clothes might get muddy, sweaty, and stretched as you are jostled around in crowds. There is a good likelihood you will get things spilt on you. You will probably dance, maybe sit on someone’s shoulders, at some point sit down on the grass cross-legged or all of the above. In other words, it’s best to wear something that you can move around in, is comfortable and will withstand a good wash (to remove any stains and return it back to its original shape!) Think T-shirts, denim cut-offs and sweaters.

Secondly, a festival is one occasion where you can really experiment with your personal style and step out of your comfort zone. If it’s not your usual style to dress boho, hippie chic, grunge…. now is your opportunity! Go ahead and wear tribal prints that you wouldn’t usual dare to, because you will fit right in.

Thirdly,  accessories absolutely make your festival outfit. Flat boots, floppy hats, oversized sunglasses… But the most important is your bag – because not only will it make your outfit, it also needs to be functional! You need something that is hands-free, small enough to be unobtrusive while you’re dancing/moshing/pushing your way to the front row, but large enough to (safely) store your necessities. I had such fun putting together this post of bags that I think fit the bill, at price points to suit every budget:

Ethical festival-worthy bags

1. Purse and Clutch Saddlebag Leather Pouchette for $89.00USD / 2. Shibori Print Cross Shoulder Bag from Oxfam for $59.95AUD / 3. Winter Sun Stripes Coin Purse from Oxfam for $14.95AUD / 4. Cream Crochet Pom Pom Bag from www.hearts.com for $30.00USD/ 5. Bess Bags Fairtrade Leather Square Cross Body Bag from Fashion-Conscience for £38.50USD / 6. Southern Sunrise Bag from Ten Thousand Villages for $29.00USD / 7. Leather and cotton bucket bag from Connected Goods for $96.00USD/ 8. Iznik Box Clutch by Popinjay from Shop Ethica for $196.00USD/ 9. Ikat Crossbody Bag from Global Goods Partners for $90.00USD


1. Saddlebag Leather Pouchette by Purse and Clutch available online for $89.00USD.

The details on this otherwise plain leather pouchette are beautiful.

Ethical credentials: Handmade with transparency in Guatemala

2. Shibori Print Cross Shoulder Bag from Oxfam available online or in store for $59.95AUD.

 This bright blue bag would dress up a black-on-black outfit (paired with reflector sunglasses). Aside from the great colour, the best thing about this bag is the storage; an inside zip pocket, a mobile pouch, and two generous external zip pockets back and front.

Ethical credentials: World Fair Trade Organization

3. Winter Sun Stripes Coin Purse from Oxfam available online or in store for $14.95AUD.

Winter sun sounds pretty amazing right about now – and how fitting for a winter festival like Splendour! This coin purse is a top choice if you aren’t bringing much along with you – it’s an excellent size to fit some money, your ID card and lipbalm. Put it in your pocket, or attach the strap to a bracelet to sling around your wrist.

Ethical credentials: World Fair Trade Organization

4. Cream Crochet Pom Pom Bag available from www.hearts.com online for $30.00USD.

Crochet bags went hand-in-hand with 1970s festivals. Lucky for us, they are equally appropriate for the modern day festival-goer.

This is how www.hearts.com describes the bag:

“Fresh spring blossoms bloom across this handmade clutch of delicate hand-crocheted cotton while supporting the women who crafted each one with fair wages and health benefits”.

How darling! This also has an inner pocket to keep your precious goods (pack of almonds to snack on, anyone?).

Ethical credentials: Handmade with transparency in India

5. Bess Bags Fairtrade Leather Square Cross Body Bag from Fashion-Conscience online for £38.50GBP (on sale from £55.00GBP!).

This plain tan bag will go with any outfit. I’m picturing cream lace.

Ethical credentials: Made in a fair trade arrangement

6. Southern Sunrise Bag from Ten Thousand Villages online for $29.00USD.

Like number 3, this bag is appropriately named! Doesn’t it conjure up images of a long summer music festival? The end of a burning hot day in the sun, pulling on a sweater as the temperature drops, the stage lit up with bright lights as it gets darker…? The name aside, the bright red of this bag is the perfect accessory to make a festival outfit pop.

Ethical credentials: Handmade in Nepal, World Fair Trade Organization, Fair Trade Federation Member 

7. Leather and cotton bucket bag in tangerine from Connected Goods online for $96.00USD.

If you’re going to a festival that goes for more than one day, you’re going to need a bag that’s slightly bigger and goes with more than one outfit. Why not bring along a slouchy bucket bag? This summery-but-neutral bucket bag would suit wonderfully. Throw in your stuff, close it up and you’re good to go.

Oh, and the blue pom pom is a great detail!

Ethical credentials: Fair Trade Federation Member 

8. Iznik Box Clutch by Popinjay in Metallic Copper from Shop Ethica for $196.00USD (on sale from $245.00USD!).

If you have money to spare, this is the bag for you! I love this! It has great shape and I love the chain metal shoulder strap, that would lend itself to a grungier outfit. At the same time, the bright floral and white pattern is fresh and would flatter a more feminine outfit. Talk about versatility!

I want to go on and on describing this bag, but I think the Shop Ethica website says it best:

“Taking inspiration from the antique Turkish ceramics of the same name, the Iznik box clutch by Popinjay features an elaborate, hand-embroidered pattern that takes 36 hours to complete. Part minaudière and part crossbody, this scene-stealer will add a note of eclectic elegance to your look.

  • Popinjay employs 150 women in Pakistan for hand embroidery work
  • Embroidering takes place four hours a day in a communal environment, providing an income for the artisans while offering flexibility
  • Most raw materials, including all leather, used in Popinjay bags are locally sourced
  • Popinjay bags are individually handcrafted by skilled patternmakers, cutters and stitchers
  • Production is completed in small batches, as each bag is 80% handmade
  • Popinjay artisans are paid above-fair wages and trained in the art of embroidery”

36 hours. Wow.

Ethical credentials: Handmade with transparency in Pakistan

9. Ikat Crossbody Bag from Global Goods Partners available online for $90.00USD.

Last but certainly not least, is this amazing blue Ikat bag. Great colour, print and shape. Fantastic pattern and size. Very festival-worthy.

Ethical credentials: Handmade in Guatemala, Fair Trade Federation Member 

Are you going to any festivals? Which of these bags would you take along (and what would you fill it with? You know I’m nosey when it comes to what’s in your bag…)

Yours Fairly,




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