All that glitters may not be quite so gold!

Written by IsabelleTruscott

Festival season is upon us once again and it all kicked off with the world famous, Coachella!

Festivals aren’t just a great way to discover new music, no, they’ve recently become a haven for all things extravagant and avant-garde for the fashion forward.

But where we push the boundaries of festival fashion, are we doing more harm than good?

Over the last few year, glitter has become a staple item for many festival-goers. Used as part of a makeup look, in hairstyles and even as body art, glitter is quite literally everywhere!

But after researchers found that micro-plastics in our oceans are creating hazardous living conditions for marine wildlife, several companies have chosen to develop plastic free glitters. However, not all have, and not all ingredients lists are clear if a product is plastic free.

This year though, it’s not just glitter being used. The newest trend hitting the festival scene is body gems.

The self-adhesive gems can be bought online or in shops like Boots and Newlook, and are designed in all imaginable sets.

Want to look like a mermaid? There’s a gem set for that! A unicorn? Sorted! You just want to sparkle? They’ve got you covered!

The issues of glitter are clear, as it gets washed down our drains, there is the possibility of it entering wider water systems. But what about the plastic gems?

Although not posing the same risk, the gems are adding to an ever growing pile of plastic waste we produce everyday. In Europe alone, 25 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced every year! In 2015 the 5p plastic bag tax was introduced in the UK and now companies are doing their bit by removing plastic straws from their restaurants and coffee shops.

The fight against single-use plastics has only just begun, even the smallest of steps can have an impact in the long term. But the growing popularity of these body gems raises concerns about how much we’re truly willing to change and remove ourselves from our toxic relationship with plastics?