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Beyoncé, Taylor Swift Concerts Have Terrible Environmental Implications

Taylor Swift at Eras tour and Beyonce at Renaissance

The unprecedented consumer response to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift concerts has terrible environmental implications. This year, Beyoncé and Swift both launched what are anticipated to be the biggest tours of all time, the Renaissance Tour and the Eras Tour, respectively. Swift’s Eras tour is expected to gross about $2.2 billion, while estimates suggest that Beyoncé’s grossings will exceed $2 billion. Needless to say, Renaissance and Eras are two of the most significant events of the year for music fans, and every city the tours land in feels the impact of their arrival.

There are many positives that come with these major concerts, such as the boost Swift and Beyoncé are giving the U.S. economy and the beauty in having female-driven art dominating the entertainment industry. However, we also need to think about more than the economic and cultural impact of these tours and consider the environmental impact. Unfortunately, these concerts have been hurting the environment due to promoting fast fashion.

Fast fashion, sometimes known as throwaway fashion, has become a significant concern since the rise of fast fashion retailers like Shein, Temu, and Fashion Nova. These manufacturers constantly work to churn out new designs to catch every passing trend. However, these clothes are very cheap and poorly made and are disposed of quickly once a new trend arrives, resulting in a concerning waste cycle.

How Beyoncé and Swift contribute to fast fashion

Given how huge these events are and how they come on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, concert-goers and fans have developed a YOLO attitude about Eras and Renaissance. Time in isolation and other sobering reminders of mortality are part of why these tours are attracting unprecedented crowds and fostering unprecedented spending. Although much unease has been stirring about the state of the economy and inflation, this has not dissuaded consumers from spending rather recklessly, as the average Eras concertgoer spends $1,300. Then, there’s all the spending on merchandise and, more concerningly, fashion.

This is because these concerts, and even other significant events like the release of Barbie, have begun to come with dress codes. Essentially, there’s a growing expectation to adhere to some sort of style or theme for these concerts. In the case of Swift’s Eras tour, concertgoers began dressing to represent one of the ten “eras” of Swift’s life. For example, gold, glittery dresses are used to represent the Fearless era, while red scarves represent her Red era. This dress code was mainly enforced within the fandom through social media and peer pressure. Sharing and getting ideas for Eras outfits became a trend on TikTok, encouraging others to either get in on the fun or pressuring them to do so lest they stand out.

Beyoncé also frequently encourages her fans to dress a certain way, which may create even a bigger fashion frenzy than Eras. Indeed, it’s estimated that Beyoncé fans spend an average of $400 on outfits for Renaissance. Most recently, Beyoncé encouraged all her fans to wear chrome between August 23 and September 22 in honor of her birthday. While Beyoncé’s trends have been known to boost LGBTQ-owned, Black-owned, and women-owned businesses in cities she touches down in, there’s still a problem with Eras and Reinassance fashions.

Fast fashion culture and its negative environmental impact

The problem is that most people don’t have glittery gold dresses or disco-ball, chrome outfits sitting in their closets. So, they frequently turn to fast-fashion retailers and buy these unusual colored and styled outfits for concerts for a few bucks. Of course, there aren’t many other occasions that require dresses of gold and chrome, so these outfits get tossed away and end up in landfills with no regard for the resources that go into making them. Or they’re donated and inundate thrift stores with cheap and unsustainable clothes. Also, every time you purchase something from Shein or Temu, you support corrupt businesses that steal work from independent artists and exploit their workers.

Unfortunately, Eras and Renaissance aren’t the only events contributing to this uptick in fast fashion and waste. With Halloween right around the corner, this same phenomenon is expected to occur, as well as with weddings and movie events like “Barbenheimer.” However, the tours are especially concerning because they go on for an extended time. The main solution in these cases is to wear something you own. You won’t be kicked out or barred from enjoying the concert, and it’s highly likely no one will even notice that you’re not adhering to a theme.


Large music events lead to an uptick of people wanting to shop fast fashion. It’s the “eventwear” drug! That desire to have the best and most on-theme outfit even if you never wear it again. One great thing about this problem, is that it’s able to be solved by us! ❤️✨ ?Rewear the clothes you have ♻️Upcycle materials to make something custom ?Swap with others ?Thrift something “new” to you What we take with us after these events are amazing memories of all the fun we had, not of what we were wearing. ? #fastfashion #eventwear #slowfashion #fastfashionsucks #slowfashionmovement #consciousconsumer #lollapalooza #festivalfashion #sustainability #sustainablefashion #sustainableliving #ecofriendly #ecofriendlyliving #ecofashion

♬ Beautiful – Soft boy

Although making an outfit also takes up unnecessary resources, it may at least be better than buying something since you’re likely to hold onto it and get multiple uses out of it. Or, if you really do want a new outfit, find some eco-friendly clothing brands and invest in something long-lasting and non-toxic to the environment. However, creativity and perusing your closet may be enough to match whatever theme you need. When you’re already paying a fortune to attend a concert, the last thing you should feel pressured to do is spend more money on outfits that will go to waste and harm the environment.

(featured image: Kevin Mazur / Getty / Hector Vivas / Getty)

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Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.