Billygoats & Raincoats Recycles Festival Tents Into Rain Gear

Billygoats & Raincoats is a Wales-based brand that takes festival gear to a whole new level. They’re doing their part in recycling by creating rain wear from recycled festival tent materials. Every year, 300,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing goes into landfills – and that’s just in the UK. And making clothing isn’t great for the environment either. Making one pair of jeans uses about 7-10,000 litres of water.

After going to music festivals across the UK, Beth Cosmos – the company’s founder – noticed that hundreds of tents were left for waste. Seeing them gave her the idea for her unique business. Today, she can make four coats out of a two-man tent.

Beth is focusing on coats for children aged two to nine, but in time she hopes to expand the range. She has ambitions for adult coats and splash suits for children. First, she will build the brand in UK, and soon she plans to be in Paris.

“I had been working on the festival scene every summer during university, on the creative crews at a number of festivals in the UK,” explained Beth.

“I woke up in a tent and looked out at the barren wasteland that was the post-festival field, with hundreds or thousands of tents left, and there I was thinking of a more sustainable way to make clothes.

“I thought, ‘These are waterproof and are going to waste’. So I brought a few back home with me and bits of tents were cut up all over the kitchen table. I still have it, the first few trials.”

Each year just in the UK, revelers abandon more than 200,000 tents. These often are left behind with their full setup: groundsheets,  nylon casing, and poles, all destined for landfill. Buyers of the coats get one year of free repairs, and Beth hopes to create a method that allows coats to be returned and repurposed after a child grows out of them.