Most musicians chase FAME AND FORTUNE. But Australian muso ZIGGY ALBERTS wants fans to help him SAVE THE PLANET – and it’s filling his venues.
In a culture of throwaway fashion, we’re increasingly encouraged to buy fewer clothes and extend the lifespan of our outfits. The mighty band T-shirt is the perfect example of a garment often worn once, and then forgotten. This is something that troubles folk singer-songwriter Ziggy Alberts. In fact, it was the trigger for him introducing non-branded T-shirts to his merchandise line.
“I was really keen to make a product that people really wanted to wear, not just when they’re going to my shows,” says Ziggy. “So, my T-shirts have never had my name on them, ever. They’ve only had graphics. I wanted it to be something that’s a talking point.”
Last year, when Ziggy played a string of 30 shows, the T-shirts on sale featured a colourful rainforest surrounding a lake filled with a pod of dolphins, at a cost of AU$40 per garment. Oh, and they were all made from Fairtrade, 100 per cent organic cotton, too.
“As humans, we still have to be attracted to it first,” he explains. “I want them to buy the shirt firstly because they like it, then be surprised that it’s organic cotton and that it’s Fairtrade. If you communicate that you’re putting in that effort, people are more likely to support that. Humans really want to do well.”
Live music is an ever-churning, constant machine, impacting the world in many ways, from the fuel used to cover thousands of air and road miles to the energy needed to fire up a venue. And that’s not even taking into account the attendees’ waste, with water bottles, beer cups, straws, food wrappers and utensils all being left behind once the lights go out. But green and eco-friendly choices are on the rise.
While some singers are concerned with sex, drugs and rock and roll, Ziggy is following in the footsteps of Jack Johnson, Maroon 5 and Pharrell Williams. Their commonality? They all mix music with an eco-conscious ethos, or at least try to.
Defying the cliché of indulgent celebrities, Maroon 5 fuels their buses with biodiesel, reduced the carbon footprint of their tours, and have offset hundreds of thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide. Bruno Mars is a strong supporter of The Rainforest Foundation. And Pharrell became the creative director of Bionic Yarn – a fabric made from plastic pollution salvaged from the oceans – in 2009.
In January 2018, Lost Paradise music festival came under fire when video footage of the site went viral after the four-day event, showing rubbish strewn across the ground, with festivalgoers complaining there was barely a bin in sight. This is despite the fact that, in 2017, Lost Paradise introduced an ‘eco bond’ on every ticket sold. This AU$10 fee is refunded if a guest collects and hands in one bag of recycling and one bag of general waste at the end of the event. This year, more than 22,000 bags were handed out on entry at the start of the festival. >
I WANTED it to be something that’s a TALKING point.