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Doing our bit...

Our Hat Fair team works with Winchester City Council each year to ensure the city stays clean over the festival weekend and employ cost-effective waste management and recycling solutions.

Every year a professional event recycling and waste management company is employed – with their waste disposal points being particularly user friendly, reducing littering and encouraging recycling!

What was put in place in 2022?

  • All traders were encouraged to recycle and there was a ban implemented on all single use plastics – with the exception of water sold by them.
  • Backstage, no single-use water bottles were provided – all crew and artists were asked to bring their own bottles to refill. Plus, there were limited single-use cups provided – with everyone strongly advised to bring their own to wash and reuse.
  • Local vendors were used for backstage catering and a meat-free option was trialled – to reduce transportation causing pollution and cut our consumption of meat (the farming of which causes carbon emissions).
  • Caterers were asked to serve their meals on and with compostable plates and cutlery.
  • Audiences were encouraged to use public transport to get to the festival, while the schools and a number of community groups in the Carnival were brought by coach – to cut pollution.
  • We didn’t produce a brochure. Instead, the programme was available online, via chalk boards and limited copies were handed out at info points to reduce paper.
  • Decorative and informative signage was also designed with long-term use in mind, with other signage hand written rather than printed where possible.

In the future:

  • For those looking to trade, preference will be given to local and sustainable businesses, while discounted pitches will be offered to those who can prove carbon neutral credentials.
  • The single use ban will be upheld – with traders asked to offer returnable cups and serve their food and drinks in biodegradable serving receptacles.


Hat Fair 2022 saw climate change at the heart of several performances, including:

  • Autin Dance Theatre’s 'Out of the Deep Blue' featuring Eko the Sea Giant puppet, focusing on the climate emergency.
  • Theatre Temoin’s 'FLOOD', which told the story of our ‘seasick’ coastlines and communities.
  • Winchester’s own Blue Apple Theatre presented 'Forgotten People, Forgotten Planet' (performed by their Special Assignments Company) – a walkabout with characters sharing their thoughts on climate change.