I went to my first ever Greenfest, the one in ournationscaptial, on Saturday. I was impressed, and also disappointed. (I must admit, though, that I was not feeling the least bit well, I was coming off of migraine, so that may have colored my views, so please take all this with a grain of sea salt.)
First, to the disappointments I sort of expected more. I don’t know what, but it seemed to be lacking a certain essential buzz, or products that make you go, ‘wow, that is so clever!’ or ‘how could one live without that?’ Instead I found rather typical products, the organic makeup, the organic juices, the organic chocolates, the green and lefty media.
Of course, I went specifically looking for the ‘fair trade’ vendors of fashion accessories. I didn’t see everything, but, again, I had hoped for more than flax pants, and hemp wallets. (There was more, of course. This is a bit of an exaggeration.) In short, I wonder when ‘fair trade,’ and ‘green,’ will grab the public beyond thinking that it’s just ‘ethnic’ ‘hippie’ stuff; i.e. wallets made by a collective in Honduras, earrings made with coconut shells from some amazing island in the Pacific. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but isn’t it time to broaden this out a bit?
Plus, I didn’t find the food (always of utmost importance to moi) terribly inspiring, but was somewhat impressed with the idea of organic soul food, specifically bbq tofu, served with collards (without pork, of course), some non-gooey and I guess healthy mac & cheese, and yummy yams.
Now, to what I liked: While there wasn’t the sort of buzz I had hoped for, people were really great; both the vendors. People seemed genuinely happy to be there. And, while there wasn’t ‘buzz,’ there was good attendance, beyond the white kids with dreadlocks kind. Just people who, if you saw them on the street, you’d never peg them as a ‘greenie.’ The fact that this ‘movement’ is moving mainstream can only be a good thing.
I liked some of the samples. I was there for a wee bit of Amy Goodman’s speech, and was happy to have the chance to hear her. I will definitely come back next year (sans, headache, hopefully.)
And, speaking of retuning for next year, I also attended Greenfest to try to figure out if it was a good venue for me to sell my recycled mosquito netting messenger bags, and wallets, and some of my silk and cotton accessories. I’m really not sure that’s it’s the place for my wares, which makes me very disappointed.
But, of course, we’ll have to see.