Seven ways the Revival is supporting sustainability

09th September 2021
Rae Ritchie

Since its inception in 1998, the Goodwood Revival has combined historic motor racing with an immersive period event. In the process, it has emphasised values such as reuse, repair and restoration – a make-do-and-mend ethos that stands in sharp contrast to today’s more throwaway culture.


In 2021, the environmental benefits of Revival’s values are more apparent than ever. Now organisers have also introduced a range of initiatives that address more contemporary environmental issues such as plastic use. Together, this combination of vintage style with modern-day green measures will ensure that Revival continues to be a celebration of craftsmanship and sustainability long into the future.

Here are seven of the ways that Revival is supporting sustainability this year.


Reduce: lowering reliance on fossil fuels

There’s no denying that historic motor racing depends on petrol and diesel. However, that does not rule out efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in other areas of the event. Over the next three years, for example, Revival is switching from regular diesel to a hydrotreated vegetable oil form of biodiesel for all generators. This change alone will cut the generator carbon footprint by an estimated 80-90 per cent.

With so many visitors travelling to the Goodwood estate over the three days, their mode of transport can make a substantial difference to fossil fuel consumption levels too. In response, the Revival has committed to encouraging use of public transport and car sharing as a way of lowering carbon emissions. The event’s Getting Here page provides information for travelling by train and by bus, including a route finder and details of the local bus service from Chichester station to the Goodwood Motor Circuit.


Reuse: supporting second-hand style

Many of the outfits donned by Revival visitors will have been worn by multiple owners, sometimes over the course of several decades – a level of reuse that makes these garments the ultimate in sustainable style as well as vintage glamour. 

The inaugural Car Boot Sale, taking place on Sunday morning, will boost sustainable second-hand style even further thanks to the eclectic mix of vintage clothing and accessories on offer. Revival Style Advisor Bay Garnett offers some advice for those wanting to make the most of this opportunity: “I would always recommend that you have an idea of what you are looking for when going second-hand shopping. It can be so easy to get side-tracked! 

“If you’re focused and engaged, you might not find exactly what you set out to look for, but you are still bound to find something great.

“Don’t forget to check the men’s section! I have found some of my best pieces on the men’s rail – from great a trilby hat to the perfect oversized white shirt.


Repair: showcasing possibilities

Nothing captures the philosophy of repair at the heart of Revival more than the historic vehicles on display. This year, these classic motors will be joined by a new Make-Do and Mend corner that will further acclaim the importance of craftsmanship and sustainability. 

Visitors to the area can expect to see a variety of make-do and mend projects and hear from experts in the art of repairs. The aim is to inspire and to entertain, sharing techniques and methods that visitors can use in their everyday lives.


Restore: saving the past from landfill

Throughout the site, visitors will find stallholders exhibiting period items that they have lovingly, and often painstakingly, restored to be as stunning as they were in their heyday.

Whether clothing or homeware, furniture or automobilia, it can be hard to imagine that without the efforts of their current custodians, these gems from the past may well have been discarded. Visitors stopping by stand 138 on Arcade D’Aubigny, for instance, will see restored vintage cinema seats that, if they hadn’t been rescued by Unseen Icons owner Kerry Rutter, would have gone to landfill. Rutter’s urge to preserve extends to new materials as well. She keeps fabric waste to a minimum by turning offcuts that are too small to use for upholstery into cushions.


Rot: using an eco-alternative for food service essentials

Composting: not as attractive as beautifully restored wares, but just as important in terms of minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill. As a result, Revival organisers have pledged that from now on, all food serve items will be compostable or paper based.


Recycle: controlling single-use plastic

Revival organisers are also making it easier than ever for visitors to recycle plastic waste – and taking steps to eliminate single-use plastic too. 

Any bottled water sold on site will be in 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles and recycling bins will be widely available. Moreover, visitors can freely fill up their own reusable bottles at water stations – and get a 20p discount on hot drinks when they provide their own mug.

There will be no more single-use disposable plastics cups at Revival either. Instead, visitors will pay a £1 deposit for a reusable cup when purchasing their first drink. They can swap this when buying each subsequent drink and get their deposit back by returning it to an exchange point.


Revival: encouraging sustainability beyond Goodwood

Another new feature at this year’s Revival is the Victory Garden. Evoking the Dig for Victory campaign that was launched during World War II to tackle food shortages in Britain, this 600sqft allotment on Hurricane Lawn has been specially planted so the vegetables will be ready in time for the event. Its purpose? The plot will allow visitors to learn about growing and cooking their own produce – and experience the satisfaction this can bring. 

While not every visitor will leave feeling inspired to create their own veg patch, the Victory Garden encapsulates the broader goal of Revival’s sustainability commitments. Organisers are not simply striving to improve the green credentials of the event itself. On the contrary, the aim is to support visitors in making their life more sustainable all year round, not just for three days in September. 

To discover more about new features and old favourites at the event, check out “10 things to see at this year’s Goodwood Revival”, while to secure your tickets, visit our bookings page. 

Photography by Toby Adamson.

  • Revival

  • Revival 2021

  • revival-testing-1-2021-joe-harding-goodwood-25082182.jpg

    Goodwood Revival

    Gallery: The first 2021 Revival test day

  • ps_revival_thursday_5.jpg

    Goodwood Revival

    Gallery: Revival arrivals | Calm before the storm

  • goodwood_revival_wednesday_arrivals_40.jpg

    Goodwood Revival

    Gallery: The Revival's early arrivals