I recently had the pleasure of talking to my fellow costume design students about sustainable practices. There is a lot of conversation around sustainable fashion, but not as much which includes costume design. As always, there is no one right answer, however here are a few places to start thinking differently when it comes to costume, and creation:
- Try sustainable/eco fabric brands. I recommend doing a search for companies that are local to you and whom you could possibly meet in person. A "sustainable checklist" often includes; no harsh chemicals, natural sources, low water usage
- Source vintage fabric. I've been scouring my favorite online market Etsy recently, and come upon some awesome finds. There are also many brick-and-mortar retailers that sell vintage options you may not be able to find otherwise.
- Purchase from a discount jobber. Discount jobbers take fabric that manufacturers or brands do not use in production and sell them at discounted prices. You can find them in cities' "fashion districts" or search through this online guide here.
A huge part of why clothing and the fashion industry at large is a problem, is the excess waste. We can buy better but it is also so important to try and reuse what we already have! There are actually textile recycling services all over the country and world. Find a service near you and learn more here.
A masters student in my costume design program was able to join me in talking sustainable clothing and brought along with her her extensive knowledge on natural dyeing. X recommends Dharma Trading Co. for buying natural dyes, as well as The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing by J.N. Liles, and Wild Color by Jenny Dean, for inspiration. Want to know more? Check out X's amazing website where you can find information on foraging for your own natural dyes and how to take a workshop with her!
*All photos used are from thesinglex.com