Reduce, Reuse, ReCosplay: How to Cosplay Sustainably

In recent years, being conscious and considerate about our planet has thankfully grown in popularity. We can see this rise by looking at all of the School Strikes for Climate or even the world-wide stardom Greta Thunberg has rightfully received as a face of the movement. In light of this trend, there are ways for us to cosplay in on greener terms. Here are some tips on cosplaying sustainably:

1. Recycle and Reuse Cosplay Materials 

Since cosplaying is such a creative art form, a decent amount of waste is likely to result. It is so easy — and often more fun — to start from scratch at the start of every build and create your new costume from the ground up. But reusing your materials can yield some super creative results; for example, mashup cosplays. 

Image result for mashup cosplay 

Try using some materials from an old cosplay you don’t wear anymore during your next build. Or, for an even more collaborative approach, try swapping and reusing cosplay materials and pieces from a friend. You just might surprise yourself with what you can create. 

2. Biodegradable Materials 

Any and all things biodegradable are great choices if you’re trying to be more eco-friendly with your cosplay. This way, if you throw something away, it decomposes instead of sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years. There is a wide array of biodegradable materials available to the public nowadays. However, you might have to experiment a bit with these products. Sustainable alternatives might not work quite the same way in your cosplay building process as traditional materials. Biodegradable plastic is a new product that could be really fun to mess around with in cosplay. You have lots of options with these plastics, so try them for props, details, or even larger armor builds. 

Another sustainable option would be biodegradable fabrics and textiles. Polyester is common for many cosplay builds, but it is not biodegradable. So, trying out some organic cotton or bamboo fabrics would be far more environmentally conscious. Innovators have been truly imaginative in recent years; there is now even a leather alternative made out of pineapple leaves! We hope you can find joy in putting these new, green products to the test!

Image result for pineapple leather

3. Wearing Your Cosplay Longer 

The final, and easiest, way you can cosplay sustainably is by simply wearing your cosplay longer! Sure, it’s fun to have a new cosplay for every con you go to, but this is not the most sustainable practice. Instead, consider slowly adding to and improving your current cosplay. This is also fun because you and your character can establish a bit of a reputation at cons! 

You Can Do It! 

Cosplaying sustainably can still be an incredibly creative process. It can also allow for some pretty cool opportunities to experiment with new, innovative materials. Perhaps sustainability is just another thing to consider when choosing your next cosplay!