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The textile industry in India produces a great amount of waste, with willow waste alone generating up to 85,000 tons every year. Although 50% of textiles thrown away are recyclable in this country, just 25% of them are actually recycled. If you are an avid cosplay creator and you love nothing more than taking on a new project, you may be concerned about the extent of materials you have that won’t likely be used again. How can you do your share to be more eco-friendly without sacrificing an iota of creativity as a cosplay artist?

ECOsplay For A Better Future

Research by S West and K Smith has found that repurposing existing materials (or upcycling) is a viable approach to waste management. The research had a practical element to it: a project involving the construction of two cosplay outfits using upcycled material. The project compared upcycled and original versions, finding that both were in fact very similar. The researchers concluded, “To increase the popularity of upcycling in cosplay, conventions and cosplay events could begin emphasizing the construction method by introducing a prize category or entire contests focused on upcycled material in costumes.”

Organization Is Vital

If you attend many cosplay events, then you most probably have a sewing room or area where you keep materials, equipment, and the like. The first step towards reducing unwanted waste to create an organized storage space. This will enable you to identify (at any time) material you already have and access it quickly. For each material you have, cut out a small piece, and organize all pieces in a fabric wheel. Label each piece with information on which shelf/box the material is kept in. When creating a new outfit, don’t let the desire to get it exactly right stop you from using similar material you already have.

Change The Way You Interact

You can also reduce fuel reliance by only attending cosplay events close to home and watching far-off ones via live streaming. Home confinement due to COVID-19 has made gaming and other means of social connection more important than ever, but you can keep this up when the virus is over. Given that online gaming during the viral era is enjoying a major boom, if you come across cool characters in games, consider sharing them with other cosplay creators. Gaming is inherently creative because of the exquisite graphics and realistic feel of top visuals. Think of how characters’ outfits can be recreated sustainably, brainstorming ideas alongside other creatives.

Organizing Exchanges

As an avid cosplayer, you are undoubtedly part of a thriving local community of co-creators who also have materials they need to buy. ‘One person’s treasure is another person’s trash’ as they say, so why not organize material donations and exchanges? Even if you don’t know other cosplayers in your area, you might like to donate materials to schools and child centers. Teachers are constantly in need of materials for arts and crafts, and your soft materials will undoubtedly be much appreciated.

Ordering large amounts of items such as foam, glue and other frequently used materials will reduce the carbon footprint caused by the transportation of goods. India has pledged a 33-35% reduction in its emissions intensity; to help achieve this aim, try to reduce the number of orders you place. Fuel burned by trucks, boats, and even vehicles belonging to small businesses is one of the major contributors to India’s carbon footprint, so if possible, buy locally and less often.

There are so many ways you can be an amazing cosplay creator while reducing the size of your carbon footprint. From upcycling to exchanging unwanted materials with other creators, you can ensure your outfits have all the details required while spending less. Think locally, relying as little as possible on transport to access wanted items. Attend events close by, creating a vibrant community with creators across the globe so you can share ideas on sustainability. Lastly, keep your cosplay workspace well organized by donating unwanted items and by storing materials in such a way that they are easy to identify and use in your next creation.

About The Author

Katlyn Saunders, is a true altruistic contributor. She wanted to share this article with us, and wanted nothing in return. Watch this space for more from her.

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