Trying to be Eco while being a creator.
With the state of the planet getting worst everyday, I can only ask myself what I can do to be a better human. Sadly, being a cosplayer and a maker, I am faced with the fact I will always make matters worst unless I completely stop all activities relative to my craft. As you guys probably know, making costumes often involve buying lots of fabrics, making molds, throwing away latex and paintbrushes.
Since I refuse to completely stop creating, all I can do is think of ways to reduce my impact on the environment. Here are some of the things I have started doing in a non-exhaustive list. I thought talking about it might bring new ideas or help someone struggling, like me, with the idea of being both Eco friendly and a maker without going through the obvious possibilities.
Cosplays often end up used once and thrown out. Of course, you can at least sell them off instead of throwing them in the garbage but maybe it's not good enough for that. So what can you do then ? First, restyle your wigs for different characters. Long wigs can be made short, short wigs can be spiked. Not only does it help not making mother earth worst, It also lightens your budget. If you've got no cosplays planned with said wig, make a random OC, snap a few extra pics, or even make a "Casual" version of the same character. Use it until it dies.
Then you're left with fabric and armor/props. Sadly, it's almost impossible to reuse an old armor. Props can be stored or sold. But fabrics are often just scrapped after a while. If you can't reuse it for another cosplay you can still do a ton with it. Some fabrics make for great workshop towels. There's always spills and dirt to wash away so I keep a few handy at all times. Cottons can be cut in small pieces to make quilts once you've got enough leftovers. Even smaller scraps can be turned into kanzashis or even mixed into stuffing for furry accessories.
In my workshop:
This part is much, much trickier for me, as I make resin and molds and thus, end up throwing away many paintbrushes and sticks full of latex. One of the few things I have really started to do is super easy. Normally, in my day to day life, I end up throwing a lot of plastic containers in the recycling bin. And then, like the big airhead I am, ended up buying plastic party glasses to mix my resin or silicone in. That way, the throwaway plastic is reused, and I haven't bought any extra. One other thing may seem silly, but I do my best to use a mold to full capacity before throwing it out. As you might know, most molds won't last past 20 copies so I do all of them and keep one good one to make another mold at a later date. I also keep both disposable gloves and reusable ones depending on the project. Gloves made to make the dishes are perfect to keep your hands free of spray-paint or to do dye fabrics. I've also started drying coffee grinds once i'm done having coffee. I then combine some with soap in my hands to create a scrub that'll get rid of plaster bits and pesky paint.
So, fellow crafters. how do YOU manage to mix you green impulses to your creative ones ?