Climate change and sustainability are two very important issues in the world right now, and over the last 12 months I’ve been doing some research on how to be more eco friendly as well as how to reduce my carbon footprint. We all know the basics: recycling, avoiding single-use plastics where possible, reducing meat consumption, bringing a reusable bottle, carrying a spare tote bag… but it got me thinking, where can we make simple, eco friendly choices whilst creating our burlesque art: on the stage, in front of the camera and behind the scenes?
Here are a few suggestions to get us started, which includes a few ideas I’ve already implemented in my studio, along with some things I hope to be able to introduce to my business in the future. Got suggestions? I’d love to hear those too!
Biodegradable Glitter – Anyone in the burlesque and cabaret industry knows how difficult it is to clean up glitter. It gets EVERYWHERE. Essentially a microplastic, I don’t even want to think about how much my burlesque alter-ego’s glitter pours would have contributed to this back in the day, even though I did try to salvage as much of the glitter after a performance as possible. The demand for sustainable beauty products has gone through the roof and I love that there are now lots of budget friendly, biodegradable glitter companies popping up around the world, such as Eco Glitter Fun, who offer everything from craft glitter to cosmetic grade glitter in plastic free packaging (double win!). Made with cellulose film, it apparently takes about 4-8 weeks to break down, which is a huge improvement.
Cruelty-Free Makeup – A few years ago I made a conscious decision to exchange all my non-cruelty free make up essentials when they ran out. There was a fair bit of choice back then, bit there’s so much more to choose from now. I’ve got some awesome vegan and cruelty free make up suggestions on my blog, but you can also find a more detailed list at Cruelty Free Kitty. My next step will be to switch from baby wipes to reusable makeup remover pads, so if you are doing this already I’d love to hear your brand recommendations!
Go Paperless Where Possible – In a world of digital options, there are so many ways to minimise paper usage. Online banking and direct debits help to control a lot of the basic paper trail, along with client relationship management tools like Lightblue that can do everything from manage your diary and workflow to sending contracts and invoices to your clients. I love that Lightblue also syncs with my phone so I can have everything to hand wherever I am in the world. Speaking of phones, I also use travel apps to download boarding passes and train tickets instead of opting for the paper versions (it is a great way of making sure you don’t lose them too!) My other favourite app is Evernote, where I keep all of my lists, thoughts and plotting. Just remember to back everything up…
Buy Vintage – The fashion industry “is estimated to produce as many greenhouse gases as all the planes flying in the world” (Source: BBC News) – not to mention the huge amounts of water and chemicals needed to make clothing and the micro plastics created in the production of man made fibres. If you ever need an excuse to spend a little more on that vintage item, consider this it. Pre-loved cocktail dresses can be altered to make amazing costumes or tailored for head-turning event attire. You can also often find other performers selling their costumes on Facebook groups or Depop. That said, if you’re not a fan of vintage, another option is to opt for one or two higher quality staple ensembles that can be embellished and/or accessorised fabulously. Quality over quantity is a lesson I’ve been trying to bring to my own wardrobe recently!
Offset your Carbon Footprint – This year has been a high travel year for me already, with Japan and Vegas already done and several more flights scheduled for the latter part of 2019, not to mention train and car journeys on top. Because of this, I’ve been looking at the website The Gold Standard (established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions featured the highest levels of environmental integrity and also contributed to sustainable development) for ways to offset my business carbon footprint through investing in some of their projects. Interested? I’ll let you know how I get on…
Want to know more about my own sustainability efforts? Here’s everything I’m currently doing to make Tigz Rice Limited an eco-friendly and environmentally responsible business.