London Film Academy

#SustainableSundays - Fashion Frenzy

12 September 2021

For this week's #SustainableSundays instalment, we’re focusing on the Costume Department, and how designers can best practice sustainability on set.  

It’s estimated that Hollywood discards over 2.5 million garments a year after using the clothes for productions. According to Sinéad Kidao, who has been involved in the costume design for projects like 'Small Axe' and 'Little Women', she said:  

On any given project, costume designers buy or make more clothes than the average person will own in a lifetime.

Sinéad Kidao,

In a world with fast turnarounds and uncertainty in terms of fittings, it can be difficult for costume departments to invest the time and energy into sourcing sustainable materials or finding the right fit from fashion archives for their current projects. So, what can costume designers do to break the cycle of fast fashion in the film world? Well, just as you might have cleared out your wardrobe during lockdown, costume houses are being encouraged by film sustainability organizations to donate any appropriate garments to local charities and refuges as well as recycle any loose cuttings.  

Emellie O’Brien, the founder and CEO of Earth Angel said:  

We implement textile recycling programs for all the productions we work with. Always the priority is donating any reusable clothing items, anything that can have a second life.

Emellie O’Brien

 O’Brien and others like her are dedicated to increasing the infrastructure of sustainable practices in the film industry, to make recycling of textiles and other materials not only ethically and financially sensible, but also easy and convenient to accomplish.  

Check back next week to see what our next step suggestion is on how we can work together to create a more sustainable film industry. If you’ve missed our previous posts, scroll back through our blog to read about reducing plastic bottle waste, food waste and set design waste.  

Creating films that are not only inspiring, but also sustainable, is one of our core goals and values here at LFA, and we'd like to lead by example by sharing best practices environmentally. 

Help us raise awareness for this critical topic by sharing on social media or forwarding on to a friend. #SustainableSundays 


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