Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Eco-friendly Costume was a WINNER!

Like I have mentioned before, I just LOVE Halloween. This year, I had the opportunity to create not just one, but THREE great, eco-friendly, costumes. (You saw the first one, Queen of Hearts, in an earlier post). I ended up entering one of the costumes (a dead mermaid costume - the idea based on the costume I wrote about in my last post) in a contest sponsored by a green blog called Inhabitat and . . . I WON! (Honestly, there weren't that many entries, but still.)

Here is a little about how I created the costume:

The costume is titled "Death by Plastic". I loved the idea of communicating an environmental message (that oceanlife is being killed every day by plastic garbage and other pollution floating around our oceans), while still being able to have some Halloween fun with a gory/flirty costume. I thought it would be interesting to take some of the same things that are actually responsible for killing animals and reclaim them for my costume. Therefore, the fish scales are made from about 30 plastic bags that I collected from my neighborhood gutters and from neighbors (as we try to avoid plastic bags, we only had 2). I used this tutorial to fuse the bags. The texture that is created was just so perfect for fish scales. I then spray painted them gold. All of the plastic refuse used in the costume - and scattered around me in the photos - was collected last summer at Old Silver Beach on Cape Cod (I was going to do a blog on it because I was so astounded by how much plastic I found on this lovely little beach, but, um, never got around to it. I esp. like the doll leg that is glued to the front of my corset.) The corset was bought at a vintage clothing store in DC (at Meeps!!) and dyed. I had the shells (for the corset) and the material for the tail from previous projects. The tail is stuffed with more plastic bags. You can't tell from the pics, but I had a little string attached to my tail that allowed me to "flip" it around. (That was my one of my favorite parts! It was like having a tail puppet!).

Also, I carried little information pamphlets (any opportunity to talk about these issues!!) in my cleavage (hello, dead mermaids don't have pockets!) that said the following:

Beautiful Things Die in Our Oceans Every Day
Due to Plastic Garbage

What Can
· Use as little plastic as possible (no bottled water, use reusable bags, avoid excessive packaging)
· Pick up plastic trash off the street; participate in river clean ups
· Recycle everything you can and demand plastic recycling in your area if there isn’t any


I made a point not to force these on anyone (esp. when one guy refused to hear anything more about it), but most people were very curious about the issue and what my costume was trying to say. So it provided a great way to segue into my little (very limited) story.

For more info, go to www.greatgarbagepatch.org.


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