Fighting Global Warming One Dress at a Time.
Her mission: To Green Hollywood One Costume At a Time.
Kresta’s green crusade started when she was writing green articles for the Costume Designers Guild newsletter. Her research for an article about recyclable materials in the costume department made her realize how much waste was never recycled due to the lack of information and proper systems for disposal. But she didn’t stop there, Kresta took her mission to the next level, and created a dress “The Costume Department” dress, that would start a campaign that aims to educate and inspire the members of the entertainment industry to use less, recycle more and make Hollywood a greener industry.
Meet Kresta Lins, a costume designer with a mission to help Hollywood become greener by telling a story of recycling and sustainability through the art of costume design.
MM – Kresta, What motivated you to start on your mission?
KL – It all started with a link to the “LA City Department of Sanitation”, where I learned about the proper way to recycle and saw first hand how miss-informed I was about what can and can’t be recycled. I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for over 12 years and the amount of paper and plastics we go through on a daily basis is shocking. So much of what we use can be recycled but almost never gets disposed of correctly.
MM – I know what you mean. As a Costume Designer myself, it bothers me the amount of trash we produce and although we try to recycle, sometimes I never know what to do with a lot of the waste. Why do you think Hollywood is not green enough?
KL – I think there is a disconnection between the people that organize the recycling systems and the actual execution of these systems. Sometimes is as simple as not knowing where the recycle bins are, or not having the right information of what goes into which bin. I think Hollywood wants to be greener, but there is a need for a department that coordinates the recycling program – green jobs so to speak, that helps the recycling process in the film industry with more PR and communication with the crew and employees.
MM – I can see that happening at some point. So is that part of your mission, to green Hollywood?
KL – My main mission is to create awareness of what we could be doing to reduce waste and hopefully inspire folks to take action wherever they can. That is why I created the first costume – The Costume Department dress.
MM – I love the dress you created, how did you come up with the idea?
KL – A little after I wrote an article about recyclable materials in the costume department, as I was watching The Duchess for the 15th time, I realized that panniers look a lot like laundry baskets… “That’s it!” – The rest hit me like a bolt of lightning. My mind raced as I realized that my two greatest passions—costume design and recycling—could come together to make a difference.
So I started with what I know best, Costume Design, and the materials that we use in the costume department such as old scripts, shopping bags, and created the first dress after an 18th century, Marie Antoinette -style gown, entitled
“Let them Recycle!”
All the items used for the construction of the gown are recyclable materials.I used shopping bags, scripts, fashion magazines, hangers, laundry baskets, ink cartridges and dry cleaning bags.
Each item was used to mimic the extravagance of the era, including a wig made of dry cleaning bags.
Old script pages of
different colors are used as decoration as well as rosettes of recycled paper packaging and manila tags. The undergarments are also designed true to the period and incorporate a recycled denim corset and laundry basket panniers.
Once finished it was photographed and used for the cover of The Costume Designer magazine.
MM – I heard the dress has been getting a lot of attention. What happened next?
KL – Since then, I teamed up with Lauren Selman, the founder of Reel Green Media, an environmental consulting company for the entertainment industry, and together we put together “The Sustainable Sirens” campaign project.
The project is designed around 6 costumes, each of them inspired by a different department in the film industry. The first one is The Costume Department Dress – “Let them Recycle!” which has been in display in several boutiques and events around Los Angeles, and will soon be available as a poster. My hope is that the poster will serve as an inspiration to use less and recycle more.
MM – So from concept to creation, what is your approach when you design one of these costumes? How do you get inspired?
KL – I start by interviewing each department and asking them “What kind of waste do you produce in your department?” Each department has different needs and therefore they consume different products.
For example the second dress of the campaign started by interviewing the Casting Department. When I asked what kind of waste they produced, the answer was quite interesting; it was all about information disposal. For example, CD’s, DVD’s head shot pictures, tons of scripts. There were actually 3 towers of DVD’s that they were going to throw off. So the concept emerged for the second costume entitled “Cast a Change”. The concept is a mermaid and the subject is e-waste and information disposal. I won’t go into details now, because it’s not ready yet. The “Cast a Change” costume will be done by the end of 2009, and you will be able to see it here at Designed by Hollywood.
MM – It seems that each dress has a story behind it doesn’t it?
KL – Yes, each dress has a story to tell about what choices we can make that are better for the environment.
When I became aware of what I could recycle, I reduced my trash to 50%, and I took those best practices to a show I just finished. Yes it’s work, but it pays off at the end.Read Entire Article and Interview HERE