After Opera Europa, a service organization for opera companies and festivals, and FEDORA, an association supporting the renewal of opera and ballet, decided to fund the project Sustainable Costumes initiated by Oper Leipzig and the Icelandic Opera Harpa with 70,000 euros, this project is now on the way to take a good start, Oper Leipzig says in a press release.

Tobias Wolff, the initiator of the project and the designated Intendant of the Leipzig Opera House, is pleased about the recognition right at the start. « Thanks to Opera Europa and Fedora, we will now analyses the life cycle of our costumes in four opera productions and draw conclusions for sustainable procurement, production, use and disposal. Particularly from the craft side and together with the artists, we can turn crucial adjustments in order to achieve and secure convincing standards of sustainability. »

Oper Leipzig and Icelandic Opera have acknowledged the responsibility of major cultural institutions towards climate change: « Sustainable Costumes was inspired by the work and research of Urs Dierker on sustainable transition in the field of costume design. Dierker is a textile artist, researcher, and founder of the Circular Costume Design platform. It investigates different phases of several opera productions to assess how sustainable changes can be achieved using various strategies – green design (focus on material), life-cycle thinking (focus on processes) and participatory practices (focus on social aspects of change). The Sustainable Costumes project will use participatory design methods to include from the start the very people who define opera productions and who design, make and handle costumes. Practical research outcomes will be directly applicable to current opera processes. They can be shared, including new models for material circularity between productions and institutions, based on research with the two partner operas and their supplier networks. This includes exploring digital tools for materials management, systems for sustainable materials procurement and logistics, and policy recommendations and design briefs as guidelines for creative teams. »

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