Sustainable Practice

Dream Jar installation for City of the Unexpected. The 3,000 jars were recycleable PET 1 plastic. Where possible, materials in the jar were recycled, second hand, or made from recycleable materials.

Diorama prop made for The Legendary Adventures of Litla the Brave. Made from a cardboard box, old cereal packets and second hand book pages.

Costumes from National Theatre Wales' Green Man Red Woman. The Red Woman's dress, shown here, was made and adapted from t-shirts and dresses souced from local charity shops. The set design was also made with sustainable considerations - more information can be found on the Green Man Red Woman page.

Sustainable practice is a shared responsibility.  In recent years, my focus has been directed towards how the arts and performance, and in particular theatre design, interacts with ecological practice.

My own relationship with sustainability began with the consideration of the materials I use when designing and making: can I buy or adapt a second hand item rather than getting something brand new? What old pieces of set can I upcycle? What will happen to the scenery items once a project has finished, and can I find a further use for them, such as donating to a local school? This introduced me to the philosophy of 'cradle to cradle design' - whereby all material elements within a loop can be reused in a way that does not constitute waste.

More recently, my understanding of ecological practice has grown to include how I interact with and am inspired by the natural world, how I can address the subject of climate change in a project, and how ecological thinking ecompasses the entirity of a production.  This includes the regard for every person's health and wellbeing, creating a postive legacy for the future, and engaging in representation and social justice.

To further my contribution in ecological practice within the arts, I have joined the Society of British Theatre Designers Sustainability Working Group and the Sustainable Costume sub-group.  I have undertaken Carbon Literacy Training, which I completed in November 2020. I am also a member of the core team of Ecostage, an initiative which aims to create practical guidelines and ecological values for the performing arts industry. We are re-envisioning the Ecostage Pledge, founded in 2015, to create a grass-roots, autonomous online initiative to help all practitioners working in the arts sector engage in ecological thinking and practice.  More information on Ecostage can be found here.

Sustainable practice is an important choice to make, and a conversation that I am willing to continue. I have documented some of my explorations into ecological practice on specfic projects throughout this website. If you would like to get in contact about sustainability within the arts and how to find our more, please don't hesitate to get in contact at ruth_stringer@yahoo.co.uk - I would love to hear from you!