Utilising Reuse and Recycling Strategies in Costume Design in Kuwait Theatres

DASHTI, Ali (2019). Utilising Reuse and Recycling Strategies in Costume Design in Kuwait Theatres. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00250


Kuwait does not currently make use of any methods for recycling textiles (Alsuilaili et al., 2014). This fact, combined with high levels of textile waste, has resulted in significant ecological issues that demand immediate attention (Alsuilaili et al., 2014). Reusing and recycling materials within the realms of theatrical costume design and production is therefore extremely important (Jones et al., 2013). However, in nations such as Kuwait, where the practice was commonplace prior to the Iraqi invasion, this is no longer the case (Al-Ghareb, 1988). This qualitative study sought to investigate current practices among Kuwaiti costumiers and then compare these to UK costumiers who provide an example of existing sustainable (reusing and recycling) costume design practices. It aimed to investigate the attitudes and perceptions of Kuwaiti costumiers towards reusing and recycling as ways of reducing textile waste. In keeping with Beveridge’s (1968) framework, this thesis utilised exploratory and participatory modes of primary research. Two different studies were conducted to gather primary data. First, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 UK and 13 Kuwaiti costumiers to elicit information and opinions on the costume design process and on sustainability. Second, three workshops were conducted with three Kuwait costumiers. Each workshop comprised three different design tasks: Level 1- Redesigning; Level 2- Makeover of garments; and Level 3- Complete costume design from scratch. In these tasks, Kuwaiti costumiers were asked to apply the different practices they employ when re-using and re-cycling and to discuss their attitudes towards such methods. The three different tasks therefore consisted of “talking and making”. A thematic analysis was then conducted to identify major themes related to the 3Rs of sustainability: reduce, reuse, recycle (Lyngaas, 2017; Rinkesh, 2018), and the extent to which Kuwaiti costumiers adhere to these practices. The findings from the interviews showed that there was considerable divergence between the two sets of costumiers in their attitudes towards sustainable practices. For instance, the key themes arising from the interviews from UK costumiers were a robust understanding of costume design, advanced technical skills and creativity, a focus on reuse and recycling and the skills and knowledge to implement these, and the use of long-term storage techniques. In contrast, the key themes arising from the interviews with Kuwaiti costumiers were an inadequate understanding of costume design, a preference for purchasing new costumes, a lack of skills and knowledge regarding reuse and recycling, and costume skills required for storage. The findings from the workshops confirmed that the Kuwait costumiers had very limited knowledge of sustainable practices and, consequently, even less idea how to successfully apply them. However, they were enthusiastic and keen to learn more. The findings have thus shed new light on the discrepancies between the UK and Kuwait in the adoption of such practices and the potential barriers that exist regarding the adoption of sustainable costume design practices in Kuwaiti theatre. This will help pave the way towards developing approaches to promote sustainable costume design thinking and the use of reusable and recyclable materials when making costumes in Kuwait theatre.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Doherty, Kathy
Additional Information: Director of studies: Kathy Doherty "No PQ harvesting"
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00250
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2019 10:10
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:40
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25589

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