Next Stage Grants

Sustainable Costumes
Platform member

Oper Leipzig

Sustainable Costumes



Oper Leipzig and Icelandic Opera have acknowledged the responsibility of major cultural institutions toward 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.

Video Presentation

Project Team

The team consists of the external expert Urs Dierker and the respective representatives of the two opera houses. Project management in Rejkjavik is in the hands of Steinunn Ragnarsdottir. In Göttingen, a larger team from the costume department is involved. Dirk Becker: Dirk Becker, trained at the Salzburg Mozarteum, works as a stage and costume designer in drama, ballet and opera. In 2022, Dirk Becker completed training to become a transformation manager and sustainability ambassador. From the 2022/23 season, he will be head of design of Leipzig Opera. Silke Wey: Born in Chemnitz. She was trained as a dressmaker. Professional experience in the fashion sector. Studied clothing design at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences. Since 2014 costume director at the Leipzig Opera. Roy Böser: Studied fashion design at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Schneeberg. Since the 2020/2021 season, production manager of the costume workshops at the Leipzig Opera. With this team composition, leadership and project management (Steinunn Ragnarsdottir) complement each other with excellent technical knowledge of the workshops (Silke Wey, Roy Böser) and expertise in transformation management and sustainability (Dirk Becker). The current state of research in the field of material research and material design comes from the participation of an external inspiration: Urs Dierker. (CV and material see below)

Urs Dierker - Researcher on costume design and sustainability, Material designer for costumes

Steinunn Ragnarsdóttir - CEO and Artistic Director


Support sustainable innovation in opera and dance

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