Rubbish Costume Summer Competition

Article by South Essex College

Our highly successful ‘Rubbish Costumes’ competition has returned!

We were amazed at how many fantastic entries we received last year, due to the competition’s success we have decide to run it again for 2021.

Creativity, crafting, sewing, upcycling and repurposing are still hugely enjoyed by many people across the UK and abroad. Television shows such as Great British Sewing Bee and Grayson’s Art Club are hugely popular as they tap into our imagination and inventiveness.

Due to COVID-19 and the various lockdowns, our students have faced many challenges working and learning from home, having limited access to resources and space. Despite this they have still managed to produce wonderful costumes and props.

As a response, ‘Rubbish Costume’ is back again to stimulate your creativity, plus entertain and inspire you as we come out of the challenging times we have all endured.

Your outcome can be portrait or full length, an accessory, prop or a full costume. First and foremost, we want to see innovation and creative use of everyday household objects or rubbish that can be recycled, upcycled and repurposed. Any inspiration or reference points can be utilized, from a literal to a conceptual approach.

How to enter?

There are two categories – one for under 18s and one for over 18s. To enter you simply need to send a photograph or film of your finished outcome to or post on Instagram @costumeconstructionbasec with the hashtags #rubbishcostume #costumeconstructionbasec. Just ensure you include the following information with your entry:

  • your name
  • age if under 18
  • contact details
  • location
  • and a bit about the materials or rubbish you have used and why.

You have until 1pm on 1 September 2021 to apply. All submissions will be judged by members of the BA (Hons) Costume Construction team and an overall winner will be announced by 30 September 2021.


There are no rules to this project, you can interpret the ‘Rubbish Costume’ theme in any way. The more creative the better! Above all… have fun!

Who is the competition open to?

The competition is open to everyone and anyone!

What will you win?

Prizes for each category include £100 worth of sewing related materials and crafts.

Starting points and inspiration:

Why not view some of last year’s entries (below) for inspiration.

Previous winner one - Charley
Previous winner one – Charley
Previous winner two - Jennifer
Previous winner two – Jennifer