Don’t be trashy, it’s time to reduce, reuse and recycle!

At SQLBits we have had a huge push on being more sustainable, this week we wanted to talk about the benefits of reusing and recycling your SQLBits fancy dress outfits and therefore reducing waste! Let’s learn how to reuse fancy dress costumes…

But firstly…

What do we mean by reuse/recycle?

Reuse means taking products that would otherwise be discarded and using them again in their current form, or with few repairs or changes.

What are the benefits of reusing/recycling your fancy dress outfits?

The more you’re able to reuse or recycle old clothing (by giving it to a friend to use etc), the less room it takes up in a landfill, which can help reduce greenhouse gases, the spread of diseases, visual pollution, helping to protect wildlife and TONS more. Who would have thought that using your SQLBits costume more than once could have this much of an impact?

Don’t stress, not all fancy dress may have another use (for you!) and you may be feeling guilty about not reusing it at this point – don’t!  Another amazing option is to donate your clothes. Whether this is to a charity shop, thrift shop or to a friend!

I think that we can all agree on the benefits of re-use (and recycle!)

Here’s an example!

Recently Nigel Foulkes-Nock got in touch telling us about how he managed to reuse his SQLBits costume again, and we had a lightbulb moment… Do people actually reuse their SQLBits fancy dress outfits?

Let’s hand over the microphone to Nigel to see what he has to say on the matter (and see some awesome fancy dress outfits…)

In our work life, it’s ideas, designs and scripts. We recycle as much as we can – cardboard, glass, jokes…

What about fancy dress costumes?

One of the many things that makes SQLBits so special is the Friday night Party.

Now, fancy Dress is optional at the party, but I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling underdressed if I’m not in an outfit. When choosing what to wear, I have a few considerations (in no particular order):

  • Is it “on theme”? I’m checking that what I intend wearing will fit with the event (if you have to explain then you’ve already lost it!)
  • Does it suit me? My body shape doesn’t lend itself to everything – imagine me trying to dress as a Minion and you’ve got Stephen Merchant than Kevin, Stuart or Bob.
  • Originality – I don’t want to be one of many, but that’s just me. Other people love the feeling of belonging to a clan.
  • Storage – how easy will it be to pack – no matter how amazing the outfit, it’s not going to be worth taking an additional suitcase.
  • Re-use – do I have something already that would fit, maybe with a few tweaks. Alternatively, if I buy something new, how likely is it that I would use it again?

This has led me to the following bits of fun.

SQLBits 2017 – Disco

The first of the Themed events that I’ve attended, and to be honest, the inspiration for this blog post. I picked up a Saturday Night Fever inspired Disco suit.

Nile Rodgers Concert – 2022

The suit got an outing at the Nile Rodgers gig at Swansea a few weeks ago, where it was accessorised with a hat from a random audience member. I didn’t turn up wearing it, but as it happened to be in the boot then it was an obvious choice to get changed. Unbelievable response, everyone wanted to dance!

Nigel is ready for SQLBits DISCO!

SQLBits 2018 – Magic

This hasn’t seen the light of day since. Not sure that it will. I do have a box of Fezs in my garage (I took two, default DBA behaviour to take a backup).

A unicorn, a fez, and magic… what a combo!

SQLBits 2019 – Speakeasy

This worked well, because we had outfits already for a “Peaky Blinders” themed “thing” which fitted pretty well.

Awesome outfits reused from a Peaky Blinders event for SQLBits Speakeasy!

The speakeasy outfits the first time they got an outing!


SQLBits 2022 – Arcade

Had so much fun with this one. After throwing out suggestions of common Arcade characters, I went with “Dance Dance Revolution” in the end. I was wearing the T-shirt and leggings to dance class every week anyway so I just added a wig. I was going for anonymity by wearing a facemask (on the back of Covid) but I guess that people knew it was me. Made me realise just how much brushing that a wig requires, and just how lovely it is to do that! So, the dance outfit has been re-used (not recycled…yet)  already (no pictures exist as yet). As for the wig, I have some plans…

Other people recycle too…

I’m sure I’m not alone in costume re-use, in fact Brent has spoken about his “Stig” outfit on a few of his “Office Hours” podcasts, it’s still around but no pictures exist!

So, the point of all this – have you re-used an outfit from SQLBits, or how could this help change future behaviour – I’ve seen so many excellent costumes at SQLBits, it’d upset me to think that they only lived once!

Please comment/tweet your SQLBits costume re-use stories, with pictures!
Ok, it’s the pictures that we want!

Please reuse/recycle where you can!

What we’ve got from this is reusing clothes and fancy dress is full of benefits, not only saving you money, but saving the planet. We highly recommend trying to buy your fancy dress outfits from charity shops or second hand!

If you have any examples of times you’ve upcycled or rocked a recycled outfit for SQLBits – let us know!