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Recycled Ocean Debris Used for Costumes on Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Disney The Little Mermaid’ Aboard Disney Wish

Guests sailing aboard the Disney Wish, Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, have the opportunity to see Disney The Little Mermaid in Walt Disney Theatre. This theatrical adaptation of The Little Mermaid comes to life with talented performers, colorful costumes, and stories about what life is like for Ariel and company.

One incredible part about this show is where many of the costumes and set pieces came from. Disney shared today that a lot of both of these elements of the show come from recycled plastic. In fact, over 60 percent of the fabric used in the show was made from plastic debris that was recovered from the ocean. This includes 22 of the 25 costumes in Disney The Little Mermaid. The debris was turned into threads that emulate fine silk, chiffon, and cotton in the costumes.

Along with using recycled plastics from the ocean for costumes and set pieces, Disney also came up with a new process to dye the fabrics that is more environmentally friendly. This is a waterless printing method that saves tens of thousands of gallons of water. Designers experienced with home-brewed, small-batch dyeing methods to create a process that made the fabric bright and colorful and made bold patterns. Then digital art files were created to be used by the waterless printer.

Utilizing recycled plastic debris and minimizing water waste were both ways that the creative team for Disney The Little Mermaid were able to continue to pursue Disney’s commitment to conservation and also create some incredible costumes. Disney shared a video showcasing these costumes. Check it out below.

The process to creating this show’s costume was deliberate and innovative. Disney’s design team partnered with fabric technology experts and suppliers to create and process these ocean-recycled textiles that are now used on the stage aboard the Disney Wish.

The use of costumes made from recycled debris on this show is just a part of the process to use more environmentally friendly costumes. Crew member costumes from different parts of the Disney Cruise Line are already utilizing fabrics that have been made from recycled water bottles. This includes places like deck bars and also Cabanas. These initiatives are just some of the ways that Disney Cruise Line is on the front line of sustainability when it comes to garment and costume industries.

What do you think of these costumes made of recycled debris from under the ocean that are used in Disney The Little Mermaid? What do you think of these technologies? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


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