How wasteful can an editorial photo shoot get?

In short, extremely wasteful! I know this is no surprise for you. Regardless of your status, from art student to well known editor we should all be mindful of how we are producing content.

Editorials are the soul of magazines, from the products that we see to mood, models, light and messages, a bunch of well-made and placed pictures can tell amazing stories, influence and inspire. That is why there should be more transparency in both print and online publications (including social media channels).

There is no data about editorial / fashion photo shoots waste because it is really difficult to measure something like this. But from my experience as an intern at a glossy magazine I can tell you that the amount of money, plastic, clothes and food that is wasted is ridiculous. This not to trash glossy magazines, I believe we need different types of media, but to draw attention that  some changes can be implemented by everybody in the industry.

I do not expect Vogue or Elle to make a fashion photos shoot only with second hand items (but it would be cool), however I think it is fair to expect from them to organize shoots without shipping 4-5 suitcases of clothes to a location in order to use only one (you need backup, but not that much backup), to buy props from ethical businesses (they can afford it), to donate or repurpose these props, to try not to waste food.

Looking for the self – editorial Divest pilot issue
Photographer: @p_ias
Model: @fini__fini

Of course, these apply to smaller publications, influencers and anyone who wants to have fun with a photo shoot. For our pilot issue, we had our first ever photo shoot outside, and we did all we could to minimize waste.

No high street items were used for this photo shoot, everything was bought second-hand or borrowed and all of the clothes and props are being reused already.

Here are some insights:

See the whole editorial in our free issue here:

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