Vania Mills pioneered the Community Costume Resource in Bristol in 1994 to provide equal access to costumes. The Resource was created in response to the needs of local community groups, schools and small organisations with limited funding/ specific needs who were not catered for by the commercial costume industry.
Through her own work as a designer for community theatre, and using costume in health & wellbeing settings, Vania witnessed the enormous difference costume can make, not only visually, but also to the wearer’s experience within the context of their project, and wanted to make this available to everyone.
Planet-friendly principles became key to Gladrags ethos, as costumes are made up largely of donated stock that are repurposed and adapted, enabling this resource to benefit the community time and time again.
Gladrags moved to Brighton in 2005 and is now run by a fantastic team of dedicated volunteers, amongst them costume designers and enthusiasts.