Updated on February 14, 9:37 a.m. (GMT+8): Improved relevancy and title.

Who says cosplaying has to break the bank?

In a hobby where creativity and resourcefulness thrive, money will never get in the way of expressing your passion for the characters that you love.

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Take it from Filipino cosplay couple Roxanne Kho and Zack “Zackt” Tolosa, who have mastered the art of crafting amazing costumes from scratch. Not only do they showcase their artistic talents, but they also promote environmentalism through their work.

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During CONQuest Festival 2023, the duo debuted a truly standout ensemble — a sustainable cosplay costume made entirely from recycled materials and used clothing.

In an exclusive interview with ONE Esports, Roxanne and Zackt share their secrets on how to cosplay on a shoestring budget, all while making the world a better place — one wig at a time.

Filipino cosplayers Roxanne Kho and Zackt are all for sustainable cosplays

Roxanne Kho and Zackt were some of the featured cosplayers at the Riot Games booth during CONQuest Festival 2023, a renowned gaming and pop culture convention that took place from June 2 to 4 in Manila, Philippines.

On the second day of the event, Zackt proudly showcased his Gekko cosplay from Valorant. Little did the attendees and spectators know that this stunning costume was the result of Roxanne Kho and Zackt’s innovative minds and exceptional skills.

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Credit: Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports
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Working together, Roxanne played a crucial role in creating the costume. She scoured the online market for secondhand cardigans in colors that matched Gekko’s vest and skillfully sewed them together to recreate the Latin American agent’s attire. What’s even more shocking is that the couple managed to create this masterpiece with a mere US$11 (PH₱600) budget.

“Invest more in skills because it saves a lot of money,” Roxanne told ONE Esports.

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She admitted to being a bit of a hoarder, always finding potential use in items they own and rarely disposing of anything. This resourcefulness, coupled with their extensive collection of materials, enables them to complete sustainable cosplay costumes in as little as three days.

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Zackt adopts a similar approach when faced with tight deadlines for projects and collaborations. Instead of going on multiple supply runs, he taps into his creativity and repurposes everyday household items, transforming them into props for his costumes.

For instance, he made the prop globule for his Gekko cosplay using a disposable plastic cup’s dome lid.

Sustainable cosplay costume featuring Gekko with a recycled touch by Zackt
Credit: Zack Tolosa, Riot Games, ONE Esports

“You don’t have to buy and buy. It’s a very expensive hobby,” Zackt said.

The couple also applies their resourcefulness to character wigs. Rather than discarding wigs after using them for specific characters, they carefully store them for future use with different characters. Roxanne, taking the lead in wig styling, expertly cuts, glues, and occasionally dyes these wigs, breathing new life into them and giving them a fresh purpose.

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Zackt proudly revealed in a Facebook post that some of their wigs have been transformed and used for over five different characters. Additionally, they purchase old, tangled, and extremely cheap wigs from fellow cosplayers, detangle them, and restore them to (almost) original quality.

Upcycled wigs by Roxanne Kho and Zackt
Credit: Zack Tolosa

“Roxanne and I went through times in which we didn’t have as much so we learned to be very resourceful with materials that were readily available,” Zackt explained. “Cosplaying is a very expensive art form so learning to make use of what you already have can totally lessen your burdens.”

Follow Roxanne Kho and Zackt on their Facebook pages to see more of their sustainable cosplays.

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