Mardi Gras costumes borne of COVID trash

Nick Perrett (R) and Francisco Alcazar have made their costumes entirely from rubbish and recycling.
Nick Perrett (R) and Francisco Alcazar have made their costumes entirely from rubbish and recycling.

The coronavirus pandemic provided an unexpected boon to Nick Perrett and his friends' plans for their Mardi Gras costumes.

When the group of five hit centre stage at Saturday night's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras they will do so under the theme: "Use me up, wear me out."

Their costumes are made entirely from rubbish and recycled materials.

Mr Perrett's boss collected cat food tins and his electrician sister provided an old drum from a washing machine.

And he says the pandemic, which saw people move out of Sydney's inner city, meant there was a plethora of old stuff left on the streets that was perfect for their costumes.

"What we assembled depends on what we found. We realised that there is so much waste generated from the costumes so we said, let's make them out of things we found," Mr Perrett, taking part in his fifth successive Mardi Gras, told AAP.

"We have such a consumer society, we are trying to get the message out about recycling and upcycling."

For the first time in its 43-year history the Mardi Gras parade will not go down Oxford Street but will instead be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Organisers say the 2021 parade will move away from the traditional large floats, which moved down the street, and will instead focus on costumes, puppetry and props.

With the theme Rise, there will be 5000 in the parade from more than 100 LGBTQI community groups.

The SCG's COVID-safe plan will be enforced and Mardi Gras organisers have encouraged revellers at the stadium to wear masks, even if not mandatory.

It comes as activist group Pride in Protest was on Friday granted a public health exemption to march down Oxford Street on Saturday afternoon.

The group argue the Mardi Gras has become corporatised and moved away from the original movement's 1978 roots, when the first parade down Oxford Street was held.

The case had been due to hit the NSW Supreme Court on Friday before a last-minute exemption to the 500-person limit on public gatherings was granted.

The march went ahead on Saturday at 2pm, with hundreds of people walking down Oxford Street towards Hyde Park, waving flags in support of LGBTQI rights and setting off pink flares.

A banner was held at the front of the march declaring: "No pride in police, stand in solidarity with overpoliced communities."

NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong earlier addressed the crowd, expressing her support for trans and sex worker rights as well as refugee and Indigenous rights.

Australian Associated Press