Sourcing Zero-Waste Halloween Costumes

Every year Americans spend over $3 billion shopping for Halloween costumes. And most (if not all) of these new outfits are tossed out or given away at the end of Halloween.

Can you imagine the sheer quantity of waste generated every year from $3 billion worth of clothes?!?! The resources involved and the energy spent during manufacture can be enormous, and it’s simply too high a cost for a single day of celebration.

Well, this time around you can avoid contributing to this excess by focusing on a more sustainable Halloween. Aside from decorating your home minimally and celebrating in a modest way, you can work on a zero-waste Halloween costume this year. Here are a few ideas:

1. Get Thrifty

A thrift store is the perfect place to start your quest for a zero-waste Halloween costume. One of the many benefits of shopping at a thrift store is that  you won’t find any unifying style or approach to the clothing. Instead, you’ll be able to inspect outfits from all walks of life and choose separate pieces that complement each other to create a unique costume of your own.

Of course, you may not find anything too specific, but it gives you a chance to flex your creative muscles without contributing to more waste.

thrifting

2. Rent It Out

Costume rental stores can be found across the country, and if you’re not willing to step out, you’re sure to find the ideal costume online. If you’re into those completely transformational looks, renting a costume for Halloween is a great option!

Aside from the benefit of finding exactly what you’re looking for, renting a costume also helps you stick to the theme of zero-waste as the outfit can be returned once the festivities are done.

3. Borrow Like No Tomorrow

Every time Halloween rolls around, you’re sure to find friends who either

  • Don’t want to dress up for Halloween and still have last year’s costume
  • Have bought a new costume and wouldn’t mind lending you their old one

Of course, the only issue here is that your choices are limited and you’ll have to wear whatever your friends have to offer. But you can always add your own twist to it with pieces from the thrift store and DIY accessories. (:

borrow

4. Make Your Props

If you’re donning a costume that requires props, consider making the props out of recyclable, natural material. Staffs, hats, mangled hands and any other accessories can be made with the help of online tutorials and a bit of creativity. It goes without saying that you want to avoid plastic accessories as they are harmful to the environment and only contribute to more waste.

Besides being sustainable, creating your own props allows for a high degree of customization, giving you the chance to make a unique outfit.

DIY costumes

5. Look Through Your Wardrobe 

Perhaps the most sustainable way to create a zero-waste Halloween costume is to look through your wardrobe and see what you can do with the clothes you already own. Pieces like old jackets can be used for a variety of different ideas, from an old-school detective to the monstrous Frankenstein.

And if there’s something extra you need to add to get the finishing touch on your costume, you can always find it at a thrift store or borrow from friends and relatives.

save money

Be Minimal This Halloween

Halloween began as a tradition to ward off ghosts with bonfires and costumes that would keep them away.

Today, it’s evolved into a festival that brings people together in a tumult of lights, laughter, and celebration. It gives us a chance to dress up and create alternate egos and personalities, which is an enchanting experience in itself.

And gone are the days when vampires, werewolves, and witches were the only costume ideas available. Today, costume ideas have gone to a whole new level and you’ll find a variety of different personas, from movie protagonists to rockstars, walking the streets during Halloween.

So while a zero-waste Halloween may seem limiting, you can actually see it as a way to expand your creative horizons and wear unique costumes that represent who you are.

And the best part is you can do this while limiting your carbon footprint and contributing as little as possible to the growing waste we face with every festive season. This way you limit your consumption of resources and help protect the planet from unnecessary harm.

Have an epic zero-waste Halloween!