Image shows example of zero waste halloween costume

Halloween is but days away, and like many attending spooky soiree’s where dressing up is non-negotiable, I scrummage daily through cupboards and draws, scrambling for last minute costume inspiration.

As if the pressure isn’t great enough, I see on IG that Brenda (we all know one) is planning something big. The panic sets in. With no more time to spare the wardrobe door is slammed shut and laptop flung open. H&M? ASOS? BOOHOO? Three clicks and I’m one next day delivery away from being transformed into one badass witch. 

Can you relate? If so - put your laptop down NOW. Make a cuppa, and grant us 5 quick minutes of your time to reunite you with your inner creative. 

Why? … 

Because according to the headlines, this year there’s an even scarier edge to your halloween costume than the fake blood you’re going to dowse it in: waste. 

Research shows that over 30m people in the UK dress up for Halloween, with more than 90% of families opting to buy costumes. From this, approximately 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste will be generated from halloween costumes from major retailers in the UK this halloween alone. 

It’s pretty spooky, especially considering there are so many ways you can pull a costume together without generating waste. So, to give you some much needed inspiration, we have come up with some fang-tastic ideas so you can, with ease, create a zero waste halloween costume this year.

5 Zero Waste Halloween Costume Ideas:

1. Use what you already have

Zero Waste Halloween Costume Idea - Damien from Mean Girls

Take a deep dive into your wardrobe and see what hidden gems you can find. We are thinking 90’s Britney and Justin in their double denim, or a hoodie and sunglasses aka Damien from Mean Girls. Do you own any striped long sleeve tops? Black and white stripes can go a long way to transforming you into a robber or a mime. Or, pair a red and white striped top with blue jeans and you’ll have found Wally.

2. Avoid single use plastics

This one is a biggy. If you do just one thing, try your utmost best to avoid all the single-use plastic goods that fly off the shelves on the run up to halloween. Do you really need those vampire teeth that you are going to take out after five minutes of selfie taking? No, probably not. Another common use of plastics at halloween is masks, which takes us swiftly to our next suggestion…

3. Get creative with make-up

Make-up can go a long way to bringing your costume to life. Even if you just wear jeans and a cute top - a much loved classic - you can easily bring a halloween edge to your look. Check out this Halloween makeup Pinterest Board that we created for inspo.

4. Make props from natural/recyclable materials 

If your costume needs a particular prop like a magic wand or a unicorn horn, then why not try your hand at some arts and crafts and make something yourself. You then have control over the materials you use, where they come from and how you will dispose of them. Then you can make sure that your creations are made from natural or recyclable materials. This way, when the parties are over you can dispose of them consciously and without guilt. 

5. Organize a costume swap 

Do you and your friends have costumes hidden away from Halloweens past? Organizing a costume swap between friends is an easy way to each walk away with a new costume, without spending any money or generating extra waste!


If you are interested in living more sustainably, then check out some of our previous posts on conscious fashion: Ten Facts About Fast Fashion and Is This The Answer To Slowing Down Fast Fashion?

October 28, 2019 — Katie McCourt

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