Halloween costumes have long been under the purview of discount shops and specialty boutiques, which lure shoppers in with elaborate fancy dress ensembles and head-to-toe themed looks.
Last year, consumers in the UK spent £419 million on Halloween; up 5 percent from 2017. Fast-fashion retailers are getting in on the action, producing throw-away items of clothing to be worn once on the night and never again.
But what if we told you that there was a world of well-crafted, well-curated and sustainable Halloween costumes out there? We promise, there is.
Keep reading for Beyond Retro’s guide to a sustainable Halloween.
Shopping vintage is an inherently sustainable act.
Instead of buying a pre-made costume, consider creating your own out of things you might already own or otherwise that can be easily found in a vintage shop or secondhand!
If a costume requires, for example, a striped jumper (Freddy Krugar, anyone?), instead of buying a poorly made striped jumper from a costume or discount shop … purchase a vintage one!
By investing in a good quality, vintage piece, you’ll be sure to get wear out of it again and again and again. That striped jumper could become a regular in your Autumn-Winter rotation.
Read our blog on Great Costume Ideas from Iconic Vintage Movies for some inspiration on who to go as and how to incorporate vintage into your Halloween costume this year.
You probably already own the items required to make an incredible costume. If, for example, your big on the 00s, look at movies like Coyote Ugly, 13 Going On 30 and Mean Girls for inspiration. You must own something in pink, right?
Playing dress-up with a vintage wardrobe is perhaps the most fun you can have.
There’s a world of vintage clothing out there, and therefore a world of costume possibilities.
Living in the world of throw away fashion and celebrity culture, sometimes an item seems tired even if you’ve only ever worn it once.
This sounds like a crazy concept, but one we urge you to consider, for both your wallet and the health of the planet; reusing an old Halloween costume.
Dressing up is half the fun of Halloween, we understand that. But it’s so easy to reuse and repurpose last years Halloween costume into something and someone else entirely.
Let's say last year you went as Harry Potter, meaning you already have the glasses and school uniform.
You now have those glasses to play pretend with, those glasses have the power to turn you into Austin Powers, Peter Parker, Enid Colesaw ... the list goes on!
When all else fails, you have yourself and your craftiness to rely on. You can upcycle an old black umbrella into a bat costume, for instance?
Upcycling is an important movement in practices of sustainability because to put it simply, it reduces waste. That black umbrella that otherwise would have been thrown away is now an awe-inspiring Halloween costume!
If you’ve enjoyed this, be sure to check out our 2019 Halloween Fancy Dress Ideas for some more spooky inspiration! Don't forget you can celebrate Halloween with Beyond Retro through an array of events we are hosting, and once the party is over you can recycle your Halloween costume back to us and receive £5 voucher!