It's that wonderful time of year again when people young and old, can dress-up, go out and be whoever they want to be for the night - or most likely just a character from Fornite this year. It is a night like no other where creative ensembles and costumes can be seen in parties and bars all across the world while we celebrate all things spooky. But this can be a little tricky if you're living a vegan lifestyle.
Fashion doesn’t get much faster than Halloween costumes. Each year millions of people across the world (157 million in the US alone) pick up brand new costumes for literally one night. It's estimated that 7 million of these costumes are thrown away the very next day.
A survey by Fairy Land Trust found that plastic (predominately polyester) makes up 90% of the materials used in costumes sold on the high street stores. This single-use plastic culture means that Halloween alone produces over 2,600 tonnes of new plastic waste for just one day! - the same as 100 million coke bottles of plastic waste.
This scary amount of new plastic is clearly unsustainable – but there are some tricks (and treats) to help reduce the problem.
It might take a little more time and creativity, but hey – you’re gonna be helping to save the planet and probably your pocket too.
Thrift stores (or charity shops pre-Macklemore) are a haven vegan fashion and sustainable Halloween costumes. Even if you’re from a small town, there’s likely to be a charity shop close by. Best advice is to go in with a rough idea of what you want because you can't be guaranteed to find exactly what you're after – but that’s part of the fun! Oh, and bonus points for giving back to charity.
Want Halloween made quick and sustainable? Then renting is your best bet. Loads of costume shops offer rental services, both the Costume Corner and Joke Shop have a wide variety of styles, characters and eras to choose from at the fraction of the cost of a new one. And the best part is you won’t have to find room in the attic to store it after November 1st.
If you’re going for a grungy, glam or iconic look then vintage is probably your best bet. From sequins to vintage cuts and retro feels, you’ll be sure to find what you need and chances are you’ll actually want to wear it again. There are loads online (our favourite is Florrie Jane’s Vintage and Nine Crows, who both have online sites and bricks-and-mortar stores too). By shopping vintage, you’ll not only be making a sustainable fashion choice but supporting a small business. And there’s also good old Depop for a wider selection.
The simplest way to stop the vicious cycle of single-use costumes is by sharing old costumes with your friends. It doesn’t need to be the exact same costumes – just gather all the ridiculous wigs and other accessories you’ve all collected over the years, swap them, and breathe new life into them. This is probably the most sustainable option.
The classic Halloween fashion faux pas of bumping into someone wearing the same costume as you can be easily avoided by making your own. Everyone knows DIY costumes are always the best, so if you’re really out to impress this Halloween have a rummage around your house for unused materials and old clothes and get creative. Pinterest can be a great starting point or this list of easy, sustainable DIY costumes.
If your costume requires make-up or facepaint try to keep it natural and avoid cheap ones with nasty chemicals. There are some great natural and vegan-friendly out there like Face Paints Direct.
Want to give the kids something tasty, easy and vegan when they come by trick or treating? Check out this list of accidentally vegan snacks will get you through Halloween without breaking the bank. Try and go for the larger versions rather than multipacks to avoid excess packaging too.
Whether you're going out, having a party or watching classic Halloween movies eat, drink and be scary!
The Forester Products Team