Halloween costumes are the plastic straws of fashion! Made cheaply overseas with plastic-based materials and unknown labor conditions, costumes are usually bought to be worn only once, as people desire to have a new outfit each year and they are not made to last.
The numbers are SCARY:• 7 million costumes went to landfills in 2016 in the UK
• 83% of the material used was polluting oil-based plastic
• 69% of costumes made of Polyester
• Less than 1% gets recycled
As well as costumes, consumers are tempted with plastic-based accessories including synthetic wigs, hats, masks, buckets, glittery makeup, and even outfits for pets. When it comes to decorations, Halloween is the second holiday in décor sales (mainly made out of plastic), only behind Christmas. These decorations are largely made of plastic materials
Despite COVID-19, 46% of people in the US still plan to dress up this year, down only slightly from 47% in 2019. That's 148 million people.
This does not mean you have to stop celebrating Halloween - we are not witches! However, you can make better and more sustainable choices next time you pick what character you will dress up as.
• Reuse what you already have
• Swap costumes
• Shop second hand or upcycle your old costumes
• DIY with regular clothes you have at home
• If you must buy new, aim to shop for costumes made of cotton or other sustainable materials.
Have an Ethical Halloween!