How To Be Spooky And Sustainable This Hallowe’en

Lucy Tombs

Its our favourite part of Autumn … Hallowe’en is here. And with each year, comes a surplus of waste which is produced from this fast-fashion, plastic loving holiday.

Costumes contribute a scary amount to the waste produced by Hallowe’en. They are mass-produced annually; most are made from unsustainable materials such as polyester, and they are manufactured in countries with poor environmental and labour standards.

Hallowe’en is already going to be extremely different this year due to the pandemic, so why not make some extra changes too? I am here to provide you with some top tips and costume ideas for going green this Halloween.

Dive into yours or your parent’s wardrobes and you’ll be surprised by the gems you’ll find that can be worked into your 2020 costume.

Top Tips:

Don’t shop with Fast-fashion brands:

As tempting as it can be to last minute buy your Halloween staples from Missguided and Pretty Little Thing, I would strongly advise environmentally conscious shoppers to avoid these websites. Costumes bought form these stores will not only contribute to the cycle of fast-fashion shopping, but they are also poor quality and frankly won’t give that jaw dropping Halloween look I know you’re aiming for!

Do reuse clothing for your costumes:

Dive into yours or your parent’s wardrobes and you’ll be surprised by the gems you’ll find that can be worked into your 2020 costume. Alternatively, if you really can’t find what you need in your own closet, then try thrifting items from second-hand/charity shops! This is a great way to get something new, without having to support unsustainable businesses (plus it’s usually WAY cheaper too!). If you do this just right, you can even buy items that you can repurpose for everyday and can be worn all year round!

Think elaborate eyeliner, bold statement lips and a classic smoky eye.

Don’t throw away your costumes:

If you have costumes from previous Halloween parties that you won’t be able to wear this year, don’t just throw them away so they can contribute to landfills. Try to re-wear these costumes another year, after all, being a witch doesn’t go out of style! Alternatively, if you can’t find a way to incorporate them into your new look then why not donate them or sell them on. Depop is a great place to sell your old pieces and they might just be the perfect addition to a strangers Halloween look

Do make hair and makeup central to your costume:

A great way around having to buy statement pieces which will then just be thrown away and never used again, is to not make your clothing the centre of the look. Focus on your hair and makeup to create the perfect creepy costume. Think elaborate eyeliner, bold statement lips and a classic smoky eye. Perhaps even try your hand at some face paint and turn your face into a zombie or spooky skull!

Costume Ideas:


Following the tie dye trend that took over during lockdown I am sure that most people have something tie dye in their wardrobe. Well get it out, pair it with some flared/baggy jeans and an old flower headband (we all have one from a festival somewhere) and you are good to go! Also, if you have a parent who embraced the hippy vibes back in the day then ask them to borrow something and centre your costume around that.


This is a classic costume where everything you need will be somewhere around your house. Find a plaid shirt (a staple in anyone’s wardrobe) and pair it with some denim overalls, or alternatively some blue jeans. Once the clothing is sorted then round off the look with some messy pigtails and some scary scarecrow makeup and you’re done!

Army boy/girl:

Camo has been such a trend over the years, and I would be willing to bet that you have something camo or khaki in your closet somewhere. Grab whatever you can find, pair it with some leather boots and some chunky silver jewellery and you have created an army look. Use some black makeup to smudge the classic war paint onto your cheeks and you are ready to go.

Animal costume:

I know this might seem like a basic or overdone trend, but we are here for sustainability and style and that is why this is the perfect costume! The beauty of the animal costume is that it is so simple but can be elevated with creative makeup or hair. Alternatively, just create an outfit out of a single colour, pair it with some animal ears and it’s complete. If you don’t have any animal ears at home, then you can always make some out of recyclable card. Classic options are the all black cat, an animal print cheetah or Zebra, or why not try an all brown bear?

Hallowe’en is frightening enough without thinking about the waste is produces and the detrimental effects that it has on the environment. Why not try some of these eco-friendly hacks out this year and reduce the fear factor for our planet.

Lucy Tombs 

Featured image courtesy of  Meiko2105 via Flickr. No changes made to this image. Image license found here

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