We attend a university where it is the norm to order five separate $50 outfits on Dolls Kill for Halloween. We are surrounded by a culture where it is practically a crime to wear the same costume twice in a row, and even worse to repeat a costume from the years prior. During this season, it is so easy to get caught up in this mentality of needing the perfect outfit for every fraternity party, night on Frenchman street, etc. But the only thing spookier than your skeleton makeup is the wasteful behavior that so many of us get caught up in each Halloween. Check out these statistics on just how wasteful these decisions can be.
-Consumer spending on just costumes this year is expected to be $3.2 billion
-Costumes will create 2,000 tons of plastic waste this year (83 million plastic bottles)
-And that sexy zombie costume you thought was creative? Well 1.4 million others will be dressed in that same exact attire
The trend of the fashion industry moving towards more sustainable products and brands is no coincidence. As climate change continues to rear its ugly head in the form of intensified of natural disasters, rising sea levels, and mass exctinctions, we as consumers need to keep in mind our personal impact on the environment. We can still keep all the fun in finding a Halloween costume without succumbing to wasteful behaviors. Be the one in your group of friends to take a stand this week by suggesting one of the following alternatives to ordering that last minute Doll’s Kill fur coat.
- Organize a clothing swap with your friends! Everyone has that designated costume drawer/bin in their room filled to the brim with random goodies. Even though you may not want to wear those silver sequined pants from your Freshman year Mardi Gras, they might be the perfect missing piece to your friend’s disco costume. Borrowing each other’s clothes is such an easy way to find great outfits and all save $ and the environment together! YAY friends!
- Buy a costume from a thrift store instead of Amazon! If you are really in the market to get something new and unique, try and restrain your urges to click the order button on Amazon Prime; check out all of the fabulous local thrift stores that NOLA has to offer instead. Some of my favorites are Funky Monkey and Buffalo Exchange. By purchasing a used costume instead of a new one, you are contributing to the sustainable movement.
- Put something together with the clothes you already have! This can be difficult, but also so much fun. Get creative. Do some research. The internet is filled with DIY costume ideas. Check them out and then see what you have in your closet that works. And if you MUST order something, try and limit it to one or two accessories. But save that for the end of your costume search, once you have put together the majority of your outfit using what you have.
Save the environment and your wallet this Halloween season. Don’t fall into these scary habits and think sustainable!