Halloween is an undeniable element of college life. The social atmosphere of college heightens the intensity of Halloween, expanding the holiday into multiple weekends requiring multiple costumes. Whether you’re going to school-run costume contests or parties with your friends, you have to show up and show out. However, the unspoken pitfall of this holiday is how our costume craze affects the environment.
There’s no denying that the effects of fast fashion have finally been coming to light over the past few years. Whether it’s taking a critical look at online stores like SHEIN or ROMWE, or more people opting for thrift stores over malls, conversations around fashion have been increasingly environmentally conscious. The effects of Halloween, however, have flown completely under the radar. The whole point of this night (or nights) is to buy a costume that you will likely only wear for one day. This ends with landfills being loaded up with costumes. Not to mention, these costumes are often cheaply made with lots of plastics. One UK environmental study has found that 90% of Halloween costumes are made from plastic. Even when they don’t end up directly in a landfill, the washing of these costumes results in microplastics entering our water supplies.
One way you can curb Halloween waste is to make a costume from what you already have or buy what you will wear again. Try finding second-hand pieces to mitigate the production of new costumes. If you have the skill, you can even show your talents by designing and sewing your own costume! If there’s a killer look you have to have, consider buying only one costume instead of multiple. You can even find ways to rework the look to make it unique for each event.
Halloween is all about having a fun time with friends and enjoying a spooky good time. The best way to do this means making sure our environment is around to see Halloween for years to come.