The Worst Halloween Costumes 2020: Unsustainable Fast Fashion

Halloween doesn’t have to be cancelled this year, but fast fashion costumes do! Darcey Sergison looks at how you can craft the best Halloween costume ideas in 2020.

With many people cancelling plans and parties for this Halloween, staying in doesn’t have to be as dull as it sounds. You can still get dressed up and have a fun night safe at home! From watching Adam Sandler’s new film to eating lots of sweets with friends on Zoom, there is plenty to do while staying at home.

With Halloween in a few days this doesn’t have to mean buying brand new fast fashion outfits. Instead of last-minute panic ordering, look inside your wardrobe and re-fashion or re-wear old costumes. I have found that some of my best outfits have been hiding in a pile at the bottom of my wardrobe or second-hand steals, so here are my tips for staying sustainable this Halloween:

Re-fashion outfits

Although it may go against your instinct to buy something brand new for a party event such as Halloween, this year should be different for more than one reason. With Halloween parties cancelled for everyone’s safety, we should also consider the safety of the planet and garment workers when we buy super cheap, poor-quality costumes from fast fashion brands. 

Like any other fast fashion outfit, Halloween causes just as much damage with the capitalist ideology to buy new. This facilitates enormous amounts of plastic pollution. A study conducted in 2017 by Fairyland Trust, a charity that helps promote environmentally friendly ideology for your children, dove deep into many of the Halloween costumes and clothing sold by major retailers, including Amazon, ASOS and Topshop. They found that approximately 90% of them were made of synthetic materials.

This year is the perfect year to reflect on your favourite old costumes and re-wear them! Maybe even try on an old costume or re-create a costume from 10 years ago and post a then and now post. Or even try your hand at flipping your old clothes into something new and add your designs to your costume. 

Borrow from friends safely

Sometimes raiding your wardrobe isn’t enough, so it’s time to get a little help from your friends! Mixing and matching outfits from friends can allow you to wear something new but is still promoting sustainability through wearing second-hand clothes. 

I have found plenty of accessories for outfits at university stashed away in my friends’ rooms. This can be such a fun thing to do while at home, looking at all your different fancy dress pieces and arranging a swap for friends. Be sure to take extra care this year if you do not live with friends you will be swapping with and put any pieces in the wash before and after using them.

Shop second-hand

If you have exhausted the above options, then buying something may be the only option. However, you can still purchase something sustainable by buying second-hand. Charity shops can be some of the best places to find outfits. With an array of pieces available from long evening dresses to fancy dress hats, you will find everything you need to make your costume stand out.

However, if you are currently in lockdown or unable to visit shops in person, charity shops also have online platforms. Oxfam has a fantastic website to check out. With plenty of pieces to sift through online, there is a great selection to choose from for Halloween outfits. These clothes are also great value and you will save money and the environment by buying second-hand.

Depop and Vinted are also ideal for second-hand costumes. Try not to leave your orders to the last minute as they take a bit longer to arrive, but they will be worth the wait once you know how you are helping the environment. Buying second-hand means that clothes are not being sent to rubbish tips to build up the already vast piles of synthetic and plastic rubbish. You are giving a second home to someone’s old costume, and you can also do this too. By uploading your old costumes, you can also make money and become sustainable. 

Sustainability is perfect for this spooky season. With Halloween masks taking on a new meaning this year, don’t forget that the worst Halloween costumes are the ones that damage the environment. Stay sustainable and safe this Halloween. 

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