Sustainable Halloween

It’s that time of year again, and we are late as usual sorting out Halloween decorations and outfits -anyone else in the same situation? 

While we were looking for sustainable, kinda last minute solutions we thought you might also be interested in a few tips and tricks to get ready for the spookiest night of the year - in a way that is kind to the planet as well as the wallet!

Let’s start from a few stats on how much waste Halloween can create! 

  • Over 90% of families plan to buy Halloween outfits each year.
  • On average, Brits spend £300 million in preparation for Halloween every year.
  • 7 million costumes are binned each year – and 40% of those will have been worn only once.
  • Each costume contains approx 0.38kg of (usually non-recyclable) plastic, meaning that 2,600 tonnes a year is put in the bin.
  • In 2019, t we bought almost 17 million pumpkins. A survey found that over half of people who buy pumpkins for Halloween throw the flesh straight into the bin or food waste disposal - what a (food) waste! 


     This is Unfolded is all about cutting waste and making a positive impact on the environment. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean we can’t do Halloween - there are lots of ideas to help us be more sustainable, spend less and keep kids busy for a few hours at the same time. What’s not to love? After all, we don’t want the scariest thing about Halloween to be how much waste we create… 

    Let’s start from what we know best: clothes! 

    When people say: check your wardrobe and you’ll find something that you can eventually use for a costume, they always make it sound easy, but not everyone has the time to be creative! So if you’re stuck for ideas, here are some tried-and-tested options from our team! 

    Tania is usually found making sure everything runs smoothly and our customers are happy - but she has a mean side… Here she is, dressed as the Evil queen from Snow White. Can’t even spot the difference! 

    She put this together in an afternoon back in 2013, which explains the terrible quality photo!

    What you need is: 

    • A friend with an extra cloak, everyone has one of those, right? A black shawl or even a small tablecloth would work!
    • A black or purple dress - bonus if it has a turtleneck
    • For the head: some old tights  and yellow cardboard for the crown 
    • For the mirror: parcel cardboard, a printer, kitchen foil and a black bin bag (so you can cover the back and the edges) 
    • A red apple that you can still eat at the end of your celebrations. No food waste here! 

    Another classic is the Addams family. Lots of family favourites to choose from - and Tania has again left her customer-friendly smile behind, to scowl at anyone she passes.


     What you’ll need: 

    • A partner with a mustache (or you can just use your eyeliner or eye pencil to draw it!) for a Gomez to match your Morticia

    • Long black skirt and top or dress

    • Black eyeshadow (bring back that smoky eye phase…) to enhance cheeks and add some serious eyeshadow

    • Long black hair or a wig that you can use in the next few years for witch outfits! 

    Some other ‘existing-wardrobe-friendly’ ideas include:

    • Robots, lots of cardboard needed - we’re looking at those Amazon parcels...
    • Punk, use old jeans and tops to rip them and some hair gel to bring on Mohawk hair
    • Mummies, if your first aid kit is well prepared with lots of bandages (remember to clean and put them back after…)
    • Superheroes, a cape and some undies on top of a pair of tights - with a belt
    • Clowns, (if that’s not too scary…) - some wide trousers and suspenders, a red nose and white face makeup does the trick!
    • Hippies, get your flower power going!
    • TV personalities, use cardboards and write down their signature quotes
    • Use makeup instead and paint animal features or animal prints on your face (did someone say leopard?)

    Here's to a more sustainable Halloween

    Use items you already own, or make sure you only buy items you'll be able to use for different outfits and occasions in years to come. Ask friends and family for missing pieces for your outfits
, ask other parents if they have costumes that their kids have grown out of and they could pass on - they grow sooo fast! Local Facebook groups can often be counted on! Alternatively, your local charity shop is always a great place to find what you're missing, most of the time! 

    This is Unfolded is all about trying to make a positive impact in the world. We want to play our part in making Halloween a bit more sustainable - instead of heading down the fast fashion route of wear-once-and-throw-out, why don’t you consider our fabulous Linda wrap skirt or best-seller Sophie, the star-print dress that will do great as a party dress for Halloween, as well as look brilliant for work or play all year round.

    And check out our guide to sustainable decorations too! You can find it in our next blog post.