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Halloween is reportedly one of the most wasteful times of the year

This season dress responsibily

Halloween is reportedly one of the most wasteful times of the year This season dress responsibily

Being aware of how our daily clothing shopping habits affect the ongoing climate change crisis may at times be difficult to understand. Yet one case that is completely crystal clear is Halloween being one of the most wasteful times of the year. In a research recently released by environmental charity Hubbub, an estimate of 2,000 tonnes of plastic (the equivalent of 83 million plastic bottles) will be wasted this year as Halloween costumes in the UK alone. 

In conducting the report, the charity investigated a selection of 19 supermarkets and major retailers including ASOS, Amazon, H&M, eBAY & Zara. They found that a great percentage of these costumes were made from polyester, which most times contains oil-based plastic. H&M costumes are 99.3% polyester, eBay costumes 85%, Amazon costumes 57.9%, Zara 48.6% and ASOS 27.5%. Cotton only made up 10% of the total survey of costumes. 

The problem at hand is not only that these costumes contain a high level of plastic, but also that every year they are all thrown out instead of reused in different ways. The research revealed that over 30 million people usually dress up for Halloween each year. Of those costumes, seven million outfits are disposed and only a small percentage is recycled. 

The scariest thing about Halloween now is plastic. More costumes are being bought each year as the number of people participating in Halloween increases. Consumers can take action to avoid buying new plastic costumes and still dress up for Halloween by buying from charity shops or re-using costumes, or making their own from non-plastic materials,” explained Chris Rose of the Fairlyland Trust in an interview with The Guardian

This particular research only covers the existence of plastic in costumes, but consumers use and waste plastic-based materials in tonnes of other items used for the season including synthetic wigs, party decorations, dog outfits and accessories. Many of these are used for one night only or at most a few days and eventually make their way to fill dumps or to the oceans.

In the end, no one is saying Halloween should be cancelled or that one should stay up all night sewing costumes. What is necessary is that we simply dress responsibly. Maybe by making your costume from cotton or other bio-degradable materials, or upcycling a a costume from five years ago and turning it into something else. If one has to buy a plastic costume, it should be at least more durable. Finding ways to deviate from the traditional plastic-infested polyester can push all of us to become more creative.