Tips for a Zero Waste Halloween Costume

Zero Waste costumes are fairly easy to obtain. Don't let your costume wreck the planet!

Spread the Sustainable Gospel!

Tips for a Zero Waste Halloween Costume

Last Revised: 10/19/2020

I haven’t let my zero waste life put a damper on my love for celebrating holidays so you better believe I know just how to pull together a zero waste Halloween costume.

Getting creative and making my Halloween costume has been a lifelong passion I attribute to my very creative mother. Every year she’d make the best costumes.

We (my brother and I) would win so many costume contests. My favorite costume she every made me was a sunflower. She made giant flower pedals that wrapped around my head that were quite hilarious.

My mom made the best, homemade, zero waste costumes. I won so many costume contests!

She always tried to use what she had whether it be tin cans from the pantry, coat hangers, or scrap pieces of fabric. My mother was doing zero waste Halloween costumes before it was cool.

Unfortunately, like any holiday specific activity lots of waste is a result of our celebratory habits. Last year, we spent nearly $3.2 billion on just costumes for Halloween and about $2.6 billion on candy.  Speaking of candy, I have covered for some low to zero waste candy ideas.

Related: 8 Zero Waste Treat Ideas for Halloween

A costume that generally gets worn once then shoved into a box somewhere to be found later and thrown out or donated to a thrift store. (Yes, if you are decluttering stuff and you find some old costumes, please donate them rather than tossing.) Unfortunately, costumes are SO cheaply made nowadays.

They never seem to last and never hold up to more than a few wears. Let’s not forget wear the costumes were made, what they are made from, and who was exploited to get those cheaply made costumes to you for one night of fun. Just all around no good.

Tips for a Zero Waste Halloween Costume

Tips for a Zero Waste Halloween Costume

Use Clothing You Already Have

I think you’d be surprised what kinds of costumes you can put together with clothing you already have. Have a black and white striped shirt? Boom a mime. Have a tan trench coat? Holy cow, you’re a detective. Don’t forget to use your make up to your advantage, too.

Borrow A Costume

Remember how I mentioned that costumes usually end up in totes and stowed away? Well, yea, I’m sure many people would LOVE to loan or even give you an old costume they have taking up space. Who knows, you might even end up with something more unique that you could ever buy at a retail store.

Check the Local Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are gold mines for Halloween costumes. Whether you are on the hunt for a second hand costume or looking for some unique pieces to assemble something awesome, a thrift store is an excellent choice.

Get Crafty

Get those creative juices flowing. Not good at sewing or building? Who cares! No costume has to be perfect. The important part is that you did it. Bonus points if you take the time to make that costume with your kiddos. Those are memories they will never, ever forget. Utilize online videos and tutorials. Just because you don’t how to do something now doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new skill.

Support A Local Artisan

Many local artists hand make brilliant costumes. Put your money back into the local economy, know who made your clothing , and treasure a truly unique piece to make Halloween that much more magical.


Tell me your favorite Halloween costume you ever wore in the comments! Do you have any Zero Waste Halloween Costumes you’ve made?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.