Cut down on plastic waste this Halloween by hitting your local thrift store

Most Halloween costumes are single-use and primarily made of plastic and polyester. We can help decrease waste this year by thrifting our own costumes and making sure we’ll wear the pieces again.

Start by checking your own closet and your friends’ closets to see what you can create with what you already have. You can always buy extra elements and makeup, or make accessories to go along with your costume. Once you have your idea, hit the thrift and vintage stores early and often to scope out your options. You don’t want to leave the hunt to the last minute and get overwhelmed.

If you start early, you’ll have time to brainstorm and craft with friends rather than make a thoughtless purchase. Plus, many of these thrifted costume ideas will leave you with “new” pieces that you can later incorporate into your wardrobe. It’s a win-win.

Thrifted costume ideas for 2021

  1. Masquerade costume: An evening gown and a mask of choice.
  2. Wednesday Adams: Little black dress over a white-collared shirt. White or black long socks or stockings.
  3. Cher or Dionne from Clueless: Plaid blazer and a mini skirt (bonus points for a matching plaid set), a white shirt and knee-high socks. Accessories: flip phone, designer purse.
  4. Tom Cruise from Risky Business: Oversized white button-up shirt, “dad” socks, and black sunglasses.
  5. Mother Earth: Green dress or ensemble of choice, crown made from sticks/leaves/flowers, optional: crafted earth to carry like a baby.
  6. Mary Poppins: White-collared button-down shirt, red ribbon, black bowler hat, black skirt, black tights, large carpet bag, umbrella.
  7. Frida Kahlo: Oversized necklaces and earrings, oversized scarf or shawl, floor-length skirt, pencilled in brows, flower crown, centre part hair with pinned up braids.
  8. Rosie the Riveter: Red head scarf, chambray shirt or denim jumpsuit, red lipstick.
  9. Poison Ivy: Green dress, body suit, green tights, ivy body makeup.
  10. Cactus: Green dress or long sleeve/pants, small strands of yarn or paper spikes, flower accessories, crafted spike crown.
  11. Jughead from Riverdale: Grey beanie with DIY crown points, leather jacket over a flannel or T-shirt, dark jeans, Chucks.
  12. Sleepyhead/PJ queen: Pyjamas of choice, messy hair, smudged makeup.
  13. Celebrities: Check out what your favourite celeb wore to an event, a party, or in their music video. Odds are you’ll be able to find their look at a thrift or vintage shop.
  14. Dedicated to the decades: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, all the way to the 2000s. You’re guaranteed to find a decade that suits your current look and amp it up for Halloween with a little hair and makeup.