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Preloved kids Halloween costume ideas

10 Ways to Have a Budget-Friendly, Eco-Friendly Halloween 2023

Here's a spooky tale, read on if you dare. 
The most ghoulish time of the year is approaching. But there's something much scarier than the skeletons, the ghosts, the witches, the demons and all the other beasties.

Yes - it's all that Halloween waste! 

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Zero Waste Halloween 20237 million Halloween costumes thrown away statistic UK Hubbub

UK Halloween Waste Stats

  • It's scary how 7 million Halloween costumes go to landfill each year (Hubbub)
  • It's frightening that out of the 17 million pumpkins that we buy every year for Halloween, we only use 20% of them for something afterwards. The rest are discarded as food waste (Elmbridge).
  • It's ghastly that 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated each year from costumes and decorations. This is the equivalent to 83 million plastic bottles (Hubbub and Fairyland Trust).
  • Halloween spending is set to pass the £1 billion mark in 2023 (Consultancy UK)
  • 40% of consumers buy fresh pumpkins for Halloween in the UK, but 60% admit they do not use the flesh (Guardian).
  • In a 2017 study, 40% of Halloween costumes were estimated to be worn just once ( via Wybone).
  • The same study found that 14 million costumes were thrown away in 2016.
Thankfully there are so many frightfully good solutions. Best of all, they don't have to hurt your pocket or the planet.

10 Ideas to Cut Back on Waste This Halloween

Dare to rewear

Same Halloween outfit as last year? Don't fear, just switch up your gear. Try experimenting with different jewellery or changing up your make up, or footwear. It's perfectly ok to reuse an old outfit or repeat it entirely. It's Halloween - break the mould!

Rent or borrow a Halloween costume

There are lots of places online where you can rent a full costume. Alternatively you could borrow one of your friends' costumes.


Part of the whole fun of Halloween is getting creative, whether that's carving pumpkins, making decorations or choosing an outfit for your Halloween party. It's the perfect time of year to transform grubby, worn or damaged clothes into costumes. 

Try Shopping Second hand

Halloween gothic outfits

You can quickly piece together items like corsets, a pair of spooky black boots and other regular clothing to put together something truly frightening. Pop into our Green Heart shop or shop with us online.


If you need some items to complete your outfit, consider how much they be useful to wear for the rest of the year. Clothes aren't just for Halloween! You can embrace that more atmospheric style all-year round, release your inner goth.

Choose your Halloween inspiration wisely

Don't give yourself too much work. If you resort to buying cheap ready made costumes because you don't have time to make something, why not try dressing like one of your favourite TV characters? Think about what you already have in your wardrobe and base it around that. Also, again, think about make up/face paint.

Skip the trends. Or do them without buying new

Google Frightgeist is a website that reveals the most popular Halloween costumes across the USA. But who wants to have the same costume as someone else!? Do zombies ever go out of fashion? Embrace celebrating your own unique take on Halloween. You don't need to go out and buy more stuff, but if you do, try your local second hand shop or charity shop.

Fed up of your Halloween costume? Don't bin it!

Many cheaply made costumes are full of plastic which means they will not decompose during our lifetimes. So it's always best to resell, donate or give your costume to somebody else. Try asking local schools or drama groups.

Mask up!

Halloween plague mask

A simple Halloween costume idea could be to create your very own super scary mask. You could use old cardboard, paper and string or whatever else you've got at home.

Carefully dispose of your pumpkin

Most carving pumpkins, while edible, aren't super tasty to eat. You could still try to roast the seeds, or keep them for planting. The best practice of disposing of a pumpkin is to compost them or to bury them into the ground to return their nutrients to the soil - chop them into chunks first and then bury them about 20cm below ground.
Enjoy Halloween. Just make sure it's the costumes and the movies that are scary, rather than the amount of waste going to landfill.
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