trick or treat part 1: dressing up without letting the earth down
When it comes to Halloween costumes, there are so many green options, and we don't mean dressing up as the Wicked Witch of the West. There are plenty of ways to source a costume without buying anything new, and searching through your closet is a great place to start!
Why not take that broken black umbrella and repurpose it into wings for a Batwoman/Batman costume? Or you could fashion that yellow toque you never wear because it doesn't go with anything into a minion hat, with the help of some cardboard and paint. From funny costumes to costumes for kids, the web is full of inspiration for simple DIY costumes that will impress at your best friend's Halloween Party.
Image source: Pinterest
Of course, you might not find everything you need at home, but that's what friends are for! Why not host a costume swap, and get decked out in truly circular fashion. Invite your friends (and their kids) over for some pumpkin spice lattes and sip while searching through your collective Halloween fare. You can even swap décor and accessories!
You don't have to stop there. Stay on the lookout for costume swap events in your community. For example, on October 23rd from 7-9pm, Mississauga’s ecocentric coffeehouse Studio.89 is hosting a Hallowe'en Swap & Sew. You can swap both kids and adult costumes, get help repairing old items, and receive Halloween makeup tips. Connecting with your community is a great way to learn about and be inspired by all of the things people are doing to help the environment.
Finally, if you still haven't found what you're looking for, check out Halloween Swap groups on Facebook or check out the Bunz app which is dedicated to swaps of all sorts.
In Toronto, we’re lucky to have so many thrift stores to choose from, and Halloween is the perfect time to take advantage of them. My favourite second-hand shops are Common Sort and Kind Exchange, but you can also check out Narcity’s Top 9 here.
Remember, the goal is to have as little environmental impact as possible in the creation of your masterpiece. So, when buying used items try to avoid plastic and opt for natural fabrics and materials, this will avoid leaching microplastics into our water.
For all of you Halloween minimalists out there who prefer to get crazy with a Halloween mask - save the world from being petrified by petroleum and scare the pants off your friends with some good ol’ face paint!
You can even take it one step further and make your own face paint at home. Here is a super simple DIY recipe:
- 1 tbsp face cream (get in bulk at Bare Market's Oct 28 Pop-Up at Patagonia Toronto)
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 tsp vegetable oil (Bare Market carries a number of carrier oils that will do the trick!)
- few drops natural food colouring OR a pea sized amount of dye made from food scraps OR juiced fruit/vegetables OR non-toxic, washable paint
- Mix the face cream and corn starch until a thick paste is formed. Add in the vegetable oil such that the final product doesn't cake on your skin. You're looking for a smooth, non-watery consistency.
- Add in the colouring agent and mix in well. Be aware - using food colouring may also dye your clothing and skin (temporarily!).
- Opt for primary colours such that you can mix them to create the rainbow. You can also leave the mixture alone to have a white paste, and add activated charcoal powder for a black paste.
Check out how well this recipe worked last year for Bare Market founder, Dayna on Halloween!
For inspiration on different looks you can create, check out these how-to makeup tutorials that will get everyone’s blood pumping a little faster at the sight of your face (muahahaha…).
Speaking of blood, did you know that you can skip the packaging and make your very own fake blood from just three simple ingredients? Mix flour (or powdered sugar), boiling water, and beet juice to make some convincing fake blood. Simply add cocoa powder for a deeper red.
All of these “get messy, make mistakes” ideas are sure to help reduce your environmental impact this Halloween, and could even save you some dinero! That said, they might require craft supplies that you don't already have at home.
No problem! Stop into the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot and borrow a hot glue gun, or bring your materials to one of their free community nights and make your costume there. Alternatively, if you are only lacking things like school glue and paint, you could make those at home with non-toxic ingredients.
Not the crafty type? Constantly on the go and need a quick costume solution? Don't worry, we've got you, boo! Costume rental might be the perfect solution for you, and there are a couple of places in Toronto to check out.
Although it boasts a great collection of dancewear, Malabar near Osgoode Station has loads of period pieces and iconic costumes available for rent. If you find yourself in the West End, you can also take a quick gander into Theatrix Costume House (no appointment required for the month of October). Perhaps the best part about renting your costume is giving it back after the holiday (Yay! One less thing to clutter your closet).
Image by: Elias Castillo
Although it can be very tempting to snag the pre-made 5-piece costume (complete with accessories) that you see popping up around every corner this month, buying second-hand, renting, or not buying at all really does have its advantages! For me, it brings peace of mind knowing that I am not further contributing to the unethical practices often associated with fast fashion, and that I am helping to divert items from landfill. In the past, the costumes I sourced sustainably ended up being way cooler (in my humble opinion) and fitting better than pre-packaged ones; I once made Maleficent horns from Mickey mouse ears and black hockey tape, and it was so satisfying that I felt even more badass in my costume.
So, what are you going to be this Halloween? No matter where you decide to get your costume, we would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment here or tag us on Instagram @baremrkt to share your “less waste” costume ideas.
About the Author: Lindura is a model with a passion for nature, travel, and healthy living. She loves discovering new ways to live waste-free, and was thrilled when her sister introduced her to the Bare Market. She is excited to share her package free journey, and connect with the community as Bare Market blogger. You can follow her and her sister on Instagram @plasticfreeto.