Saturday, November 2, 2019

Sustainable Halloween: How to Play Dress Up Thoughtfully & Links a la Mode

Halloween is a much anticipated holiday in our house (my son has been declaring his love for Halloween all week). This year, he's dressing up as Jack Skellington and we've DIYed a bow tie. 

Any day devoted to playing dress up is a win in my book and I love that my family looks forward to it like I do. Over the years, we've pushed our creativity to it's limits, too. It's easy to just go and buy a costume, but where would be the fun in that?

It helps to have a large selection of vintage and secondhand clothing in my wardrobe to work with. Vintage clothing is arguably quite costume-y already. In fact, there are many days that I'm sure my colleagues wonder what my "theme" is supposed to be. 

Some have even asked, "what day is today?" (I work at school and we have spirit dress up days).  But usually, I'm asked this question when it's not spirit week.

I even hold an unofficial role as costume coordinator for our department's dress up days. I love it because it really pushes my creative side and over the years, my colleagues really have opened up creatively, too. This year it was someone else's suggestion and we went as Cards against Humanities (I work in the Humanities department by the way).

So here's the thing I was thinking about as we were getting ready for this year's celebrations and dress ups. Halloween costumes, like prom dresses and wedding dresses, etc are clothing items that are worn once for a specific purpose.

My girl Abby of Clothes and Pizza shared a statistic on her story which I found alarming. According to @packagefreeshop, 85% of Halloween costumes get buried in landfill.

Let your brain wrap around that for a moment. For ONE day of the year. All that textile waste. Add to that the fact that in Hong Kong alone, 370 tonnes of textiles are thrown away EVERY DAY (Source: Redress HK). The statistics are staggering. And embarrassing.

 Did you know that 95% of textiles that enter landfill can be reused, repaired or recycled? (Redress HK) Yet in our modern world of convenience and over consumption, even something like a simple button fix on a shirt is too tedious. Its faster, and in many cases where people don't know how to sew anymore, easier to just buy new. Likewise with costumes, people just head to any store around Halloween to buy a costume ready made.

Dressing up doesn't have to be hard, though. It just takes a little creative thinking. I tell my kiddos all the time, a costume is a suggestion. It doesn't have to be precise. It just has to give the idea of the character. So, in these pictures (and many I didn't share), we've done just that. I'll leave it to you to see if you can figure out who we are.

So, how do you have a sustainable Halloween? Pull clothes from your own closet. Make do with what you have.  Consider a little DIY when needed. And even when you DIY, don't render the item of clothing unwearable. For example, my son wanted to be Jack Skellington this year so I thrifted his black blazer for 20 HKD ($2.50 USD) but I didn't want to ruin it when I added stripes. Instead of painting or drawing them on, I used white duc tape. Easy and effective.

One last thing...always, always borrow before you buy. Ask around and see who may have a piece of clothing that would help you complete your costume. You'll need to plan ahead, but it's so worth it. In this year's Beastie Boys costume, I borrowed a blazer from my friend Aaron who borrowed aviators from me. We nailed our Sabotage look, don't you think?
This post was featured on Links à la Mode fashion roundup by Independent Fashion Bloggers.
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SPONSOR: Shopbop, Helmut Lang, Stuart Weitzman Boots, Hudson Jeans, Agmes, Juillet, My Story, Modest Dresses, 90s-Style Jeans, Lug-Sole Boots,Men's Wrangler

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