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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Halloween Goes Green at the Goodwill

Halloween Costumes that are Sustainable and Stylish with the Help of Goodwill

Halloween is not exactly known as a sustainable holiday. For many Americans, the routine goes something like this: Buy a costume, wear it once, throw it out. Personally, it always bothered me that I’d spend so much money on an outfit that I’d wear once or twice, only to have it collect dust in the back of a closet. There’s got to be a more resourceful way to celebrate this popular holiday.

Sustainable lightbulb moment

Instead of choosing from the current costume trends in big-box clothing stores, it could be just as fun to dress the part of a movie character I loved, such as Sandy from Grease, or from a time period I was intrigued by, like the Roaring 20s, utilizing items I could repurpose in my everyday life.

Holly Golightly, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” (60s), 60s Flower Child, 20s Flapper

For instance, one year I dressed as Holly Golightly from the film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” – very stylish, right? Not only was it a ton of fun, but I could rework that little black dress for a number of different occasions and looks; I wore the tiara for other Halloween costumes and even a bachelorette party; and that timeless string of pearls, well, of course I’ll be wearing those forever. (Doesn’t everyone need one?)

Relive A Time Period

The 60s? The Roman Empire? Or is there a movie character you’ve always loved? Indiana Jones? Princess Leia? Of course, the reusability of certain items will depend on your own personal style. For example, a little black dress and a string of pearls are items I know I can restyle for many occasions and for many years to come.

90s Prom Girl, Joan Collins, “Dynasty” (80s), Go-Go Girl, “Austin Powers” (90s)

Is your style more Bohemian? Try a Flower Child or a 60s glam costume, such as the one shown here. Are you more preppy? Try Carlton from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” or Cher from the movie “Clueless.”

Sustainable shopping tip

On the hunt for a Halloween costume? Head to your local Goodwill. Your purchase proceeds are helping other people while also helping the planet by extending the life cycle of clothing items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Shopping pre-loved items from Goodwill will not only save you money compared to shopping at a Halloween superstore or even online, but shopping secondhand is the most sustainable shopping you can do. By purchasing multi-purpose costume items, you’ll feel good knowing you can reuse those items again and again. Less waste!

Poodle Skirt Girl (50s)


Charissa Dantas, personal shopper sourcing exclusively from Goodwill AZ.

Jessica Greenberg, ethical and sustainable fashion blogger.

Laura Madden is a fashion advocate, model, and creator of Laura Madden Lifestyle.


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