Ghouls, goblins, and climate change 

Image of Halloween costumes hanging on racks
Image of Halloween costumes hanging on racks
Photo by Sadiya Teeple

October ushers in crisp autumn air, lingering with scents of pumpkin spiced lattes and freshly baked Pillsbury Halloween cookies. But it also raises some concerns about an eminently developing nightmare: climate change.  

Few have considered the rippling effects of this ghoulish season. Many of us are eager to purchase a new Halloween costume this year. It’s rare for most of us to reuse our Halloween costumes from last year, and it’s even rarer that these costumes become part of our daily wardrobe. We typically turn to quick and cheap options when purchasing a Halloween costume, but at what cost?  

Issues concerning climate change continue to reach frightening heights. In fact, recent reports display alarming developments within North America. Strikingly, they suggest an increased risk of droughts of fresh-water, hurricanes and wildfires. Fast fashion retailers are a significant factor in climate change; and what many are prone to in search of affordable Halloween costumes.  

Fast fashion is the designing and marketing of inexpensive yet trendy clothing. It’s certainly a bewitching option for students working with a tight budget around this time of year. However, the consequences of fast fashion are far more chilling than any costume you may run into. This industry alone emits approximately five per cent of the total global carbon emissions, a considerable element in climate change as it absorbs and radiates heat.  

Halloween has begun to appear all the more sinister. Don’t worry, there’s no need to hide beneath the covers; we’ve got you covered with our guide to creating a sustainable Halloween costume! 

Raid your closet

A shift of perspective, and you’ll be surprised with what you discover in your closet. Start with a few costumes in mind to help broaden your search. Experiment with styling techniques like layering and upcycling by reworking the clothes you never thought you’d wear again. Of course, all of this with the assistance of a TikTok video. 

Trade costumes

A lot of the excitement during Halloween is the chance to try new and daring looks. Get together with friends, try on and trade each other’s costumes from previous years, and get ready to strut down that imaginary runway. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not too keen on the entire look. You might just find the perfect accessory or prop to go with your new costume.  

Go thrifting

Kitchener-Waterloo offers plenty of thrift stores with student-friendly prices. Find the perfect piece for your Halloween costume by exploring second-hand stores like Thrift on Kent, Value Village, and Talize.

Here are some of those locations:

DIY your costume with recyclable items  

This one is intimidating. Rest assured, all will run smoothly, assuming you can work a glue gun. Hunt for simple online tutorials and unleash your creativity as you think outside the box.

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