23rd October 2017

Horror of Halloween outfit waste

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Halloween costumes are only worn once or twice on average, before ending up in the bin, according to research.

New data has been released following a survey of more than 3,000 people which was conducted by Censuswide. It found that 33m adults and children dressed up last year, which is estimated to increase to 39m this year.

Just over half of UK households have at least one person who wears an outfit to celebrate Halloween, rising to 70 per cent for student households and 79 per cent for families with children.

The survey found that on average each Halloween costume is worn only twice and 4 in 10 outfits only get one wear, despite the fact £510m was spent on costumes in the UK last year.

Last year seven million Halloween costumes ended up in the bin with millions more donated to charity shops. However many charities will refuse costumes without original fire safety labelling.

One solution is #SewSpooky, a new campaign which aims to encourage more people to make costumes and to pass on their used costumes to friends and family.

The project is funded by NLWA and brought to life by the environmental charity Hubbub.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, chair of North London Waste Authority (NLWA) said: “People love to join in and get dressed up for Halloween but with so many outfits being worn for only one day, it creates a terrible amount of textile waste.

“The Sew Spooky campaign will demonstrate to people how easy it is to pass costumes on friends or family to use again and it provides some fantastic opportunities to learn how to make their own costumes.”

While half of the survey respondents weren’t sure about using a secondhand costume from an anonymous source, 73 per cent were happy with the idea of receiving a used costume from family or friends.

Heather Poore, co-founder of Hubbub said: “It truly is a Halloween horror to see the amount of costumes that are only worn once before ending in landfill, when it’s so easy to save used costumes from a nasty end and pass them on to friends and family.

“Our Sew Spooky campaign also includes lots of quick and easy ideas for spook-tacular costumes that a child could make, which can make for a fun half-term activity.”