This Halloween, be smart - not scary. Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again!I may cause those of you who love Halloween to scratch your wig-covered heads – because you’re already wearing your costume, obviously – when I tell you that I’m not a fan. Then you ask through your plastic glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, “What’s not to love?”

Don’t you like costumes? I’m a dancer – of course I like costumes! What about candy? I’ve been known to down an entire bag of sour Skittles in one sitting. A big bag too. And scary stories? I’m not a fan of the super gory stuff, but a tastefully told ghost story? Yeah, you got my attention.

So, why don’t I like Halloween? Well… because it’s wasteful! I’ve already harped on the wastefulness of Christmas, which I actually do love because at least Christmas is about peace and family and all those beautiful things. What’s Halloween about? I’m not talking about it’s origins of remembering the dead, which I respect. But, nowadays, it seems all Halloween is about is buying a whole bunch of shoddily made stuff in order to celebrate one single day that has no actual meaning.

Costumes we’ll only wear once, decorations made of plastic and – the candy. Oh the candy! According to this infographic, Americans purchase 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year. Candy with wrappers that end up in landfills. As for the aforementioned costumes, whatever happened to the humble homemade costumes of my youth? When I wanted to be a cat, my mom stuffed a leg from a pair of old tights, pinned it to the back of a ballet leotard, glued some felt ears to a headband and drew whiskers on my face with her eyeliner. Voila! No purchase necessary. Minimal waste created.

This Halloween, I encourage you to go back to the basics. Instead of buying cheap Halloween costumes in a plastic bag, unleash your imagination and see what you can come up with using secondhand items and things you already have at home. Be extra smart when choosing your costumes and pick pieces you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again.

Here are four ideas for second hand Halloween costumes. I hope they inspire you to create your own!


Note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase a small percentage of the sale goes to yours truly. Please know that I only link to products that are good for the earth, good for the soul, or both!


All the items listed below are from ThredUp, which is my favourite online shop for secondhand clothing and accessories. Some of these pieces you may already have at home. You could also borrow from a friend, shop your local thrift stores or check out any buy and sells or garage sales in your area. Just remember to buy #secondhandfirst!

Treehugger

Of course this was going to be my first idea! These items also work for a hippie or boho-inspired costume.

Flowing Dress

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this flowy dress, which would be perfect for a treehugger costume.

Crocheted Vest

Second-Hand-Halloween-Costumes-Treehugger-2

Scarf Headband

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this scarf headband, which would be perfect for a treehugger costume.

Comfy Sandals

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these comfy sandals, which would be perfect for a treehugger costume.

Plus…

Find a fallen branch and cradle it in your arms like a baby. If you’re going the hippie route, draw a peace sign on your cheek and slip in some funky earrings.

Modern Ballerina

Contrary to popular belief, ballerinas are not just little girls in pink tutus, here are some items to help you create a Black Swan inspired look.

Black Bodysuit

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this black bodysuit, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Black Tutu Skirt

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this black tutu skirt, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Tights

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these pink tights, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Black Lace Up Flats

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these black lace up flats, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Plus…

Throw together a DIY tiara, smudge on the black eye shadow and you’re ready to grande jete away.

Superhero

This costume is modelled after the classic Wonder Woman, because you know you’re wonderful… right?

Red Tube Top

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this red tube top, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Blue Capri Leggings

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these blue leggings, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Gold Belt

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this gold belt, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Red Boots

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these red boots, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Plus…

DIY a Wonder Woman tiara and grab an old piece of yellow rope for a magic lasso.

Elf

Think Lord of the Rings, not Christmas. Majestic, powerful and just super cool… if you’re a nerd like me!

Brown Tunic

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this brown tunic, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Black Leggings

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these black leggings, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Brown Woven Belt

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this brown woven belt, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Brown Boots

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these brown boots, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Plus…

Pull the top of your hair back, add some tiny braids and whip up your own DIY bow and arrow.

Have a fun – and thrifty! – Halloween.

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This Halloween, be smart - not scary. Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again!

Posted October 14, 2018

Plant a tree with Click a Tree. It really is that easy!

Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.

LET’S BE TREEHUGGERS TOGETHER!

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Here are a just a few eco-conscious items I own and love.  Visit the Sustainable Products page for more!

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Why exactly is bamboo clothing such a sustainable option? I'm so glad you asked! Here are five reasons why you need to start buying bamboo.Telling you that you need to buy bamboo clothing may seem a little extreme. Especially for a sustainability blog.

But the truth is – us humans need to start doing a lot of things if we’re going to rectify the damage we’ve done to the planet.

And replacing the unsustainable things we buy with greener options is an important first step.

When it comes to clothing, buying secondhand is a great choice. But what if you don’t have access to thrift stores?

Or maybe you do, but you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Buying clothing made from sustainable resources like bamboo is one way to tell retailers, brands and manufacturers that we want eco-conscious choices and we want them now.

So, why exactly is bamboo clothing a sustainable option?

I’m so glad you asked! Here are five reasons why you need to start buying bamboo.

A big thank you to Bamigo for sponsoring this post. Please know that I strive to only feature companies and brands that value sustainability as much as I do.

Bamboo Is the Fastest Growing Plant on Earth

One type of bamboo species found in the UK holds the world record for the fastest growing plant – gaining up to 35 inches in one day.

Because bamboo grows so quickly, it’s become a go-to for all kinds of sustainable products. Aside from clothing, you can find bedding, toothbrushes, furniture, diapers and more made from bamboo.

Bamboo Needs Less Water

Did you know it takes 2,700 litres of water to make a single cotton t-shirt? Meanwhile, bamboo can grow without any additional watering required. Under most circumstances, it only needs rainwater and sunlight to thrive.

And thrive it does! The tallest bamboo species in the world is native to Burma and can grow to over 100 feet.

Did you know that it takes 2,700 of water to make a single cotton t-shirt? Meanwhile, bamboo can grow without any additional watering required. Under most circumstances, it only needs rainwater and sunlight to thrive. It's because bamboo is so easy to grow that bamboo clothing is such a great sustainable option.

Bamboo Absorbs More Carbon

Some trees are better at cleaning the air than others. Not that I would ever play favourites – I love all trees equally. But bamboo forests are able to absorb five times more CO2 than similar sized forests filled with different types of trees.

Bamboo is so effective at capturing and storing carbon that countries such as India are pushing for bamboo afforestation to help tackle climate change.

Bamboo is Naturally Antibacterial

Aside from the sustainability factor, there’s a reason why so many companies are drawn to bamboo as a product material. It has the ability resist bacteria both in tree form and after it’s been turned into fibre.

A study by the China Textile Industry Testing Centre showed that 99.8% of the bacteria introduced to a woven bamboo fibre were killed within 24 hours.

Bamboo Clothing Brands Are Everywhere

If you’re wondering where to find clothing made from bamboo – you don’t have to look far.

While most traditional retailers primarily sell clothing made from plastic-based fabrics such as polyester or non-organic cotton, there are many innovative bamboo clothing brands you can find online.

One such bamboo clothing company is Bamigo. Bamigo carries handmade bamboo clothing for men, such as bamboo underwear, t-shirts, hoodies, bathrobes – even bamboo socks.

While most traditional retailers primarily sell clothing made from plastic-based fabrics such as polyester or non-organic cotton, there are many innovative bamboo clothing brands you can find online - such as Bamigo.

If you’d like to learn more about why bamboo is such a sustainable option for clothing, you can read Bamigo’s article about the positive environmental impacts of bamboo.

To check out Bamigo’s line of bamboo clothing, visit them here.

LET’S BE TREEHUGGERS TOGETHER!

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Why exactly is bamboo clothing such a sustainable option? I'm so glad you asked! Here are five reasons why you need to start buying bamboo.

Posted on December 29, 2020

Plant a tree with Click a Tree. It really is that easy!

Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.

LET’S BE TREEHUGGERS TOGETHER!

Like what you’re seeing? If so, please consider supporting Of Houses and Trees on Patreon – and get a few perks for yourself!

Want to know where treehugggers shop for home decor? Subscribe to the Of Houses and Trees monthly newsletter and I'll send you

Subscribe to the Of Houses and Trees monthly newsletter and I’ll send you my FREE list of “The 8 Best Places to Buy Eco-Conscious Decor Online.”

Here are a just a few eco-conscious items I own and love.  Visit the Sustainable Products page for more!

Find out more about our 40 acres of land in Parkland County, Alberta and the sustainable home we built amongst the trees.

Be part of the green revolution! Find green jobs on Jooble.

Halloween Costumes from Thrifted Items – You Can Wear Again!

2 thoughts on “Halloween Costumes from Thrifted Items – You Can Wear Again!

  • October 15, 2018 at 7:01 am
    Permalink

    These are wonderful ideas and I completely agree as I make my way through the big box stores and think of the entire area as not only waste but a waste of time. There is very little originality or creative thinking in buying a plastic cape, hat, glasses, and blood. So much blood. I asked my granddaughter what she will dress up as this year and she said a zombie nerd. Last year she was a zombie cheerleader. I asked her why she had to always be something dead. Or bloody. She looked at me and did not understand the question. She is 10. But there is hope as her older sister will be a cowgirl using mostly items she already wears as she is – well – a cowgirl who rides horses. I’m just glad it’s only one day and that the world and marketers haven’t managed to squeeze it into Halloween Week. Yet.

    Reply
    • October 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm
      Permalink

      I already feel like Halloween has been spread out into a multi-week event. Essentially as soon as back-to-school marketing is over, it’s Halloween marketing, and then of course Christmas comes earlier every year. I think we need a time of the year where we are preparing for absolutely nothing and buying absolutely nothing. Okay – I’ve just made up my mind. It’s happening!

      Reply

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