Last minute and environmentally conscious costume shoppers still have time to brainstorm before Friday night, and today they might find plenty of inspiration.
The ASUCD’s Environmental Policy and Planning Commission and the Student Fashion Association will host their first sustainable Halloween-themed costume contest today on the MU Patio at noon.
“This contest is a chance for anyone, maybe a design major, engineer, history major … to share in the Halloween spirit and do it while being sustainable,” said senior textiles and clothing major and SFA vice president Susan Hopkins in an e-mail.
The contest is a combined effort between the EPPC and SFA, who have each worked to organize and advertise the event.
Though the contest is the first Halloween-themed show, SFA and EPPC previously worked together to hold the “Trashion Show” during the annual EPPC Earth Week in April.
“The Trashion Show has been really successful in the past, and we wanted to kick off [this] school year with a similar event,” said sophomore environmental sciences and management major and EPPC member Priya Shukla in an e-mail.
All costumes must be made from at least 50 percent earth-friendly materials, according to Shukla. New items are not allowed, but recycled items, old clothes and trash are all fair game.
The EPPC and SFA encourage everyone to attend, and no experience is necessary. Prizes provided by the EPPC will be awarded to the top three winners.
SFA president Ashley Carros, a junior textiles and clothing major, emphasized the importance of using recycled and used items in clothing design. She also mentioned that sustainable fashion is more practical for special occasions rather than everyday usage.
“In theory, it would be good for people to try to go to thrift stores more often, or borrow or exchange clothes with friends,” Carros said. “But more often than not, there is too much involved, and it’s really easier just to go buy what you want.“
Even so, the EPPC and SFA members say the event conveys an important message about fashion awareness.
“EPPC doesn’t expect students to suddenly start wearing shirts made from plastic bags, but we do hope that those who watch the show take a second look at items before they discard them,” Shukla said. “Trash really can be transformed into useful treasures.“
Both the SFA and EPPC offered tips for sustainable fashion design. While the source of the clothing is important, they list creativity as a top focus.
“It’s always helpful to start with an idea,” Shukla said. “For example, say you want to dress up as a pirate for Halloween. You can make a pirate sword out of an old piece of cardboard and wrap it with some foil to make it look like metal. You can make a pirate bandana by cutting a rectangle out of an old t-shirt.“
“The best place to go for items for your costume are your own closet, your roommates‘ [closet], a thrift store, garage sales, dumpster diving,” Hopkins said. “You can find something that someone has decided to get rid of just about anywhere.“
JUSTIN T. HO can be reached at email@example.com.