October 12, 2011

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly and cost effective option for Halloween costumes, check out your local thrift store. Second-hand shops like Goodwill do a bulk of their business around this time of year and provide a treasure trove of ideas. Goodwill Industries says 10 to 20 percent of its business occurs around the Halloween season. It’s estimated Americans spent nearly $6 billion dollars on Halloween costumes, decorations and treats last year. And each year, an increasingly large portion of that is going to thrift stores.

There are more than 30,000 resale, consignment and thrift stores in the United States. Goodwill Industries says Halloween sales accounted for a good portion of its $2.3 billion dollar store revenue last year and October has the most sales of any month. Year round, Goodwill diverts 3.4 billion pounds of usable goods from the trash and landfill. Goodwill even has a Halloween Headquarters page on its website with ideas of how to create your own costume with second-hand clothing and accessories.

Halloween shoppers at Goodwill are also investing in the community since 90 cents of every dollar generated funds job training programs for the disabled and disadvantaged. Goodwill says many shoppers continue the eco-friendly cycle and donate the clothes or costumes they bought back to the store.