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Tips for an ethical Halloween

Halloween is undoubtedly my favourite night of the year. It's no secret that I love fancy dress and everything macabre. It's also the only night of the year I don't pretend I'm too old for nightclubs (no joke, I've not set foot in a nightclub so far this year). Sometimes I wish one of my friends or family members would have a child so I offer to take them trick or treating. But alas, I'm still clubbing it up.

As I get older though, my ethics have collided with my love of Halloween. Whether it's causing waste by buying something for a one-off costume or a culturally appropriated costume - there's a lot to say about Halloween from a social justice angle. Every year I see vegans talking about how they can celebrate Halloween without the use of animals - whether it is cruelty-free make-up, home-made fake blood or vegan candy. I'm not perfect, but every year I try my hardest to make conscious but scary choices. Here's some things I keep in mind.

Colourful but cruelty-free make-up

Illamasqua is by far my favourite make-up brand for off-beat shades. If you don't mind testing parent companies you also have the choice of Urban Decay. I've not personally tried Manic Panic or Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, but they also have a great colour selection if your look requires loud make-up.

Homemade fake blood

As Billy Loomis once said "mmmm corn syrup" (if you don't get that reference we can't be friends). Instead of shop-bought fake blood,  mix together some corn syrup, chocolate sauce and red food colouring.

Vegan Candy

If you're opening up your doors to Trick or Treaters, you'll want a selection of candy that keeps your conscious clear but won't disappoint the local kids. Skittles, Oreos, Starburst, Love Hearts, Sherbert Fountain, and Flying Saucers are all accidentally vegan. If you want to avoid the big brands, pick up some Holland and Barratt knock-offs and make little pre-packed goody bags. The neighbourhood kids never have to know.

Halloween Party Treats

If you're having people round for a bit of a bash and are looking to impress, a quick search on Pinterest should find you something. I'm not a fan of hosting my own parties, but if that wasn't the case I'd opt for these Mummy Cupcakes, Monster Donuts, Chocolate Mouse Graveyards, mummy pizzas, and this Spooky Popcorn Mix. These scary film cookies are also brilliant!

Left-over pumpkin

Ever carved a pumpkin then thrown it out? I see you looking sheepish in the back. 

The BBC Good Food guide has a section dedicated to this autumnal vegetable. Even though some recipes will need to be adapted, there's plenty of options. I also really like the look of this pumpkin spice latte vegan cheesecake. 

Phobia checks

Halloween can be difficult to navigate for phobia sufferers. Even the most socially conscious of us can't avoid triggering every phobia ever, but stay conscious when choosing party decor. If your friend has a phobia that could be more commonplace during Halloween, take steps to support them and don't put them in a difficult situation (such as not using it in your costume or party decor).

Store-bought costumes

I've always stayed away from store-bought costumes because I'm a hipster who can't possible turn up in the same outfit as 20 other people. As I get older though, I stay away from them for ethical reasons. There's plenty of costume ideas out there that you can fashion together yourself, or make if you've got sewing abilities. Past outfits of mine (three of which were easy to put together) have included Samara Morgan, Medusa, Pokestop, and Curiosity Killed the Cat pun costume.

Or shop etsy

Check out my Halloween wishlist here.

Don't slut-shame

Don't shame any women who dress sexily on Halloween. Stop being a prude, and enter 2017.

How do you make your Halloween more ethical? Any tips I've missed?
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