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Get creative and go green this Halloween!

17 October 2022
October 17 – 23 is Recycling Week, an opportunity to reflect on how we can all do our bit to safeguard the planet and what small changes we could make for the better.
And what better time to reuse old clothes and unwanted items than Halloween, when kids big and small are looking for some inspiration for costume ideas? Derry people have always loved dressing up and Halloween used to be the time when the net curtains disappeared from the windows and a black bin bag opened up a whole world of possibilities. Witches hats were made of cardboard, make up bags were raided and parents became experts in the craft of papier mache. There was no such thing as online shopping, so Tony Harte and a bit of imagination were the key to producing something truly spooktacular to impress your friends.
This year with pressures on spending, Derry City and Strabane District Council is encouraging people to get back to basics and consider making their own Halloween costumes, or incorporating unwanted items into their ensemble. Next week The Tower Museum will host a Toy and Clothes Swap Shop, offering the perfect opportunity to source items to set off any outfit.
The event takes place on Friday October 21st from 10am – 4pm, and people are being asked to donate toys/clothes/shoes/belts/bags and unwanted Halloween costumes. Items can be left in to the reception at Council’s offices on Strand Road in Derry and Strahan’s Road in Strabane until October 20th.
Council’s Waste and Recycling Officer, Julie Hannaway, said the Swap Shop would offer the perfect opportunity to cut costs this Halloween. “The theme of ‘Recycle Week 2022’ is textiles, highlighting how ‘Fast Fashion’ is having a detrimental impact on the planet’s resources and carbon emissions. Clothing has the fourth largest environmental impact after housing, transport and food, and I think we’re all guilty of hoarding unwanted clothes or buying more than we need.
“By donating to the swap shop people have the opportunity to clear out things they don’t need that could be of use to someone else. It’s an economic way of utilising good quality unwanted items - whether that’s for everyday use or particularly as people are looking for ideas for Halloween costumes.
“Lots of people buy costumes, use them once, then find that children have grown out of them or want to dress up as something different the next year. Why not dig out any old costumes and donate them to the swap shop where they can be used again?
“There are lots of household items that can also be of use with a bit of imagination, from cardboard boxes and old sheets, to wrapping paper and old clothes. It’s a great way of reusing and recycling, and it will keep the costs down this Halloween.”
Festival and Events manager with Council, Jacqueline Whoriskey, said: “Every Halloween we see amazing sights on the streets and the creativity of the people of Derry when it comes to costumes really is without parallel. There is as much colour amongst the crowds as there is in our carnival parade. But each year I think we see fewer of the home made creations that used to be the stand out highlight of the festival.
“This year, particularly as budgets tighten, we would love to see a return to that Derry costume making tradition. And with the many benefits of reusing and recycling clothes and other unwanted items, it’s the perfect way to do something positive for the environment this Halloween.”
Find out more about Recycling locally and Recycling Week at www.recycling.derrystrabane.com