New Poll: Unique Costumes and Thrift Store Shopping are Hot for Halloween This Year

ROCKVILLE, MD ­— Americans of all ages are most excited to wear unique, one-of-a-kind costumes this Halloween season, and thrift stores are the number one place where shoppers plan to find materials for their do-it-yourself ensembles, according to the 2018 Goodwill® Halloween Poll.

Participants in this year’s survey responded to a series of online questions about Halloween costumes and decorating habits. More than half (56 percent) of respondents said at least one person or pet in their family/household will be wearing a costume this Halloween, while 53 percent said they will decorate their home this Halloween.

Among other survey results:

  • The most popular costume style among respondents who plan to dress up this Halloween is a unique, one-of-a-kind costume (25 percent), followed by costumes that are funny (19 percent), scary or gory (17 percent), cute (15 percent) and sexy (14 percent).
  • Costumes based on pop culture trends and characters from movies, TV shows and books (40 percent) are more popular among those who will dress up than classic costumes such as witches and werewolves (29 percent), animals (14 percent) and professions (8 percent). Political or historical costumes are the least popular type, at just 5 percent.
  • Couples and group costumes are in this year. More than half of respondents who plan to dress up (57 percent) say they’ll coordinate their costume with one or more people.
  • Ten percent of respondents say they will dress their pet up for Halloween, a trend that’s particularly popular among millennials, with 15 percent in that demographic group saying their pet will wear a costume.
  • Online networks are driving how people dress up, with a majority of people (69 percent) who prefer DIY costumes naming social media or other websites as the place they look for ideas and inspiration. Pinterest (40 percent) is the most popular platform for DIY costume inspiration, followed by YouTube (27 percent) and Facebook (23 percent).
  • Among those who prefer DIY costumes, the most popular places to shop for materials are thrift stores, at 52 percent.

“Americans of all ages know that Goodwill is the place to go when you want to get creative with your Halloween costume,” said Kim Zimmer, chief marketing officer for Goodwill Industries International. “All over the country this fall, shoppers will visit their local Goodwill retail location. Whether you’re looking for a ready-to-wear pop culture costume or to assemble your own innovative idea, Goodwill has you covered.”

Revelers who need a little pre-shopping inspiration can visit to explore creative costumes, DIY decorations, makeup tutorials and more.

About the Goodwill National Halloween Poll

The 2018 Goodwill National Halloween Poll was conducted by Engine, an independent research organization, for Goodwill Industries International. The online poll took place from September 4–9, 2018, and included a sample size of 2,005 self-selected adults. Responses were weighted by age, gender, geographic region, race and education.

About Goodwill Industries International

Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 161 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. For the past three years, Goodwill was ranked in the top five brands that inspired consumers the most with its mission in the World Value Index commissioned by the creative agency, enso. Goodwill has been on the Forbes‘ list of top 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years – the only nonprofit featured on that list.

Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that offer job placement and training services, and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores collectively and online at®.

Goodwill helps people facing challenges to finding employment including people with disabilities; veterans and military families; youth and young adults; older workers; people reintegrating into society; and others working to advance their careers. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and expand employment opportunities by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including janitorial and grounds maintenance, flexible staffing, food service, manufacturing and contracts packaging, reverse logistics, document imaging and shredding, and laundry services.

Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 288,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 38 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than two million people received in-person services.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook and Instagram: GoodwillIntl.

Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Senior Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266
[email protected]