My biggest problem with costumes is that they are cheaply made, plastic, and doused with harmful chemicals. Majority of the costumes are made with toxic conventional dyes which can cause skin irritations and they pollute waterways. Not to mention they are made with petroleum based materials that can leach some nasties everywhere. Most costumes are nylon or polyester which are both non-biodegradable and end up sitting in landfills forever. They all are treated with flame retardants- which is good and bad. Good- it's saving your child's life in case they come across a open flame. Bad- there is a lot of negative attention towards certain flame retardants and you don't know which kind is in your costume. My thoughts are cheap costume = cheap chemicals.
You can find top quality dress up clothes at places like Sarah's Silks or other Waldorf inspired toy stores if you are looking to buy new and eco-friendly.
handmake- the best thing to do for the environment (and your pocket book!) is to participate in a costume swap.
National Costume Swap Day sponsored by Green Halloween, Swap.com, and Kiwi Magazine! You can visit the National Costume Swap Day website to see all of the locations where you can find a swap or even register your own! The swaps will last all the way up to Halloween. This is a great way to recycle your old costumes and find a gently used one. Costume swaps not only mean less resources are used to make new product, it also means less packaging, less transportation of the product, and less waste. For events of any size, here are some tips on how to organize and set it up.
Be sure to "Like" and Follow the National Costume Swap Facebook page and Twitter page, and Green Halloween's Facebook page and Twitter page for everything Green Halloween!!
If there aren't any Costume Swaps in your area, ThredUp has started Halloween Costumes Boxes TODAY! I just checked and there are over 230 boxes available now.
Also, on the subject of Halloween... Have you checked out Green Halloween? They are an amazing resource for parents, kids, and even schools! I will be back with some Green Halloween ideas very soon! But until then... happy planning!