Green Your Halloween with National Costume Swap Day – Oct. 9

I have fond memories from Halloween when I was a kid. My crafty mom made a point of sewing costumes for me and my siblings, often creating a theme for all three of us. One year we were Princess Lea, Darth Vader and an Ewok. Another year my brother was Superman and I was Batgirl. Our little sis was a clown. Not exactly sure how that tied in to our super hero theme. Oh yeah, it was a costume my mom made years prior that both me and my brother had outgrown. ;) I’m not giving you grief for reusing costumes, Mom. Really, I’m not. :) I actually love it and would totally do it myself! Actually, I am this year. ;)

As a kid, I loved having costumes that were unique and now that I’m older I appreciate even more that they were made with love and care and have lasted through the years. My kids might be able to enjoy wearing them too!

These days, as Halloween-themed stores pop up across the city in buildings that usually lie vacant, you can buy just about any disposable costume imaginable. But instead of shelling out the cash for something you or your child is likely to wear for one night, why not participate in a costume swap? National Costume Swap Day — “a country-wide event encouraging local kids and families to trade Halloween get-ups instead of buying new ones to reduce waste” — takes place this year on Saturday, Oct. 9. The event is being promoted by KIWI Magazine, Green Halloween and Swap.com.

According to Green Halloween, if just half of the children who celebrate Halloween swapped costumes instead of choosing new ones, annual landfill waste would be reduced by 6,250 tons, which is equivalent to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars!

To find a swap near you, register a swap or get information about how to host a swap, visit Green Halloween’s Costume Swap page.

Kellie Brown, who organized the online Colorado Costume Swap, said, “While many are trying to cut costs and pick up a second hand costume, others just want to avoid making new purchases. Motivation aside, gently used costumes are the way to go for a green Halloween.”

On Inhabitots, Julie Knapp points out the benefits of costume swaps.

Swapping costumes means that fewer costumes need to be produced by manufacturers each year. In turn, fewer resources are needed to make those costumes, less packaging is required, fewer costumes need to be transported from other countries or to your local store, and less waste will be produced since many consumers trash their Halloween costumes once the fun is over.

Cool Mom Picks asks, Halloween costume swaps – Frugal or just plain smart? Personally, I vote for both. CMP points out that even if there isn’t a costume swap in your ‘hood, you have options to participate online instead.

CMP favoritethredUP has even developed a way to participate in this swap online: Put together a box of outgrown clothes to swap and include a Halloween costume in that box. Label it as a “Halloween Box” and then offer it to their members. Then, search their database for a costume for your child.

Over at Confessions of a Psychotic Housewife, Storm points out this swap doesn’t have to be just for people who celebrate Halloween. “Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, it’s a great chance to fill up your child(ren)’s dress-up box, or to get costumes for plays and Church functions.”

Whatever your motivation is — being frugal and saving some green, wanting to keep stuff out of the landfills and being green, or just wanting to stock up on dress-up clothes for the kids — this costume swap is a great option. Visit Green Halloween’s Costume Swap for more information. Happy swapping!

Related posts:

Photo via Crunchy Domestic Goddess. (Yep, that’s me up there! Batgirl to the rescue!)

Soon-to-be cross-posted on BlogHer

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21 thoughts on “Green Your Halloween with National Costume Swap Day – Oct. 9

  1. You look so cute in that Batgirl costume! I love that your mom dressed up, too. That must have been so cool.

    We aren’t doing a swap this year, but there’s nothing much to buy for my girls’ costumes. Suzi (3) wants to be a kangaroo, same as last year, and will probably dress as a witch one night too. I am going to let Ivey (1) be a black cat. I’ll probably mostly use black clothes they already have, and all I’ll have to do is make a cat ear headband, a little tail, and a witch hat. I really want to sew witch hats but it may end in disaster. We’ll see. If everything works out, I’ll sew myself a witch hat too and wear it with my Darling Mummy “frequent flyer” t-shirt :-) So excited for Halloween!

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  6. My son has used the same costume for 3 years now. Yoda. My husband dresses as a Jedi (as do I) and when he gets tired, the costume fits over the carrier to be worn on my husbands back and it looks like the scene where Yoda is riding on Luke while training him in the Jedi ways. This year I found him a Vader costume second hand, so the Yoda will move on to my younger son. Some people ask if it is boring to dress as the same thing every year. But it is what my son wants, so we do it!

  7. What a great resource! We already bought our son’s costume at a consignment store but I’ll definitely be looking into this next year when he may be exhibiting an actual preference and not want one of the 3 costumes for sale in his size :)

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  10. My sister said she just swapped costumes with one of her friends. She got a nurse costume she’s going to remake into a Frankenstein nurse (her husband is going to wear a toolbelt and a doctor costume he already has) and gave her friend a witchy/gyspy dress she’s worn more than once.

    As for me, I’m shopping my closet for costume pieces. I’m going to wear a brown skirt upside down, put a scarf on my head and go as Little Edie from Gray Gardens.

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  12. That is seriously a great way to make save money and be frugal. I might look into creating some noise for it on my end of the US. Go green

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