Before you purchase a brand new costume, what’s best is to reinvent an old costume, swap with someone, buy recycled or used (say, at a thrift store) or make something amazing on your own with materials you’ve got laying around. Here are some helpful links:
- Costume swap! Green and less expensive (free in most cases).
- Recycled costume ideas.
- It’s very tough to find an eco-friendly tutu, however, you can easily make one yourself, which allows you to choose the material (used or sustainable).
- Costume tips from Green Halloween® – some cool DIY eco-minded costume ideas.
- Homemade cardboard box fire truck costume.
Halloween costume patterns – just pick up thrift store or sustainable fabric and sew up a costume.
After that look for costumes…
- Made with eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, wool or hemp.
- Made by decent Fair Trade or sustainable companies.
- That can be used more than once.
- That are recyclable – for example, for accessories, such as a sword look for felt or cardboard vs. plastic.
If you need safe baby Halloween costume tips read choose a safe and fun Halloween costume for baby. Below are some good eco-friendly Halloween costume ideas.
Tom Arma partners with the National Wildlife Federation to add “critter facts” to the Tom Arma Signature Collection animal costume packages as part of their shared interest in ecological awareness and preservation. Also, Arma offsets 100% of the energy used to make these adorable costumes.
For a unique Little Red Riding Hood the Cherry Winter Bonnet paired with the Silk Chiffon Layer Cape is perfect. The bonnet is handmade in Portland, Oregon and reverses to 100% cotton bright pink and red modern cotton flannel and 100% wool felt.
Zid Zid Kids Masks are made with recycled cardboard and have amazing detail.
Super cute Happy Jack-o-Lantern Dress – Made from 100% Organic Cotton Sateen from Harmony Art and 100% un-dyed Organic Cotton Sateen. Hand-stamped with handmade original stamps and water-based acrylic fabric paint. Available in sizes 1T (12-18mo), 2T, 3T, & 4T.
ABOUT SILK COSTUMES:
Silk is a popular green-family costume idea. I’m guessing this is because silk is natural, renewable and biodegradable. It’s not technically THAT green. It’s not vegan, not organic and keep in mind that almost zero silk products are made locally to the USA. Many of the companies that produce silk and silk products are based in countries that do not require fair trade working conditions.
On top of this, most silks are processed using a not so eco-friendly wash. Anna Sova is one company using dyes and sizing for silk that are SKAL approved. BUT her prices match that eco-commitment (i.e. expensive). Also most silk makers harm (kill) the moths that actually make the silk – Aurora is a cruelty-free silk company. So, that said, in a very fast nutshell, there are pros and cons of silk. This is a much longer topic. For now I’ll post some silk options and leave it up to you.
Sarah’s Silks has visits to their silk makers on their website, but I don’t think they’re Fair Trade Certified – at least I can’t find that info.
- Sarah’s Silks Garland – Fairy
- Sarah’s Silks Mini Playsilk – Starry Night
- Sarah’s Silks Reversible Fairy Skirt – Rainbow & Blue Hues
EcoPartyTime offers silk costumes (perhaps made by Sarah’s Silks) that are pretty darn cute. According to the company the silks, “Are hand-hemmed in a small village near Shanghai in China. The seamstresses are in their homes and the village has been personally visited by the company’s management. In addition, many of the products available on the site are sewn, ironed and packaged by women working in their homes in Sonoma County, CA. The dyes are non-toxic.” Just an FYI. This company is not a member of the Fair Trade Federation but they note that they’re environmentally and socially responsible.
For kids who may not be interested in a full-blown costume try…
Dress Up Time Felties are very simple, but cute and great for all year dress-up or for a low-key Halloween costume. These Felties are made by a Green Schools Initiative supporter, Dress Up Time, who uses EcoFi felt (made in the USA from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles) for all costumes.
ALSO: Get ideas about less toxic hair and makeup for Halloween.