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Don't Scare the Environment – Donate & Upcycle Your Costumes!

It’s one of our favorite times of year at SMART! Why? Because, like millions of others, we love joining in the Halloween festivities! In fact, did you know an estimated 173 million people plan to celebrate in some way this year, according to the National Retail Federation? Of those 173 million people:

  • 69% will hand out candy;
  • 49% will decorate their home;
  • 44% will carve a pumpkin;
  • 32% will throw/attend a party;
  • 22% will visit a haunted house.

This year, the NRF estimates the average shopper will spend $86.27 on All Hallows’ Eve – at least $31.05 of which is allotted to their costume. Top anticipated costumes for children this year are their favorite princesses, superheroes – and, specifically, Spider-Man. Among adults, at least 5 million people plan to dress as witches, 2 million as vampires and 1.8 million as superheroes. Even pets are joining in the fun, with majority of owners planning to dress their dog or cat as a pumpkin this year!

The problem with all the fun and exciting costumes? 59% of people purchase them NEW from Halloween stores or online retailers, according to the NRF. And after the holiday, many are thrown in the trash and end up in landfills where they emit harmful greenhouse gases. According to Huff Post, landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., which is known to be 28 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. That means it poses a huge global warming problem!

So, you may be wondering, “what can I do to help?” If you’re the sort who only likes to wear a costume once, be sure to donate it to your favorite thrift store or charity rather than tossing it in the trash. As long as it’s clean, dry and odor free, they’ll be happy to take it off your hands. You could also give it to a friend to wear next year!

If you’re a “do it yourself” kind of person, instead of purchasing your costume new, get creative around the house. There are loads of ways you can upcycle textiles you have laying around the house into fun and creative costumes. Like these options, for instance:

At SMART, we’re all about improving our environment – one textile at a time! We invite you to learn more about our association and the work of our members here. You can also visit us on Facebook and Twitter for weekly craft ideas and other great articles and information to help get yourself up-to-speed on all things textile.

Wishing you a happy, safe Halloween!