Zoofolds woodland animal masks make great Ethical Halloween costumes

Ethical Halloween costumes 2016

Lipfish top and leggings from Love it, Love it, Love it
Lipfish top and leggings from Love it, Love it, Love it

If the thought of your youngster bouncing about in a deliciously cute Halloween costume fills you with the joys of the season, but the idea that someone else’s youngster has slaved in a sweatshop to make that costume fills you with dread, you need to know how and where to put together an ethical Halloween costume or two.

Here’s how:

  1. Check out the children’s clothing retailers who promote their ethics. Embrace the idea of buying something your child can wear all season, not just the once for trick or treating before it gets sent off to landfill (because you know it won’t fit next year and besides, they’ll be wanting something different by then!)

Love it, love it, love it is an online boutique stocked with colourful, ethically produced children’s clothing. They have a whole section of their site devoted to Halloween inspired goodies… from ghostly tees and matching leggings to pumpkin rompers and sweats, or monster t-shirts… it’s all cool and it’s all unisex.

Halloween onesies and PJ's from Juicy Tots
Halloween onesies and PJ’s from Juicy Tots

Another children’s boutique which stands by the ethics of the brands they sell is Juicy Tots. Dress up one of their onesies, like Popupshop’s Tiger playsuit or Albababy’s striped hooded jumpsuit, (which go up to size 6 and 7 respectively!) for a unique costume that then becomes a cool set of PJ’s for the rest of winter. Not sure how to dress it up? Bear with me, I’m going to tell you about some super cool face masks in just a minute…

Frothy purple and black Halloween fabulousness: Malificent costume by Little Angel Tutu Dress
Frothy purple and black Halloween fabulousness: Malificent costume by Little Angel Tutu Dress

2. Try searching Etsy for something unique and handmade. There are so many talented designers and artisans selling all sorts of wonderful things… and they can tell you the complete story of their product from the time it was just a twinkle in their eyes!

If you want frilly, girlie, over-the-top Tutu dresses, let me introduce you to Little Angel Tutu Dress. There’s quite a range to choose from including this Malificent costume which has been handmade by shop owner Arjeta Guri right here in the UK.

If you’re buying something specialised and wanting to shop thoughtfully, think about what else you could use your Halloween costume for… buy with a plan to reuse it for book week and fancy dress parties, maybe agree to swap with a friend next year! Treat your lovely handmade costume with care and you may even be able to pass it on or resell it once it no longer fits your child.

Pocket Foxy
The best ears on a headband and a tail which promises bounce and perk… Pocket Foxy

Still on Etsy, here’s one for the grown-ups. I saw this and just couldn’t resist including it. Seriously, check out Carrie John’s creations on Pocket Foxy!! She makes the best squirrels, foxes, cats, huskies and mice taking pride in producing the biggest, fluffiest ears that stand up and stick out and tails which she promises will bounce with “perkiness”. Want horns or antlers? Or the best sweatshop free Pokemon costume on the planet? Pocket Foxy is the place to go.

Allow your imagination go wild, Pocket Foxy can create "almost anything you can think of!"
Allow your imagination go wild, Pocket Foxy can create “almost anything you can think of!”

And that is honestly just the tip of Carrie John’s creative iceberg. As a passionate crafter she encourages potential customers to view her work for an idea of what she can create then says “send me your ideas so we can build you a custom design! I can do other colours, other animals, other markings, other shapes – almost anything you can think of!”

3. Dress something up

I said before about dressing something up that isn’t specifically for Halloween: black leggings and a roll neck top can turn into a unique woodland creature with an artfully designed badger mask from Zoofold, or the striped onesie above from Juicy Tots can transform into a fox or deer.

Visit the Zoofold website to see just how edgy they can look on adults or children. Tweens might have fun styling their masks with jeans and a hoodie, maybe add a homemade tail and skateboard too. Zoofolds are printed locally on 100% recycled cardboard and are themselves recyclable: finished with bio-degradable laminate, Zoofolds are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable but indissoluble plastics. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, know that Zoofold have pledged 5% profits from the Woodland Collection will be donated to the Woodland Trust.

Recycled paper masks
Recycled paper masks from Zoofold