Second annual costume swap event focused on re-using and recycling costumes for charity

As parents prepare to find Halloween costumes for their children, a local businesswoman has brought an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to purchasing brand new costumes in Calgary.

The event was held at the Marda Loop Community Hall on Oct. 13. Costumes were available in all shapes and sizes for children of all ages — from pumpkin costumes for toddlers to KISS costumes for teens.

Elaine Lam came to the event looking for a new costume for her six-year-old daughter Ela. She said this is the first time she has ever participated in the swapping event, and was pleased to find her daughter a fuzzy animal costume.

“The event is a great idea,” she said. “We found a warm costume for Ela and were able to donate her old costume for another child to get good use out of.”

Saturday marked the second annual costume swap day. Amanda Barker, owner of Edamame Kids — an eco-baby boutique located in Marda Loop — hosted the event.

Barker said she came up with the idea to set up a branch in Calgary after discovering Elaine Lam tries on a fuzzy animal costume on her daughter Ela. Lam said she was happy to find a new costume for her daughter at the swap for free after donating a previously worn costume to the event.

Photo by Caitlin Gajdostik
the movement was popular in the United States.

“The second Saturday of each October is when the event is held throughout the U.S. and Canada,” she said. “I just thought it was a great idea that people in Calgary would like.”

People were encouraged to bring in gently worn costumes to receive a ticket that they can use to get a different costume at no additional cost. If customers did not have a costume to exchange, they were asked to make a $15 donation to the event. The majority of the funds raised goes to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada.

Barker said she chose WWF Canada as part of their Living Planet @ Work initiative. This program encourages businesses to raise money for WWF by engaging in green events and ideas. The program assists and gives guidance to businesses to re-think “greener ways of doing business.”

Apart from parents looking to buy costumes, Barker invited other local businesses to the event.

Amy Spray set up her booth at this year’s event. Spray hosts seminars for new and expecting parents through her business called Let’s Learn Together.

Spray said she was happy to be a part of an event that highlights re-using costumes. She said events like this are needed to help make Calgary less of a throw-away society.

Updates for next year’s event will be posted on www.edamamekids.com

cgajdostik@cjournal.ca