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6 ways to donate the Halloween costumes that you — or your little trick-or-treaters — aren't using anymore

An estimated 80% of Halloween costumes end up in the landfill. Here's how to see that yours go to a good cause instead.

Wizardboy; Donate Old Halloween Costumes

Now that you or your trick-or-treaters are recovering from a candy coma, it's time to donate the costumes that most likely won't fit next Halloween. 

An estimated 80% of Halloween costumes "end up in the landfill," said Emily Thornton, Executive Director of environmental nonprofit Angelina Beautiful Clean, to Texas' KTRE news.

Instead of throwing them away, you can easily donate your used Halloween costumes. Here are a few methods of costume donation that could help other kids dress up for next year's Halloween.

Family and friends  

Before heading to your nearest donation center, start with your friends and family — your costumes might be the perfect fit for someone in your closest circle. 

You can also post in your area's Facebook page or other local groups across different social platforms to give to your neighbors a chance to check out your free costumes.

Local schools and organizations 

You can try contacting local campuses or organizations to ask if they accept donated costumes. Daycares, preschools, and elementary schools might be interested in using donated costumes for dress-up or school plays.

Community centers with childcare, like the YMCA or religious organizations, might also be interested in accepting gently used costumes. You can even check with a local theater that might need costume outfits, props, or jewelry.

Donate to children's hospitals 

Hospitals may also accept donations. Kids receiving treatment at a children's hospital may be unable to trick-or-treat, so hospitals often bring Halloween to them.

To check if these places in your area accept costume donations, try calling or sending an email.

'Ween Dream

'Ween Dream is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that provides free Halloween costumes to children in the U.S. that could use a little help getting in the Halloween spirit. 

To donate, mail in or drop off your clean, gently-used costumes to this Louisiana-based organization before August. By next Halloween, other kids will be enjoying your costumes.

Halloween Helpers 

Halloween Helpers is another organization that accepts mail-in costume donations for kids across the country. Since 2008, this nonprofit has helped over 18,000 kids trick-or-treat in style through costume donations.

Donations and resale

If all else fails, you can donate Halloween costumes to your local thrift store or resell them on platforms like Poshmark, Mercari, eBay, and more. You might want to hold onto your costumes until next year's spooky season to make a sale.

Before donating, wash or dry clean your gently used costumes. Place them back in their original packaging or include the size, theme, and other details of the costume with your donation. 

Most costumes are made of inexpensive polyester, nylon, or acrylic, materials made from plastic that don't break down as simply as natural materials. Keeping your costumes out of landfills by donating them helps to keep these materials in circulation for more Halloweens to come. Plus, it doesn't pollute the planet with more plastic.

Better yet, when it comes time for your next Halloween costume, try thrifting, using clothes you own, or borrowing or renting costumes.

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