Target Boos Homemade Costumes

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Target recently came out with a new commercial that puts down homemade costumes in favor of store-bought ones. This makes sense, since the company sells costumes and we’re in a recession where a $19.99, 100% polyester Iron Man toddler costume may seem like a luxury. The commercial made me think of my own childhood Halloween costumes, which were all hand-made by my mother. Not only were they higher quality than the store-bought kind, they’ve lasted for generations. A Snow White costume she made for me (from real cotton and satin) lasted for more than 20 years and was handed around from family to family. In 1995, she made a matching baby-and-mama set of elephant costumes (see baby below) that still exist. I can only imagine that making a product that lasts for 20-some years, and is reused, may not be better for the environment as a whole, but may be better for landfills. I’m not sure what the carbon or water footprints of a homemade costume is versus the kind you’d buy at the store. I started looking into the carbon emissions for 3 yards of cotton versus 2 yards of polyester, but there are so many variables (shipping, manufacturing, etc) that I don’t think it’s really confirmable which is greener.

Of course, not every child has a parent who can, or has time to, cut a pattern, buy fabric, cut fabric, fit, and sew a costume. I definitely understand the appeal of just being able to buy one at Target and being done. Stores also have trend-based costumes, like Iron Man or Legally Blonde. I have to take issue with Target that homemade costumes are necessarily poor quality: mine won ‘best costume’ several years running. Thanks Mom!

 

 

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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