Around October we learned that Americans spend more than $3.3 billion annually on Halloween. This amount factors in candy and Trick-O-Treat bags, as well as costumes. It was only until recently that we noticed the significant environmental impact this holiday has on the planet. 7 million Halloween costumes are thrown away each year, many of which were only used once or twice before they were sent to landfills. This is the equivalent of throwing away 83 million plastic bottles. Due to this, we created Pumpkins—a platform to combat the plastic and textile waste that comes out of this event.
What it does
Pumpkins is an e-commerce style, multiplatform mobile app that allows people to buy, rent and give away their old Halloween costumes. Users on iOS or Android can create an account, create a profile, browse new arrivals, contact vendors over free costume pick up, rent costumes, buy used costumes, and learn more about our mission.
How we built it
We created a shared codebase that holds code that runs for both iOS and Android devices. Most of the program was programmed on VSCode in Dart with the Flutter framework with minor parts of it in XML. A Flutter API for Google Fonts was also used for aesthetics.
Challenges we ran into
Making sure that programming the app so that it could be run on both iOS and Android was a bit of a challenge, especially when Gradle would push out a bunch of errors despite the iOS and Flutter components being completely fine. As we are rather new to Dart and Flutter, navigating through the documentation for both was a bit difficult as we have more experience in Java (Lani) and Swift (Leah) respectively. However, it was quite fun to figure out in the end, and we know more able mobile app development than we did before.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Getting the Card carousel on the home page was much more of a struggle than we thought but in the end, we got it to stop/start on touch and create an animation for it that would run when there is no interference. Creating a login system was also something we thought was significant as neither of us had created applications that were meant for more than one user before.
What we learned
How to utilize Flutter and Dart APIs, cross-platform development, mobile app development, and UI design.
What's next for Pumpkins
Instead of creating a list of cards that show which costumes are ready for pickup through contacting the vendor, we were thinking of replacing that system with a Google Maps API that allows you to find those vendors closest to you as well as a contact form instead of an email since it would provide both the customer and the vendor more privacy in a transaction with one another.