How to shop sustainable fashion on a budget
Just like fast food is bad for our personal health, fast fashion is bad for the health of our environment. And in turn this will also affect our own health as we continue to use up valuable finite resources and pollute our water, sea and food through mass production of clothing we don’t need, transport of this clothing and discarding of fast fashion items we’ve barely worn.
It’s a terrible state we’ve got ourselves into and the trend for consumerism needs to end.
We need to put a value on the longevity of items and choose those made with renewable materials in an eco-friendly way.
The world is changing and we consumers are waking up to the damage we have been doing to our planet.
However, shopping ethically and sustainably for fashion can, at first, seem very expensive. And it can be if you choose designer clothing or premium brands, but there are also lots of ways to shop sustainably on a budget which I will explore in this blog post.
How do you avoid fast fashion on a budget?
For many people choosing fast fashion is a necessity and not a choice. Being on a low income means cheap clothing might seem like the only option from fast fashion High Street stores, but there are better ways to shop for fashion even if you can’t afford to pay more. So how can you shop fashion trends on a budget and be more environmentally friendly at the same time?
The best way to stop the mass production of needless new garments is to stop buying new. Not only does this stop the manufacturing of new clothes that pollutes the environment, but you’ll also stop lining the pockets of the CEOs of the fast fashion chains!
Instead, you can choose to buy off people just like you who are selling clothes on eBay or perhaps Facebook Marketplace.
You can also shop in your local charity shops which is a double win. You’ll give pre-loved clothes a second chance and you get to donate to a charity at the same time.
Choosing pre-loved is the only way to shop vintage fashion too. From gorgeous 1930s accessories to retro 1960s dresses, vintage clothing always holds a special place in our hearts! 1990s fashion is even becoming popular again!
Choose longevity and sustainable brands
Many brands are now choosing more environmentally friendly ways to create their clothing. The shift to green clothing has begun and it will only continue which is great news for the planet.
Choosing to pay a little more upfront for more quality brands, rather than cheap fast fashion, can pay off in the long run. Sure, you’ll pay more upfront than you’re used to, but the clothes will actually last longer and might be made more ethically.
You can check out a brands website to see their ethical and sustainable credentials before you shop. Brands like Obviously Underwear use an environmentally friendly blend of renewable materials in their underwear. Numerous High Street shops are now selling organic cotton ranges and even using recycled materials to create new clothing lines.
It is also important that we can educate ourselves as consumers; whether it's understanding the care instructions so you can extend the life of what you bought, or listening to podcasts that discuss sustainable fashion.
Podcasts are an easy way to learn about sustainable fashion without having to read about it. The host will hold conversations with industry experts and influencers, which makes for a more personable experience.
It’s also time we started to think about our clothing choices more mindfully. Do we really need another pair of jeans or are the four we already have enough?
The more we continue to buy, the more will be produced.
Most of us probably have more than enough clothing to last several years without needing to regularly add to our collection!
Stop buying clothing if you already have enough. Wear your current clothes until they can no longer be worn again. Only choose to replace items when needed, instead of buying new things for the sake of it.
It’s time we all changed our fashion shopping habits and realised we actually have more than enough already.
And, just because a fashion store is cheap, like Primark, H&M or LOTD, it doesn't mean you have to just wear things once and throw them out! Think carefully about what you're buying, whether you'll wear it time and time again, whether the materials and stitching look like they'll last. I've had clothes from all of these places that have lasted for years, sometimes a decade, so just choose wisely.
Pick outfits you can wear more than once. Going to the races and want a new dress? Buy one that you can also wear to your friend's wedding, on a night out, for prom, for a fancy meal and get the most out of it. Stop buying for one event only.
More fashion + clothing blog posts
How to get rid of clothes without sending to landfill
How to shop more ethically and sustainably for clothing
Save time, space and money with a capsule wardrobe
Keep your clothing costs down with subtle fashion
Why shopping sustainably for fashion will save money
Tips for saving money when buying kids clothes
Shop all your favourite fashion sales in one place with Love the Sales