When it comes to sustainable fashion, one preconception is that it’s all just £500 beige knitwear with matching culottes and £30 socks made from organic water and free range grass. Okay, a bit of an exaggeration there, but I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.
I recently read an article discussing how the products available from every environmentally-focused clothing brand look exactly the same (see: above). Whilst I am a huge fan of neutral tones, minimalism, and the currently cliché slow fashion style, I think it’s important that we don’t forget this doesn’t have to cost the earth (see what I did there?). There are so many wonderful places to buy from when building and adding-to your wardrobe with the environment in mind that don’t have your bank account serving void-realness.
Let’s start by looking at where to find conscious clothing on a budget.
Second Hand Stores
It’s been said time an time again that, at the end of the day, the most environmentally-friendly route to refreshing your wardrobe is to via second-hand stores. Whether it’s charity shopping, thrift shopping or vintage shopping, you will need to be in the right mindset to tackle this method, but sifting through the crap will be worth it when you find an absolute gem for a tenner – I promise!
On the High St
With the rising pressure from the public to sort themselves out, there are a select few high street stores that have gotten their sh*t together and are making a real effort to cut out any negative impact that their products (before or after purchase) can have on the environment. Here are some of my favourites!
Their denim is wonderful.
Perfect for capsule wardrobe-style basics.
Think exceptional quality outerwear for less than £100. Ideal, right?
Tshirts so soft you’ll never want to take them off.
If you’re based outside the city or simply prefer shopping without the cramped changing rooms/hundred-person queues, head to the websites of the aforementioned brands and check out these apps:
Both have the same premise – buying second-hand from people like you anywhere in the world. Love it.
Now onto the second part: how to find conscious clothing on a budget. This is a bit more about how to figure out whether a brand really is ethically-focused and eco-conscious.
If you find the idea of no longer shopping at your go-to stores to be, quite frankly, a bit stress-inducing, do not fear – there are ways around it! If you’ve fallen for a couple brands that you just keep going back to but you have absolutely no idea what their environmental ethics are, you could:
– check their ratings on the Good On You app – a free app that spills all the tea when it comes to clothing brands.
– check if there’s a section on the website dedicated to their ethics/environmental thoughts and impact – if they don’t have one, it’s likely they’re hiding it for a reason
– email them and ask!
Where are your favourite places to pick up sustainable style pieces? I’d love to check them out!