At some time or other most of us have battled with the choice of choosing organic versus the cost, but is money really at the heart of that decision and are there other ways to shop sustainably on a budget?
Brands who make ethical fashion usually charge a premium. High quality materials, non-toxic dyes and fabrics, and fair wages hike up the price. But rather than be backed into a corner having to accept clothes that may have been made on a production line in China, it might be possible to shift our perspective and meet both needs: budget and conscience.
We’ve rounded up 5 ways to approach sustainable shopping so you can look good on the outside while feeling good on the inside.
1) Follow sustainable fashion brands and influencers
This bit’s easy: begin your sustainable shopping journey by following ethical fashion brands and influencers on social media. The Good Trade post regular recommendations and ideas on how to mix up your wardrobe without breaking the bank and even have a blog on sustainable clothing that ships to the UK. Bookmark a few people who know where to look and follow their lead.
2) Buy pre-loved clothing
Sales of second hand clothes have risen by 22.5% in the UK in the past year and buying pre-loved threads is a way to help reduce the impact of fast fashion and consciously upcycle. You never know what sartorial treasures you'll unearth from the bursting-at-the-seams racks of a charity shop and you can try your luck at vintage boutiques, markets and car boot sales. Alternatively, check out the myriad online businesses who rent designer clothes and handbags at a fraction of the retail price.
3) Invest in high quality, classic pieces
There’s a very simple way to shop sustainably on a budget – buy less. Sure, we’re in a throwaway fashion culture but investing in durable and timeless pieces made from sustainable fabrics provides an opportunity to nail your style with clothes that last. One pair of ethically made shoes that you paid good money for will not only last longer but you’ll likely feel classier too.
4) Wait (or look) for discounts
Patience is a virtue that can pay off in the race to look good. A simple sustainable shopping hack is to only shop during off-season sales. Yes, that means buying your winter woollies in the middle of summer. Sign up to store newsletters and track your fave brands on social media so you're ready with your coins when ‘Tightass Tuesday’ gets announced.
5) Organise clothes swaps
If you know where to look you can find organised clothes swaps every week. Check out Swapaholics, Eventbrite and local Facebook groups, or organise one yourself! Clothes swapping events are deliciously fun and environmentally friendly not to mention an opportunity to have a vino and nibbles with friends.
Get more sustainable fashion tips in our guide to sustainable style.
Sunglasses are one of our most important fashion accessories and it's important to be conscious about your shades! If your sunglass lenses are scratched or damaged, Sunglass Fix is an environmentally sustainable business offering high quality affordable replacement lenses that get mailed to your home. Save money, stay fashion focused and reduce your environmental impact by replacing your sunglass lenses rather than chucking them in the bin. Too easy!