Good morning and happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend so far. I recently got quite a few requests for a post about how to shop ethically when you’re on a tight budget, so that’s what today’s post is all about!
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, perhaps a little bit of an exaggeration there, but i’m sure you know exactly what I mean! It’s so frustrating when you really want to create a conscious closet but every brand that isn’t damaging the planet is going to damage your bank account instead.
/ you might also want to read guilt + sustanability in fashion
But I’ve got some good news for you lovely people: being good to the planet doesn’t have to cost the earth ( see what i did there? ) .
shirt H&M conscious [ old ] / jeans weekday [ 100% organic cotton ] / bag mango [ faux leather ]
As it turns out, there’s a ton of wonderful places to buy from when building and refining your wardrobe with the environment in mind that won’t leave your bank account serving void-realness. You might even be shopping at some of them already without even realising that they’re doing their bit!
/ you might also want to let’s talk fast fashion
on the high st
Let’s start with a selection of brands that are just down the road for many people - the high street stores. With the rising pressure from the public to sort themselves out, there are a select few who have every so slightly gotten their sh*t together. They’re making a real effort to cut out any negative impact that their products can have on the environment ( before and after ) with the launch of conscious collections.
Here are some of my favourites!
This Swedish brands has been one of my favourite high street stores for years simply for their aesthetic, so when I started prioritising shopping mindfully, I was so excited to find out that 68% of their products are made from sustainable materials, and that percentage is certainly on the rise!
Monki is the sort of store that I recommend to everyone, because they’ve somehow found a way to create clothing that would literally fit anyone’s style with the right combination of their pieces. Their Cares collection is founded on what they call The Lazy Loop ( which I love! ) - the idea that we shouldn’t be creating clothing, but recreating it.
Part of the H&M mission for each of their products to be made from 100% organic materials by 2030. In the mean time they’re at 57%, and you can recognise their mindful pieces by the bright green label when in store.
Also worth noting: some stores ( including & Other Stories ) run recycling schemes: get 10% off in store each time you bring in your unwanted clothing, which they’ll recycle for you!
At the end of the day, the most environmentally-friendly route to refreshing your wardrobe is to shop at second-hand stores and making use of what already exists. Just as when you wanted a blog post about budget-friendly sustainable style I made one, if we continue shopping with high street stores they’ll only continue producing fast fashion, which means more clothing and more sh*t on our planet!
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!
There are quite a few gorgeous online vintage stores, either based on Instagram or on their own website:
Run by the gorgeous gals behind Studio 86, Sheng and Bao, this is the ultimate account if you’re looking for inspiration for new ways to style old pieces. Good luck trying not to pick something up!
A very minimalist-friendly selection of garments and a wonderful way to support an independent female/LGBTQ-owned store!
Fitting perfectly into the cliché Instagram aesthetic, if you love neutrals, you’ll adore Retold!
So thoughtfully curated in a way that offers a piece for you no matter your style!
/ you might also want to read a minimalist’s guide to thrifting
If you’re a fast fashion addict and you just can’t see yourself putting in the effort to only ever pick up sustainable pieces, buying second-hand on these apps is a brilliant way to shop from your favourite high street stores in a much more mindful way. Not only are you avoiding supporting the mass-production of unnecessary textiles, you’re probably helping to fund someone’s gap year to Australia or Thailand. Lovely stuff.
If you’re based outside the city or simply prefer shopping without the cramped changing rooms/hundred-person queues, it’s definitely worth checking out these apps:
Home to a range of sellers with brand new items from your favourite stores for bargain prices; they’ve usually forgotten to return the piece within the two week limit and just want rid of it.
[ oh, and feel free to check out the pieces I’m selling on depop here! ]
Depop’s older, less on-trend sister but equally great for second-hand ( and sometimes first-hand ) bargains!
A quick reminder - we as individuals can be as kind to the planet as possible in our day-to-day lives, please remember not to put too much pressure on yourself, because every little thing you do helps, and that the biggest damage being done is by huge, powerful companies - it’s not your fault that Aldi still sells bananas in plastic packaging ( seriously though, what is up with that? ) .