How To Shop Sustainable Fashion on a Budget

Shopping from ethical fashion brands can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to shop sustainable fashion on a budget.

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There are many big fashion brands that are responsible for exploitation and unethical practices. On top of that, they use unsustainable materials like polyester in most of their clothing range, which does not biodegrade.

Many fast fashion brands encourage shoppers to make more purchases by enticing them in with new trends and big sales. However, many of these clothing items end up in landfill within a year or two, simply because they’ve worn away or they’re no longer desirable. In fact, statistics show that a shocking 64% of clothing that’s produced every year for the fashion industry will end up in landfill.

So, what can you do prevent that from happening? Invest in high-quality, sustainable clothing pieces that will last you for many years to come. Here’s how you can do it and save money.

Sustainable Fashion on a Budget

Shop The Sales

Sustainable fashion brands don’t offer as many sales and huge savings like fast fashion brands do. Some sustainable brands can’t afford to offer any sales or discounts, simply because their prices reflect the quality of the materials and the fair wages. However, many sustainable fashion brands still have end-of-the-line clothing and discounted items at different times throughout the year. There won’t be super low prices or a wide range of items like you get with fast fashion, but you might still find something you like!

One of my favourites sustainable fashion brands is People Tree. They often have a range of discounted items in their outlet section; most of which are affordable. It proves that sustainable fashion can be affordable, you just have to know where to look and when to look.

Sign Up to The Newsletter

Most brands have a newsletter which they use to send you updates on new products and promotions. Some of them will even offer you a discount (usually 10% off) if you sign up and make a purchase. While this offer is usually only valid on your first order, it can still save you some money, so it’s worth signing up.

Also, many brands will let you know through their newsletter about any offers and promotions throughout the year, so you’ll be one of the first to know. This is really helpful because you don’t have to check on your favourite brands every week to look for new offers. Saves you time and money, win, win!

Enter Giveaways

Every so often, a brand hosts a giveaway. They might do this through social media (Instagram and Facebook mostly), or they might do it through their website, newsletter or as a collaboration with an influencer. Make sure you’re signed up to your favourite sustainable brands newsletters to hear about any giveaways first. It’s a good idea to follow them on all social media platforms, as well.

Giveaways can happen at any time in the year, but you might notice them more around certain holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Even though it might feel like your chances of winning are highly unlikely, isn’t it still worth entering? You never know if you might win, and it will save you a lot of money, too!

Shop Second Hand

The cheapest way to shop sustainable fashion on a budget is to shop second hand. I love to look in my local charity shops, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for or you prefer to look online, eBay, Vinted, Depop and Oxfam’s online shop * are great options.

My top thrifting tip to save money is to write a list of what you need before you shop and stick to it. Trust me, it’s easy to spend more money than intended, especially when you’re shopping online and there’s so many choices. But everything adds up! And the last thing you want is to end up with a wardrobe full of clothes that you only wear a handful of times.

Think about what’s in your wardrobe and what other colours and patterns you already have. If there’s an item of clothing that doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe, then it might not be worth buying. If you have too many patterns, they can easily clash; having a mix of neutrals and patterns is ideal.

Clothes Swap

Clothing swaps aren’t exactly a new thing, but it’s worth mentioning because it costs nothing. The idea is that you ask friends, family members, neighbours and anyone you know if they have any clothes they no longer wear. Then you all bring a bag of clothes and see if there’s anything you would like to swap. It’s that simple! This is a great alternative to donating your clothes to charity shops because you know your clothes will definitely get worn.

Buy Versatile Clothing Items

If you want to save money and create more wardrobe space, opt for clothing items that are highly versatile. For instance, black or white trainers can often be worn all year round. Similarly, many dresses and skirts can be worn throughout autumn and winter if you pair them with thick tights, boots and a jacket or coat. And you can never go wrong with a few plain tops because they can be worn alone in the summer and layered up in the colder months.

As a rule, look for clothing items that can easily be dressed up or dressed down to suit all occasions. If you do this, you’ll get plenty of wear out of your clothing.

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter for free to receive your list of 50 sustainable swaps:

Hello! Welcome to Eco Cozza, a website all about living sustainably, slowly, and intentionally. I'm passionate about reducing waste, plastic and harmful chemicals in my everyday life.


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