How to Shop for Sustainable Fashion on a Budget
Even though fast fashion has made fashion cheaper, speedier, and more accessible in retail stores and online, it has also become one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Since the nature of the fast fashion industry is to manufacture new designs as quickly as they can to meet current trends, it has encouraged people to adopt a throwaway culture that has increased the amount of textile waste that ends up in landfills.
According to Earth.org, fast fashion waste is expected to soar up to 134 million tons a year by 2030, and if no action is taken soon, the apparel industry’s global emissions will also increase by 50% by that time. This is a major cause for concern because if we’re unable to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion, the effects of global warming will only get worse.
That’s why a lot of eco-conscious individuals are encouraging others to shop at eco-friendly clothing brands. These businesses are focused on creating sustainable fashion items to mitigate the issues brought about by fast fashion. They make sure that all the clothes, shoes, and accessories they sell are manufactured in the most sustainable and ethical ways possible. They also tend to offer higher quality selections compared to fast fashion items. As a result, sustainable clothing lasts longer while promoting a quality over quantity consumption behavior.
However, one reason why a lot of people are hesitant to buy sustainable clothes is the price. It’s no secret that sustainable fashion is expensive. After all, ethically sourcing materials and ensuring fair wages for workers drives up production costs. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to shop for sustainable fashion on a budget. Here are six ways:
Invest in High-Quality Basics
Whether you’re looking for sheer tights or a white button-down shirt, make sure that you’re purchasing pieces that are made to last. Higher-quality garments can handle the demands of daily use, and since they’re less likely to get damaged quickly, you’ll have very little reason to buy something new. When selecting the type of high-quality clothes to invest in, basic wardrobe items are your best options. This is because items such as white t-shirts, denim jeans, and tights are versatile, and you can get the most out of them when they’re of high quality.
Shop From Secondhand Stores
Opting for pre-loved clothing is a powerful way to extend the life cycle of garments and contribute to the reduction of textile waste. When you buy secondhand clothes, you’re essentially recycling and repurposing garments by minimizing the demand for new production. This significantly reduces the environmental footprint associated with the fashion industry, including the consumption of resources, energy, and the generation of textile waste.
Additionally, secondhand clothing stores often offer a wide range of garments at more affordable prices compared to buying brand-new sustainable fashion items. This allows you to embrace eco-friendly practices without putting a strain on your budget, making sustainability accessible to a broader audience.
Participate in Clothes Swap Events
Engaging in clothes swap events is not only a fun social activity, but it’s also an effective strategy for incorporating sustainable fashion into your wardrobe without breaking the bank. This is because clothes swap events allow you to revamp your wardrobe at zero cost. By exchanging garments you no longer wear with pieces from others, you can enjoy the thrill of new additions to your closet without spending a dime.
Moreover, clothes swapping contributes to the reduction of clothing waste by giving pre-loved items a new lease on life. Instead of discarding clothes, you’re participating in a circular fashion economy, where garments are continuously reused and shared among participants.
Consider Having Things Made to Order
When aiming for sustainable fashion on a budget, the option of having clothing items made to order offers a personalized and eco-conscious alternative. Made-to-order clothing is crafted specifically for the individual, eliminating the need for mass production and excess inventory. This approach aligns with sustainable principles by reducing the environmental impact associated with overproduction, including the use of resources and the generation of waste.
In addition, investing in made-to-order pieces also often means prioritizing quality over quantity. While the initial cost might be higher than fast fashion alternatives, the durability and longevity of the items make them a cost-effective choice in the long run. You’ll end up with a curated wardrobe of high-quality, timeless pieces that reflect your style and personality.
Think Cost Per Wear
Adopting a “cost per wear” mindset when shopping for sustainable fashion is a practical strategy that aligns your purchases with both financial prudence and sustainability. It encourages you to assess the value of an item based on how frequently you’ll wear it and how it can seamlessly integrate into your existing wardrobe. This way, you’re improving your wardrobe’s synergy and make it easier for you to pick pieces that can be effortlessly mixed and matched to create multiple outfits.
Switching to sustainable fashion is an excellent way to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion, but since eco-friendly clothing is often expensive, it isn’t easily accessible to everyone. Fortunately, with the help of these tips, you’ll be able to invest in high-quality sustainably made garments without having to shell out a fortune.