How To Shop Affordable Sustainable + Ethical Fashion On Any Budget
budget-friendly sustainable fashion
WHY ARE SUSTAINABLE BRANDS EXPENSIVE ANYWAY?
I love minimal fashion and accessory brands such as Eileen Fisher, Everlane, and Loq to name a few, but the chances of me spending $700 on this (gorgeous) Eileen Fisher Coat isn't happening. A few reasons why ethical fashion brands are expensive:
- Organic or natural fabric sourcing
- Fair wages pay for employees
- (Often times) domestic manufacturing and production in the U.S.
If you've read my other style posts then you would know I'm all about the Cost-Per-Wear formula and creating a simple budget for clothes. But is it even possible to shop sustainably and ethically while being financially conscious? YES!
WHERE TO SHOP FOR AFFORDABLE ETHICAL CLOTHING?
You can build your conscious wardrobe that's still affordable, while still staying on budget. Trust me, there are so many options for in store, online, vintage, and second-hand! These options allow you to shop from recycled clothes from fast-fashion brands without directly supporting them. You're also helping reduce waste, environmental pressures, and unethical labor practices in these routes:
1. TIGHT BUDGETS (IN-STORE) // Local Thrift Stores (i.e. Goodwill, Value Village, Savers, and Salvation Army) is a fun way to hunt for unique clothes that no one will have. You may not find exclusively ethical brands but you can definitely do your part in environmental responsibility by shopping and donating recycled fashion, from a variety of brands for $10 and under!
2. FLEXIBLE BUDGETS (IN-STORE + EARN MONEY) // Consignment Shops or Curated "Thrift Stores" (i.e. Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Co., and Wasteland) does the work for you of finding trendy, high-quality vintage items for you. These stores often carry brands
3. SET BUDGETS (ONLINE + EARN MONEY) // Online Sellers (i.e. ThredUP, Depop, Poshmark, and Etsy) is similar to "Consignment" shops but you can typically negotiate prices to get the best deal to fit your budget. I've shopped and sold on Poshmark but I've heard amazing things about Depop and ThredUp for purchasing expensive items for more than 40% off.
>>> SHOP THE LOOK <<<
WHERE TO SHOP NEW(ISH) + AFFORDABLE SUSTAINABLE BRANDS?
- Eileen Fisher created FISHER FOUND to rescues her brand's gently-used clothes by dying or mending each piece at an discounted price! So, you can get new(ish) Eileen fisher anywhere from $35+!!! I'm obsessed with this Organic Handkerchief Linen Blouse , Garment Dyed Organic Cotton Stretch Denim Pant, and Cotton Slub Stripe Jacket. If you're in Seattle or NY then check out their stores to snag them before their gone! If you own any Eileen Fisher pieces you can bring back any EILEEN FISHER clothes to an EILEEN FISHER or FISHER FOUND retail store, and they’ll give you a $5 credit for each piece. Your Rewards card is redeemable at any EILEEN FISHER or FISHER FOUND store, or at eileenfisher.com (not currently redeemable at fisherfound.com).
- SLOWRE, created by Grechen from Grechen's Closet, sells and consigns women's clothing, shoes & accessories by independent designers & brands that are primarily produce in the US, provide supply chain transparency, use vegan materials, source eco-friendly fabrics, and/or engage in other responsible business practices. Snag brands and designers such as Black Crane , Everlane, and Vince.
- Bead & Reel they specifically rescue ethical + vegan branded clothes. They are THE place for activism shopping and not to mention, their clothes are bomb. I love that they go up to a size XL (hopefully they will expand) and I'm eyeing the Fearless Jumpsuit in Navy. Read more about their incredible and inclusive mission statement here.