Being a conscious fashionista in a world of fast fashion is a scary thing. With so many temptations to shop the latest trend for ridiculously low prices, it is easy to get derailed from your values. While sustainable fashion might be known for being expensive, it is still possible to shop ethically without breaking your wallet.
Here is a simple guide for how to get started:
1. Shop vintage or second-hand.
With fashion styles coming and going so quickly, never underestimate what you can find in a vintage/secondhand store. These are full of trendy items from barely worn or brand new, to older items that are making a fierce comeback. If you don’t have a lot of vintage shops near you Etsy.com is an online goldmine for sweet one-of-a-kind vintage finds. Check out awesome Etsy shops like Wear It Well Vintage, Paint Your Wagon or Echo Club House to get started.
2. Shop locally.
By supporting small business owners and designers, you will find unique pieces and create relationships within your community. This will allow you to look closer at how the industry works while helping small businesses survive. Another option to shopping local is to check the labels inside garments and make sure it says “Made in the USA,” this way you are not contributing to the horrible consequences fast fashion generates socially. A great way to contribute to the artistic community and find unique affordable items is to visit local fairs or even your local farmers market.
3. Buy quality vs. quantity.
Instead of buying five fast fashion pieces that won’t last very long, save up for that classic, well-made garment you know you’ll wear for years to come. The satisfaction from this purchase will last much longer and won’t come with any regrets. In many cases, you CAN afford sustainable fashion, but you just choose to go for the cheaper versions and buy quantity, instead of quality. Here are a few trendy, yet classic pieces you will want to splurge on immediately (and skip those crowded mall lines): this black top, these black pants, this white shirt and these navy culottes.
Sign up on the newsletters of your favorite ethical brands and you will always be the first to find out about special deals and end of season sales, making it easier to splurge on a little sustainable fashion. For example, once you sign up for Amour Vert you will have 15% off your first purchase and you will find out every time they have a new sale. While signing up, check out these cute items (HERE and HERE) that they have on sale right now for less than $50.
There are hundreds of great businesses trying to do good in the world and so many ways you can be a part of their missions. Although these businesses may not be as easy to seek out as bigger companies, they are out there and with a little help from you (yes, you!) we can help promote and expand the sustainable fashion community!
Remember, every baby step you take towards a more sustainable lifestyle is huge, nothing happens overnight. All it takes to get going is a commitment and that first step! Ready to become a conscious shopper?
Do you specifically budget for sustainable fashion? What works for you?
Images via Monica Outcalt