Sustainable fashion can often seem like a pricey, inconvenient option and the preserve of the select few who can afford to spend hundreds of pounds on a single item. But we’re here today to give you five great ways you can make your wardrobe more sustainable on a budget. And who knows, these methods and mindsets might even save you money!
Make the items you already own last longer by looking after them!
The best way to make your clothes more sustainable is to use them for longer. Extending the life of clothes by just 9 months of active use would reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30% each (WRAP, 2015).
The best way to do this is to look after your clothes well. But making some simple, low-cost changes (such as washing at lower temperatures and avoiding a tumble drier), you can significantly extend the usable life of your clothing.
Check out our blog post on 6 easy ways to repair and revive your clothing to help you extend the lifespan of your clothes even more. And if your sewing skills really aren’t up to it, you may be able to find a tailor near you who can make small adjustments to your clothes (great for repair and also to get that perfect fit!)
Every piece of second-hand clothing you buy is one less brand-new item that you’ll need. Buying second-hand clothes is the perfect low-cost, sustainable option for your wardrobe – and you can use online platforms like Thrift+ and Depop to narrow your search and find some real gems at great prices.
Check out more top tips on buying second-hand clothes.
The 30-wears test
Livia Firth (the founder of EcoAge) began the #30Wears campaign to encourage people to only buy clothing they know they’ll wear and love. Here are some things to think about when you’re buying new clothing:
Every time you buy something, think to yourself – will you wear it 30 times? Can you see yourself loving it in a few years’ time? And is it of good enough quality to last that long?
Choose versatile items that can be styled with lots of things you already own, and that can suit multiple occasions.
Spend the bulk of your money on pieces that will see you through more than one season. Invest in evergreen items like coats, jackets, jeans, t-shirts and shoes, rather than a dress that you might only wear on special occasions.
Choose quality over quantity!
Try something new - rental fashion!Our attitude to music and other forms of entertainment has shifted firmly to a rental/subscriber model, and fashion is moving in that direction too! If you want to enjoy a diverse and exciting wardrobe that’s also sustainable, renting could be the perfect option. The platforms below provide access to a broad range of high-end clothing, available to rent at an affordable price:
HireStreet: a fashion rental platform committed to making style and sustainability accessible for all women. HireStreet gives access to premium brands at an affordable price, allowing its customers to experiment with style. Their community is built by women who are fashion, money and environmentally conscious and are focused on working towards a more sustainable future.
HURR Collective: HURR allows women to share their wardrobes securely and in seconds. You can get involved as a lender or a renter to share your wardrobe, experiment with style and help the planet by reducing fashion consumption.
Shopping sustainably doesn’t have to be expensive
We’ve put together a list of some affordable, sustainable brands we like, a great place to start if you’re after a sustainable piece at an affordable price.
Sanchos: An Exeter-based sustainable fashion retailer with a great online selection. Check out their transparent pricing range which allows you to pay at the price bracket you can afford. You can see where the money goes and choose to give varying levels of support to the business. They’re trying to make sustainable fashion accessible to all!
Rapanui: great for basics, they use sustainably made fabrics and everything is manufactured in an eco-friendly factory.
Have you been making your wardrobe more sustainable? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 👙