If you’re interested in saving money whilst reducing your carbon footprint, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get started on your sustainable fashion journey.
With the clothing industry being dominated by fast fashion, shopping sustainably can often seem expensive and overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are our 10 top tips to help you build a more affordable and conscious wardrobe.
Buy and sell second-hand clothes
Buying clothes second-hand is one of the most affordable and environmentally friendly ways you can add to your wardrobe. By visiting thrift stores, vintage stores and charity shops, you can find unique and versatile pieces with low-price tags. If you struggle to find the right sizing, it’s worth considering altering pieces to suit you. Shopping online can also help you save money and bag quality second-hand items. Try eBay, Vinted and Facebook Marketplace to grab some bargains. If you’re looking to make a little extra cash or sell items to afford your new purchases, these platforms are great for selling clothes you no longer wear.
Shop during the off-season
If you are keen to purchase something from a sustainable clothing brand, try and avoid doing this at the start of each season and buy items during the off-season instead. For example, by purchasing items like jumpers, coats and jackets in the spring and affordable tops, shorts, skirts and swimsuits in autumn, you can save money on garments that are less in demand and purchase ‘must go’ pieces during end of season sales.
Organise a swap party
Swap parties are a great way to add new pieces to your wardrobe without having to spend a penny. You can organise your own clothing swap party amongst friends and family, or you can join Facebook groups to find clothes swaps happening in your local community. These can be particularly useful for people who are looking to swap items like baby clothes as their children grow out of them.
Renting clothes has become a popular new phenomenon for conscious fashion shoppers. If you have a special occasion coming up, instead of splashing out and buying an expensive item at full price that you’ll likely only wear once, you can simply rent something for less money. This can be especially useful during pregnancy and is another way to help save wardrobe space and reduce your carbon footprint.
Find the best deals online
Taking time to search for affordable sustainable brands and discounts online can make all the difference for conscious consumers. By following ethical clothing brands on social media and subscribing to their newsletters you can make sure to not miss out on the latest deals and offers. You can join The Vegan Society as a member to receive over 100 discounts including clothing and footwear brands. Flash sale sites are also great for increasing sustainable brand accessibility as they promote limited-time sales, allowing you to buy clothing at a discounted price from ethical brands.
Reuse, repurpose and upcycle old clothes
Instead of throwing out your old clothes, get crafty and find ways to revamp them. There are plenty of blogs and tutorials out there to help you find ways to do this – including how to turn a baggy t-shirt into a dress or an old jumper into a reusable shopping bag.
Repair and mend to increase the longevity of your clothes
Have a hole in your favourite jumper or lost a button on your best jacket? Before you consider splashing out on a replacement, it might be more economically beneficial to have the product repaired. This costs much less than purchasing a brand-new item. Or, if you can, why not try following a free YouTube video to help you repair it yourself? Many are beginner friendly and made for those who are less confident with a needle.
Make the most of what you have
Doing a yearly or seasonal analysis of your wardrobe can be helpful to make sure you find out what you have versus what you need. One way to simplify this process is by putting away half of your clothes depending on the season and then swapping them back out once you need them again – it's like gifting yourself a brand-new and sustainable wardrobe!
Think twice before you buy
Part of sustainable living involves trying to commit to buying less overall. So instead of purchasing pieces that you may only wear for a short period of time, avoid these trends by getting to know your own personal style. When shopping, consider only buying staple clothing pieces that suit your style, such as a pair of everyday boots or a neutral jumper that can be worn with multiple outfits. Before buying certain items, ask yourself if you already have an item like it in your wardrobe, or if it’s well-constructed enough to last, as this will help curb impulse buys.
We hope these tips help encourage you to join the sustainable fashion movement and build a more conscious closet without breaking the bank. For more tips and resources on how to live an affordable vegan lifestyle, visit our Live Vegan for Less campaign page and follow the hashtag #LiveVeganForLess on socials.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.