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How To: A Sustainable Wardrobe On A Budget

How To: A Sustainable Wardrobe On A Budget

Wanting to turn your wardrobe into a sustainable one can be quite challenging. Fair and sustainable fashion is no longer seen as ‘boring’, actually there are really cool sustainable items on the market these days! But even though the market of sustainable fashion is rapidly expanding, it might be difficult to find your path towards a sustainable wardrobe. Especially if you’ve just become familiar with the sustainable fashion scene, you might feel a bit lost and unsure about where to start. Here are some great insider tips:

1. Know your values

First of all, ask yourself which values you find important. The way your sustainable wardrobe will develop depends on the values you want your wardrobe to measure up to. That can go from vegan items to eco-friendly produced items or fair trade items. You can even decide to buy from a store that’s women-owned. The choice is yours!

2. Take a good look at your favorite stores and brands

Now that you have decided what values your new clothing has to meet, you can start your research on where you can find these pieces. There is no doubt that you already have your favorite stores and brands, but do they contribute to the values you want to pursue? You can research your favorite brands to find out whether they do. Most likely, if a brand or store doesn’t explicitly mentions that their products are eco-friendly/ vegan/ fair, they’re not.

Be careful, some stores these days are trying to make their business look eco-friendly (while they are not) by the use of their marketing or by offering a selection of eco-friendly/ recycled items. For example, the conscious collection from H&M is called greenwashing. Everything you spend determines the kind of world that we’re manifesting, so choose wisely!

3. Determine your budget

There are really cool sustainable brands nowadays. Some of them come with quite a price tag, but others are very affordable. Logically where and which clothes you’ll be buying depends on your budget. Maybe you are blessed with a huge wallet and you can easily invest in all kinds of sustainable brands. Don’t worry, a sustainable wardrobe is possible on a tight budget as well. It just requires some research to find out where and when it’s best for you to buy your clothes.

4. Which brands to buy

The market offer of sustainable fashion can be quite overwhelming for you to find out. Especially finding out which brands and stores meet your values can take up quite some time. We’re currently working on a #FFM brand list, so subscribe to our newsletter below if you want to be the first to know the launch date.

5. Shop second hand

Shopping second-hand is one of the best things you can do for the environment! We tend to throw away clothes as soon as they have become unfashionable or they don’t fit us anymore, while clothes can actually last quite a long time if we take good care.

The production of clothing requires usage of chemicals, for instance for the dyeing process. These chemicals pose a threat to the water, the air, and the earth but also the people working with those chemicals. By buying clothes second-hand, we can reduce our impact on the planet.

So the next time you want to throw your clothes away, you might as well donate them to a thrift shop or maybe organize a clothing swap with your friends.

6. Save, save, save

By now it should be clear that a sustainable wardrobe doesn’t necessarily cost you a lot of money. But it can always come in handy if you’ve saved for special opportunities. For example, you might come across something from a more pricy brand, and you’ll be happy that you’ve saved some money.

7. Which fabrics to buy

With a tight budget, you might not always be able to find a sustainable version of an item you are looking for. Some fabrics are more eco-friendly than others, this knowledge could come in handy during your shopping sprees. If you find yourself shopping in a ‘normal’ store, you can always keep in mind that certain fabrics are a better option if it comes to the impact on the planet. We’re also working on a fabric guide but in the meantime, you know what to do: subscribe below and you’ll receive the first edition right in your inbox.

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8. Shop out of season/during sales

Luckily even the sustainable brands and stores have sales as well! It requires some research to know when your favorites have sales, but once you know – you can treat yourself to some sustainable items for a lower price.

9. Sustainable shopping behavior

So yes, you can still shop if you want your wardrobe to be sustainable! But the way you shop will be different from the ‘fast fashion’ trend. The clothes you buy add up to what you already have, so you can wear what you have even more. It comes down to timeless pieces that contribute to your personal style rather than buying something because you’re in the mood for it. A tool that can help you decide whether an item will be a sustainable purchase is the 30-wear rule. Ask yourself before you buy anything new: “Do I see myself wearing this item at least 30 times?”

Written by Judith.



View Comment (1)
  • Good article!
    One advice that helps me setting up a gorgeous wardrobe is: what is never in fashion, will never be out of fashion!
    So I buy mainly carefully searched and picked special items that make me feel good and I don’t care much about trends.
    In my opinion, supporting people- and environmental friendly brands and businesses means also we should be willing to pay a reasonable price – not the one that we might be used through fast fashion. So your advice No 6. is very helpful here!

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