A Guide to Eco-friendly Shopping on a Budget

shopping for clothes

The fashion industry produces up to 100 billion pieces of garments each year. This is because of the growth of fast fashion. It’s where fashion houses make clothes from low-quality materials that harm the environment. One of such materials is cotton, which is a crop that consumes a high amount of water.

This is why some fashion designers are integrating sustainable practices in their operations. They are using eco-friendly materials. They also make high-quality clothes so that they could lower the turnover rate of their customers’ wardrobe.

But the thing about sustainable fashion is that it can be quite expensive. They’re often handmade from materials that are good for the environment but are a bit expensive.

As someone who wants to be fashionable, sustainable and thrifty, here are some things you can do. With these fashion solutions, you’ll only need to make more closet space for your new clothes. You’ll also need to order hangers made of wood online (wood because it’s always better than plastic, of course).

eco friendly

Buy Secondhand Clothing

A lot of people are against thrift shopping. For one, they feel that it’s unsanitary. It’s understandable. The clothes there have been used by a complete stranger. It also takes much more effort because when you enter a thrift store, you’re not always sure that you’ll find something that you’d like.

But the advantages may outweigh the disadvantages. For one, thrift shopping reduces a lot of waste. The best thing about thrift shopping is that you might chance upon high-quality products at very affordable prices. It can be rare but it’s possible to find clothes, shoes and bags made by the likes of Prada and Chanel.

Join Clothing Swap Events

Clothing swap is pretty straightforward: you find someone to exchange clothes with. It’s similar with thrift shopping in that you’re getting secondhand clothes. But the difference here is that you get to meet the person you’re getting these clothes from. It may be a friend or a stranger. But you’ll get to talk to them and ask about the clothes.

Many people and organisations host clothing swap parties. It’s so that people can have more choices to choose from. It’s also very cost-effective—you might not even shell out money at all! And it very much helps the environment because you’re not buying newly-produced clothes at all.

Rent or Borrow Clothes

Sometimes, people hesitate in buying new clothes because you’ll only wear them once for an occasion. Say you got invited to a purple-themed wedding. What if you’re not a big fan of the colour so you’ll probably never wear again the clothing you’ll buy for that event?

Instead of spending money on something that’s not worthwhile for you, you can just rent or borrow. The best thing about renting clothes is that you won’t be making any waste. In the United States, a person disposes of textiles on an average of 60 to 80 pounds per year. Think of all the clothes you’ll save from going into the landfills if you just rent some of them.

Create Your Own Clothes

What’s difficult about thrift shopping, clothes swapping and renting is that you might not always find what you’re looking for. You can scour the racks all day long. But it’s definitely possible that you won’t end buying or renting anything at all.

So what is the best solution to that? Create your own clothes. Personalise them to your whim. Make the hem shorter. Add more lace detail. Remove some buttons. The possibilities are endless. After all of the effort, you’ll end up with clothing that feels as good as new.

Buy Clothes from Local Shops

If you absolutely need to buy brand new clothing, consider checking out the local shops first. The clothing there may not be as cost-effective as thrift shopping or clothes swapping. But it’s usually handmade and is made from locally sourced materials.

This means that their carbon footprint is less than major fashion stores. Local shops aren’t dealing with too much packaging and shipping. They also aren’t made in massive factories with machines that release a high amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

What’s also good about shopping in local stores is that you’re helping these small businesses in your area. It’s your way of helping them make a living and even become a success.

Sustainable fashion has been on the rise in the last couple of years. This is fuelled by our growing worry over the environment’s fight against climate change. You can do your part by shopping sustainably. It’s also a major plus that they don’t break the bank while you’re shopping.

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