A Practical Guide To Shopping Sustainably (On A Budget!)

Monday, April 8, 2019

In the past I've mentioned working towards shopping less fast fashion & starting to focus more on sustainability. Not only are sweatshops and horrid working conditions a factor, the environment is another biggie. 
Did you know that more than 15 MILLION tons of used clothing waste end up in landfills in the US each year?

Each time we give in to fast fashion, we're helping that number along. Not that we have to give it up completely, (y'all know I love a good f21 haul) but it should be a 'last resort' kinda thing in most cases, whereas up until now it's been a first choice for me. 

The biggest issue I've had with shopping sustainably is the budget. How could I be able to shop ethically while not breaking the bank and staying on track? I knew there HAD to be a way, and turns out, there's a couple of major ways! 

Let me show you: (Take a shot every time I say sustainable!)

Shop Off-Price 
If thrift & high end stores had a child, off price would be the result. My favorite pick of off price would have to be Nordstrom Rack, as I love regular Nordstrom & a lot of their brands align with my style. However, there's not only the Rack- there's Off 5th, Last Call, TJ Maxx... basically never ending choices of inventory. 

These stores are reliable because the clothes are coming right from the retailer (or in the case of TJ Maxx & Marshall's, they're sold from the retailer to that store) so you know you're getting quality pieces from (mostly) sustainable brands at a fraction of the cost. 

Research The Sustainability Of Stores In Your Budget
Two that come to mind are ASOS & H&M, although it's unclear if H&M still uses sweatshops. (many say yes) You can skip brands that will obviously be low- like the major fast fashion retailer I mentioned in the beginning of this post- but make sure you're researching others if you're concerned. I just found a website/ app called Good On You that tells you the ethical rating of all your favorite brands & stores, broken down by category. (environment, working conditions, etc) 

As far as retailers like Amazon, don't assume that one size fits all. Some brands aren't the most ethical (I recently passed up a brand opportunity for this reason) so make sure you're googling! 

Shop Thrift/ Secondhand 
As far as this one goes, it can be hit or miss, and you have to learn how to be okay with it. For example, on my last trip to a favorite secondhand shop, I must've tried on AT LEAST ten pieces, and I went up to the register with only two.

That's just the way it happens sometimes, but you gotta keep at it, because thrifting is actually one of the best ways to find high end, good quality pieces on a budget- plus it's sustainable since it's going to a second (or third!) home. If you have no idea where to start with thrifting & want me to put together a guide let me know! 

If you’re feeling a bit lost when it comes to shopping ethically while on a budget, I hope this guide has helped you! 


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