Sustainable fashion on a student budget

As concerns about the environment rise, you may be thinking about the various ways you can help live more eco-friendly. Asides from the most popular ways of cutting down on plastic use, choosing public transport or walking instead of a car – or even eating less meat – the way you choose to contribute to the fashion industry can be one of the best ways to change your habits to be more environmental.

Fast fashion clothing is usually made cheaply and designed to be disposable, encouraging frequent shopping habits, and so is the second biggest cause of environmental pollution in the world. Whilst sustainable fashion can seem expensive and overwhelming at first, it doesn’t have to be. Here are five ways to forget fast fashion and shop sustainably instead.

Get thrifty

Asides from only shopping when you are sure you need new clothes, one of the best ways to get involved in sustainable fashion is to primarily shop in charity shops or at vintage sales. These are easy ways to find second-hand clothes on the high street at a low price while helping a good cause too. If you don’t have the time to trawl charity shops for the best bargains, then online resellers like Depop or Vinted are great ways to search for exactly what you need, and often you can find big labels for small prices. Buying fast fashion labels second-hand can extend the life of that piece of clothing for a little longer.

Up-cycle and repair

Rather than going straight to throwing out clothes when they get torn, see what you can either repair or up-cycle. Basic sewing skills are easy to learn online if you are able to, and so any holes or tears can be patched up leaving your clothes ready to be worn again. Otherwise, if something is a little beyond repair, consider up-cycling it to repurpose unwanted clothes into new items. You can either wear these yourself or use clothing sites like the ones listed above to sell and give the item a new life.

Rent clothes for events

A new popular phenomenon, renting clothes is another way you can be more sustainable. Most commonly this is done for higher-priced items that may only be needed for a one-off event, such as a wedding or maybe even your society ball or graduation. Simply rent the outfit of your dreams and then return it when the party’s over. Popular sites to do this include By Rotation and HURR, and Hirestreet.

Consider the materials

A lot of fast fashion is made cheaply and not with the best materials. Instead, choose more durable and high-quality pieces that fit your lifestyle perfectly and last longer. Such things you could look for are natural and organic materials like linen, hemp, jute, regenerated nylon, or recycled cotton. Pineapple can even be used as an alternative to leather! Good brands will be transparent about what they use so be sure to look out for that information.

Swap don’t shop

Clothing swaps are a great way to get new clothes while clearing your wardrobe of the ones you no longer wear. You can get a group of friends over and trade between you, or often Universities or local groups hold events that you can go to. Be sure to keep an eye out for any happening soon – they are often advertised on Facebook events.

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