How to Shop Ethically on a Budget

how to shop ethically on a budgetToday marks the start of Fashion Revolution Week, and in the spirit of this week, I wanted to share some tips on one of my favorite things: ethical shopping, and in particular budget ethical shopping. When I first made the switch to ethical fashion, I was concerned about finding pieces I loved in my price point, and while there are a lot of good reasons to invest in more expensive pieces, sometimes you simply can’t make those expenditures. I’m young, and working on saving rather than spending a lot of money on costly clothing, and as much as I love style, I’ve found methods of expressing it and shopping ethically without breaking the bank.

Here are my top 5 tips for shopping ethically on a budget

1. Buy your basics from ethical companies.

Pieces like t-shirts can often be found from ethical companies for very reasonable prices. Sure they are more expensive than fast fashion companies, but they also last a heck of a lot longer. These are small investment pieces that can help ease you into the world of slow fashion. Some of my favorite tees come from Everlane and have ranged from $15-$25. See my post on affordable basics here.

2. Thrift, thrift, thrift.

My friend, if you don’t thrift, and you’re on a budget, it’s the best. If you thought $15 for a skirt at Forever21 was a good price, just wait until you get to the $4 skirts section at your local Goodwill. Thrifting is awesome for a lot of reasons, but some of my favorites include the unique pieces you can find, the way it reduces textile waste, and of course, the prices. Can’t get past the ick factor? It took me a while too, but I think we tend to assume that the clothes we buy new have been completely void of human contact. People have made them, shipped them, and yes, even tried them on before we bring them into our homes. Many items in the thrift store haven’t even been worn, and I always wash them as soon as I get home.

3. Shop the sales!

Yes, even ethical fashionistas can shop sales! Shops like Nordstrom and Anthropologie stock many ethically made brands, and often run great sales on top of sales. I love to check out the Anthropologie sale section when it’s on an extra 40% off, and I recently scored a great top from t.LA! Other exclusively ethical companies such as People Tree have wonderful seasonal sale sections. Anthropologie is currently running an extra 25% off of sale items.

4. Find it in vintage.

It’s true: fashion is cyclic, and what is on the runways today was likely on them 30 years ago in some way, shape, or from. A great example of this is the Victorian blouse trend of the past few years. You can easily find similar styles on Etsy from the 1970s for very reasonable prices. I also recently found a near exact vintage match for a $205 Reformation handbag for a mere $20!

5. Shop second hand online.

Recent years have seen the advent of the online thrift store, and this is great news for conscious gals on a budget. I love the ability to search by style specifics in a way that I can’t in an in person thrift shop. My personal favorites are ThredUp and Poshmark. ThredUp has an amazing selection of styles and sizes as well as shoes, handbags, and other accessories. Poshmark is my favorite place to search for a specific style such as a camel colored trench vest. These options are often a bit more pricey than local thrift shops, but they are definitely cheaper than retail, and have so many wonderful pieces available.


Do you have any favorite ways to shop ethically but affordably?
I’d love to hear!

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