As a conscious consumer, you've most likely faced this dilemma: you want to make the ethical choice (say organic produce versus non-organic), but don't know if you can justify stretching your budget.
When it comes to buying new clothes, it's true that ethical fashion brands cost more (it's because they're using high quality materials, non-toxic dyes and fabrics, and paying fairer wages). The great news is you can be eco-conscious and reinvent your wardrobe without dramatically eating into your finances.
With these 5 tips on sustainable shopping, you'll look and feel good from the inside out.
1) Follow sustainable fashion brands and influencers
Who needs to spend time trying to work out the best way to get apparel you love at the best price possible when the information you want is likely to be out there already? To start your sustainable shopping journey, follow ethical fashion brands and influencers you admire. But be discerning. In return, you'll receive intriguing recommendations ranging from the best ethical fashion stores near you to tips on where you can rent a designer handbag for your next fancy event.
2) Buy pre-loved clothing
If you love fashion, you'll feel less guilty when you buy second-hand threads. It's an easy way to help balance the horrifying impact of fast fashion and our culture of buy and discard. You never know what sartorial treasures you'll unearth from the bursting-at-the-seams racks of an opportunity shop. You can also try your luck at pre-loved vintage clothing boutiques, local flea markets or garage sales. In turn, don't forget to donate your old clothes to charity or pass them on to friends when you're ready to let them go.
3) Invest in high quality, classic pieces
When you're exploring how to shop sustainably on a budget, one option you might not have considered is simply to buy less. The qualifier here, though, is to be smarter about the garments you do get. The priority here is 'quality over quantity'. By investing in durable, sustainable materials and timeless pieces, chances are you'll be able to – and want to – wear them for years. Also, if you know your buys will be keepers, you'll feel better about spending a bit more on items from sustainable clothing labels you admire.
4) Wait (or look) for discounts
There are many ways to buy clothing from your favourite ethical brands without paying top dollar for the privilege. If you're not fixed on instant gratification, this sustainable shopping recommendation will suit you just fine. Save money by waiting for off-season sales (so buying a winter woolie in the middle of summer, for instance). Or sign up to newsletters and track preferred brands on social media so you're aware of when they're holding sales or offering discounts.
5) Organise clothes swaps
Face-to-face clothes swapping events are deliciously fun and environmentally friendly. Catch up with friends, meet new people and best of all, share the colourful stories behind the garments you're parting with. Thanks to the sharing economy, you can update your wardrobe without spending a cent. The Clothing Exchange regular hosts clothes swapping events all around Australia. Check out their website to find an event near you.
Definitely less social but just as good for the planet, consider joining an online clothes swapping community, or get an easy-to-use app with the same purpose.
Get more sustainable fashion tips in our guide to sustainable style.
Sunglasses are one of our most important fashion accessories. That's why it's important to know you can be a conscious sunglass consumer! Are your sunglass lenses scratched or damaged? Sunglass Fix is an environmentally sustainable business offering high quality affordable replacement lenses. Save money and reduce your environmental impact by replacing your sunglass lenses.