Yes! You Can Shop Ethically On a Budget

Photo by  Fabian Blank  on  Unsplash

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

It’s a whole new year which means a whole new opportunity to do better. If you’re like me that means, being more thoughtful about the clothes you buy. And if you’re exactly like me, it means your post-holidays wallet is begging for mercy. While your bank account might be skinnier than you like, it doesn’t mean that we have to resort to fast-fashion.

Believe it or not, you can shop ethically on a budget. Yes, on average it will cost more than fast fashion because ethical brands pay their workers living wages, but that doesn’t mean you have to stock your closet with $200 dresses. Whether you’re a n00b or a seasoned ethical fashionista it’s important to remember that the journey towards an ethical closet is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to pace ourselves and find the solution that fits our unique needs.


Get Your Bling On

Image Courtesy of  Purpose Jewelry

Image Courtesy of Purpose Jewelry


Accessories are one of my favorite things to buy ethically because the right accessories can transform even the blandest of outfits. If you’re used to wearing fast-fashion this will be the easiest transition for you. When you compare ethical accessories and fast-fashion accessories side by side the difference is clear. Ethically made accessories are just so well made. And you can wear the same piece year round with tons of different outfits, so you can really make that purchase count. With tons of ethical jewelry out there you’re sure to find one that fits your price point. Try  



Host a Clothing Swap

Photo by  Alexandra Gorn  on  Unsplash


While this is technically not shopping I’m adding it to the list because A: it’s free, the perfect price for any budget and B: You get new clothes without wasting resources. Swapping clothes with your friends allows you to take risks with your style without the financial strain. I’ve learned so much about my personal style from clothing swaps, because I wasn’t worried about spending money on something I might not wear. If a piece didn’t work out I’d swap it again. Glorious! Need some tips on hosting the perfect swap? Read my post here!



Go Thrifting


Thrift store shopping is one of my favorite things to do on a lazy weekend. There are so many hidden treasures! Rest assured no matter what you buy, it’s ethical. That’s the beauty of pre-loved fashion, you’re creating a second life for the garment and keeping it out of the landfill longer. Skip the fancy schmancy vintage boutiques and head to the used clothing store on the outskirt of town to keep your costs down. You can always find some gems without the markup. Don’t have time to browse a whole store? Check out online marketplaces like Thread UP, Material World, or The Real Real. Their filters allow you to shop for exactly what you’re looking for and skip the rest.


Be Basic

Image Courtesy of  Groceries Apparel

Image Courtesy of Groceries Apparel

When you’re ready to take your ethical shopping game to the next level start with your basics. Take a look at your closet and pick out the items you wear all the time. Your perfect white tee, that one blazer that goes with everything, you get my drift. When those items wear out (and only when they wear out no need to shop before you have to), replace your basics with ethically made pieces. Investing in pieces you can wear for years will not only make your wallet happy it will show you why it’s worth it to spend that money in the first place. Companies like Groceries Apparel and Everlane have beautiful garments that are ethically made and well worth their price.



Get Creative


Photo by  Karly Santiago  on  Unsplash

If you’re itching for some new clothes, chances are you don’t actually need new clothes. You’re just sick of the ones you have. Before you run out to the store stop and try to see your closet with fresh eyes. Can you combine your clothes differently? Is there a way to update something? Get creative with your clothes! You don’t need to know how to sew to transform a piece of clothing. Some of my favorite shirts used to belong to my husband until I took a pair of scissors to them. He wanted to give them away, but I snagged them out of his hands took a few snips and presto, I have a shirt that’s totally unique to me. The longer you hold on to an item the more ethical it becomes, so play a game with yourself and see just how many ways you can style each piece. I bet you’re more creative than you think!



Which of these speaks to you? Have you tried any my suggestions before? Let me know in the comments!