It’s not hard to believe that eco-friendly clothing is good for the planet, but many people believe that as a general rule, eco-friendly clothing is also much more expensive than the less sustainable alternatives. But this is not necessarily the case! Although most people understand that the fashion industry is a major polluter, and that eco-friendly clothing can help make a real difference in the health of our planet, for most people buying a $200 dollar organic cotton fair trade shirt is out of reach. But don’t worry, affordable sustainable fashion is out there, you just need to know where to look.
Many great resources for finding affordable ethical fashion are actually online. For instance, Eco Fashion World has a large variety of eco-friendly clothing that can fit into almost any budget! All of the products on the site come with details on the type of fabric, dyes, and where it was made.
Many fast fashion companies attempt to entice customers by creating “eco-friendly lines” that hide the company’s overall unsustainable actions. As long as fast fashion companies continue to produce in such high volumes at such low prices, their sustainability efforts are a form of greenwashing. Although H&M’s Conscious collection may be better than many of its other offerings, it’s still far from eco-friendly.
When shopping don’t be afraid to stray from mainstream brands. Customers are often getting ripped off because companies aren’t paying their garment workers a proper living wage, but still charge a lot of money for the clothes. Small eco-friendly brands can often beat mainstream companies because they pay a fair wage to workers and use leftover clothing scraps. Eco-friendly brands also use material like plastic bottles and old jeans.
While it may not be realistic to start off with an all-green wardrobe, purchasing a few eco-friendly staples is a great way to get started. You won’t find ethical clothing for the same fast fashion prices, it’s not possible to buy a 5 dollar t-shirt that hasn’t ripped off designers and pays bare minimum wages. But it is important to know that in terms of mid-level fashion you can often get better deals paying for eco-friendly pieces rather than the alternative.
If you’re having trouble getting over your fast fashion addiction, some brands are better than others. Check out this list for the most conscious and eco-friendly fast fashion brands.