Shopping and sustainability often don’t go hand in hand. While being a 100% sustainable might not be doable always – striving to be more sustainable in our choices is the aim. Ever since choosing to be more sustainable – I have become more conscious about how I shop and from whom I shop. Here are my tips and tricks for shopping sustainably on the cheap –
- Shop your family and friend’s closet – This is ofcourse shopping for free. If you have siblings or a parent whose closet you can raid and get clothes from – that is the cheapest way to shop sustainably. You are reusing preowned products and not adding to its carbon footprint (shipping). You can also do this with a good friend who wears clothes the same size as you. You can also experiment with different styles of clothes if their style is different from your own personal style without wasting money.
- Thrifting – Thrifting is such a great way to shop sustainably. The best part of thrifting is buying branded wear for a fraction of the original cost. A lot of online thrift stores have sprouted over the past few years especially on Instagram making it super easy to buy pre-loved goods.
- Local sustainable brands – Shopping locally reduces the carbon footprint of the products. Look online for local brands that make sustainable products. While most sustainable brands are a little heavy on the pocket (and for good reason) – they all have sales through the year. Every brand has a summer and a winter sale as well as holiday sales – watch out for the sales and buy products then.
- Sustainable lines of popular brands – A lot of popular brands are working towards going sustainable. This is my last recommendation since it is often very difficult to identify green washing from genuinely sustainable products being sold by popular brands. Also, most bigger brands manufacture in third world countries and have it shipped to us which means that its carbon footprint is A LOT. Also, most fast fashion brands are unethical in their practices. I usually pick out products that seem sustainable (material, purity, organic, etc.) from popular brands and then head to GoodOnYou to confirm if those brands are genuinely working towards sustainability or they are just green washing customers.
- Shop good quality products – Fast fashion has made us all used to poor quality clothes that can be replaced ever so often but buying quality products that last for years (like the generations before us did) is another easy way to be more sustainable.
- Challenging yourself to style your clothes differently – Being fashionable doesn’t mean having more clothes, it means being able to style the clothes you have in different ways. If you are out of ideas a lot of sustainability influencers post about how to reuse the same clothes in different ways – get inspired by them.
- Shop only when necessary – Social media has us all wanting more and more but limiting our shopping to only what is necessary and when it is necessary is the best way to shop sustainably. This is also a great way to save money that we often waste on excessive shopping.
TIP: Giveaway clothes that no longer fit you or suit your style – We all like to hold on to products that don’t fit us or our current style – in the hope that we will use them some time in the future. While it makes sense to hold on to them if you are not buying anything else and working towards using those clothes. But if you are just holding on to them for years, often forgetting that they exist – pass them on to someone else who will make use of them or get them restyled to ensure the products get used.
While this post was written from the perspective of fashion but holds true for all types of shopping. Are you a shopaholic? What are your tips and tricks to be more sustainable while not spending excessively?
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Beautiful points you’ve covered! Draco Malfoy mocked Ron Weasley in philosopher’s stone for wearing a hand-me-down robe. Little did he know that Ron was being very sustainable, selfless and considerate to the environment. We need more people like you to spread awareness on these topics. Thank you!
Love the Harry Potter reference! <3
Thank you for reading!