by Brooke Bowlin
Looking for ways to shop for sustainable fashion on a budget? Do you want affordable ways to create a slow fashion wardrobe? Have no fear– while sustainable fashion may appear to be a big investment, we’ve compiled plenty of ways to create a more ethical wardrobe without breaking the bank.
p.s. Sustainable fashion on a budget is a lot easier than you would think!
Sustainable fashion isn’t all about shopping from ethical brands that charge higher prices compared to the fast fashion industry. Creating a greener closet is more comprehensive than *just* the sustainable clothing brands we shop from. It also includes finding creative ways to source and make the most of our clothes, like shopping secondhand and taking care of our clothes so they last longer and can be passed down from person to person (or generation to generation – like in the old days!).
Why is sustainable fashion *so* expensive?
With the rise of fast fashion in the last couple decades, culturally, we’ve grown used to cheap clothing. However, clothes haven’t always been cheap and those low prices are often a result of exploitation in the fashion industry.
Often, it’s a result of cutting corners, making unreasonable demands of garment workers, and using plastics-based fabrics.
Fast fashion engages in what is known as “the race to the bottom.” This is the practice of finding the cheapest ways to produce clothing by seeking out countries and factories that have the least amount of regulation and worker protection in order to push the limits of garment workers to get high quantities of clothing produced quickly at a low cost. Often, this means fast fashion brands target poverty so that the factories will have no choice but to comply with fast fashion’s unreasonable, unhealthy demands because the factories rely on the business.
While we may label fast fashion as “cheap”, it does come at the cost of the livelihoods of garment workers and harmful environmental impact. Sustainable fashion is more expensive because its prices allow for better payment for garment workers and supply chain partners and higher quality materials.