THE BLOG

The Fashionable Student: How to Do Eco Fashion on a Budget

11/03/2016 16:19 GMT | Updated 12/03/2017 09:12 GMT

As Kermit the Frog once said 'it's not easy being green' and this is especially true when it comes to fashion. We always assume going green involves wearing a hemp sack and not washing your hair for weeks on end but this just isn't true. For the last several years sustainability has been a pressing issue not only across the world but within the fashion industry. Thankfully though, as a need for green fashion has emerged and grown, designers and high street shops have started becoming more conscious in their designs, which means having a greener wardrobe is a lot more feasible (and stylish) than it once was.

Besides more affordable eco fashion hitting the shops, another factor that has really made an impact on making greener clothing possible is knowledge. Did you know buying a dress that's been made in the UK means your being eco-friendly? Or picking up a few bargins in your local charity shop equals green fashion? Or did you know just making your clothes last longer is good for the environment?

With more options on where to buy our clothes than ever before and creative hacks/tips, taking on eco fashion is totally doable - even on a student budget. Promise!

So, with this in mind here's my challenge to you...can you become more eco-friendly in your everyday wardrobe?

If you're up for the challenge or simply curious, here's a few tips to get you started...

Don't stick to the high street

Yes the high street is an amazing place to shop, but there are so many other brands you can buy from that are affordable and better for the environment. The best thing you can do is google and find what ethical or local brands you like that are online or have a shop in your area. For online shoppers, I'd recommend Terrible Movement, an ethical brand that do cool graphic tees and sweatshirts. If you're more into dresses and beautiful prints then check out Closet London, a British brand that makes all of its clothes in the UK. You can buy Closet online and in many independent boutiques across the country. Did I mention they also offer student discount? Bonus!

Swap with your friends or housemates

You may be so over a t-shirt that you've barely worn, but your friends might be totally into it and vice versa. Swapping wearable fashion is one of the best ways to be eco-friendly because not only are you recycling garments but you can also make an event out of it. Just invite the girls (or guys) over for a wardrobe swap; get them to bring clothes they don't want/wear anymore and trade with them over drinks and pizza. This way you get new additions to your wardrobe (that you didn't have to pay for) and you're doing something good for the environment. Total winner.

Don't be afraid to buy second-hand

I admit I sometimes totally freak out about buying second-hand things (mainly because of my OCD) and I know I'm not alone. There's always this stigma about buying used things but if you find something that is in mint condition, on-trend and totally within your budget then there shouldn't be anything stopping you from buying it. Although, I probably should recommend charity shops, I hate to say it, but realistically your best bet at a bargain is eBay. This is mainly because of the sheer amount of listed items. Not only can you shop from people across the country (rather than in your area) but majority of the listings are items with tags still on them going for a quarter of the price they once were. The only downfall of shopping on eBay is the postage and the carbon print you create from the item being shipped to you - but if you're reusing an item that hasn't even been worn then you can probably be forgiven.

Don't expect to go all the way

Sure you can pick up a dress, trousers, t-shirts etc that are eco-friendly, but underwear is a different story. Eco-friendly underwear is a complete budget buster and I think most people will agree with me when I say used underwear is not an option. It's things like underwear that, realistically, you have to compromise on because it's just not doable. Fashion should make you feel comfortable within yourself, not uncomfortable. So don't feel defeated and give up if you can't find/afford an entire eco wardrobe - what's important is that you're trying.

Whether it's buying a t-shirt off eBay or from your local charity shop - remember it's the small things that make a difference.