If you have recently learned about the many issues within the fast fashion industry, you may have already noticed the price difference between ethical fashion and fast fashion. Whilst we don’t want to have a part in the corruption that goes on in the mainstream fashion industry, with labour exploitation and pollution to the environment, the reality is, we also need to think about our own lives and wellbeing. We don’t all have thousands of dollars to spend on our wardrobe. Well, we’re here to tell you there’s good news – you can afford ethical clothing on a budget by simply following these simple steps…
When buying ethical fashion, you’re initially going to be out of pocket more than you would if you were to shop at major retailers. However, the quality of the products of these major retailers will see you having to throw out a piece of clothing after only 6 months or so of wearing it. Products from fast fashion retailers are made from materials that lack quality and therefore, lack longevity. The good news is that ethical clothing is designed to be just the opposite – not only does ethical fashion protect communities and the environment, the materials they use are of much higher quality and therefore will last you for years to come. So instead of thinking about being out of pocket initially, it’s important to remember the benefits of the savings in the long-term.
Buy quality over quantity
If we have learned anything about fashion, its that the 80/20 rule does apply! The 80/20 rule essentially means that people wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time and 80% of their wardrobe 20% of the time. If this applies to you, then you can see where we are going with this! Ethical fashion may be more expensive, however, if you look into your closet and rule out the clothing that you don’t really wear, you’ll be surprised to know that you really only need a smaller amount of clothing. The best part is, you can invest more money into the pieces of clothing you do wear 80% of the time and purchase higher quality, ethically made fashion instead.
Identify your style & stick to it
The issue many fashion consumers in this day and age face are too many retailers showcasing different looks, styles & trends all year round! The problem is, these retailers have a knack for making us feel like we ‘need’ to buy these products or we will be unstylish or out of fashion. This thought, although one of the best marketing tricks of all time, is the most damaging to the industry, the communities producing the products and you – the consumer. In this situation, you end up buying 10x more products than you actually need (or even want!) just because you feel like it will help you fit in with your social groups or work environment. Identifying your own sense of fashion is a beautiful thing. It’s something that comes with maturity and an understanding of one’s self. Once you have your style down pat, your shopping experience becomes a whole lot easier and instead of buying 10 pairs of jeans from a fast fashion outlet, you can purchase 2x pairs that suit your style from an ethical clothing shop and feel both confident and socially conscious in your decisions.
Prioritising is essential when it comes to choosing ethical fashion. This is where we can really become aware of what we need rather than what we want. Yes you may feel like an extra t-shirt or dress would be nice, but what you might really need is a jumper for the cooler season approaching. Instead of just buying both from fast fashion outlets, the ethical fashion industry forces us to be more conscious about our choices and prioritize needs over wants. This activity can be very fulfilling physiologically as it not only supports others but helps us to practice self-control and resist constant and unnecessary indulgence in clothing products.
Take care of your clothing
Another tip that can help you afford ethical fashion on a budget is to take care of each piece of clothing well. This is one of the many fulfilling aspects of purchasing slow fashion over fast fashion as we learn to really appreciate a piece of clothing for what it is – designed & hand-crafted with someone’s own hands, made especially for you. Once the product has been purchased and it’s yours, its then your responsibility and it can be very fulfilling to practice the correct care procedures for your ethical clothing products. The best part is, you can always ask the retailer you purchased the item off and they will be able to advise you of the best ways to make that product last as long as possible.
We hope by reading this you are more informed of how you can make the change to slow fashion and make a difference! We would love to hear any further tips you might have on how to shop ethically on a budget, so please let us know in the comment section below!