Affordable Sustainable Clothing | Build Your Wardrobe
As more and more people become interested in sustainability, the fashion industry is starting to notice.
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, the fashion industry’s waste is expected to reach 148 million tons — enough to fill 17.5 million garbage trucks, end to end.
Sustainable fashion is no longer just a niche market; it's a booming business. However, while more sustainable clothing options are available than ever, they can still be hard to find and often come with a high price tag. This blog post will show you how to shop for sustainable clothing at an affordable price point.
How do you avoid fast fashion on a budget?
The key to avoiding fast fashion on a budget is to be strategic about your purchases. Rather than buying whatever is trendy or caught your eye, take the time to consider what items will have the most wear. Stick to classic silhouettes that you can dress up or down, and choose quality fabrics from sustainable clothing brands (like State of Matter) that will last.
Shop Second hand
One of the best ways to find affordable, sustainable fashion is to shop second-hand. Not only will you save money, but you'll also give clothes a second life and keep them out of landfills. When shopping second-hand, it's important to inspect the items carefully for signs of wear and tear.
Consider wardrobe swapping if you're looking for more sustainable practices to refresh your wardrobe. This is when you trade clothes with friends or family members. Not only is it free, but it's also a great way to get new clothes without buying anything new.
To save money and shop for ethical fashion, don't just buy whatever clothes are popular. Instead, take the time to consider what items you'll wear the most. Keep it simple with a classic design and materials that will last a long time.
How can clothes be made more sustainable?
The first step to shopping for affordable sustainable clothes is understanding what makes clothing sustainable in the first place. According to Greenpace, sustainable practices in fashion manufacturing can significantly reduce environmental impact. For instance, making a pair of jeans the traditional way requires 7,600 liters of water. With new dyeing technology, the water requirement can be reduced by up to 96%.There are a few key factors to consider:
Sustainable clothing is made from renewable, recycled, or natural materials. Common sustainable fabrics include organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and wool. At State of Matter, we also use regenerated nylon that would otherwise end up in landfill to create our products.
Ethical brands are produced in a way that minimizes waste and pollution. This includes using energy-efficient production methods, fair labor practices, and local sourcing.
Eco friendly clothing is designed to last longer than fast fashion garments. This means investing in high-quality pieces that won't fall apart after a few washes.
Which clothing material is most sustainable?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the most sustainable clothing material. For instance, how does the material impact the environment? What is the carbon footprint of the production process? How long will the garment last? Below are a few fabrics we use at State of Matter:
Renu is an upcycled fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. It's a great alternative to polyester and other synthetic fabrics and has a very low carbon footprint. At State of Matter, we use Renu to create our Phoenix Shirts.
Lycra EcoMade is a recycled version of the popular synthetic fabric. It's made from post-consumer waste, such as old clothing and carpets. You can find it in our iconic Triton Chinos.
Econyl is a recycled nylon fabric. It's made from post-consumer waste, such as fishing nets and carpeting. We use Econyl in our 5-pocket pants.
Tips for building out your affordable eco friendly wardrobe
First, take inventory of what you have. What items do you already own that are made from sustainable materials? These could include items made of organic cotton, linen, or hemp. You might also have some vintage or second-hand pieces that are eco friendly by being recycled. Once you know what you have to work with, you can start thinking about what you need.
Start with the basics:
Every wardrobe needs a few key pieces to function as a foundation. Choose items made from sustainable materials that can be mixed and matched with other pieces in your closet. For men, this might include a well-fitting pair of pants, a polo, and a classic t-shirt.
Invest in quality:
Regarding sustainable fashion brands, quality is more important than quantity. Look for items that are well-made and designed to last. This doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. There are plenty of sustainable brands that offer affordable, high-quality clothing.
Don't shop for the season:
When shopping for eco-friendly clothing, it's important to consider how often you'll wear the item. Shop pieces you'll be able to wear year-round rather than seasonal items that will only get a few wears.
Adopt a minimalist approach to fashion
One of the best ways to reduce environmental impact is to buy less clothing. This doesn't mean you have to give up your sense of style – it just means being more mindful about your purchase. Ask yourself a few questions before making a purchase:
- Do I need this?
- Will I wear it often?
- Can I find a sustainable alternative?
- Is this a quality piece that will last?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then go ahead and make the purchase! If not, it might be best to wait or look for a more sustainable option. Sustainable fashion doesn't have to be expensive – there are plenty of ways to build an affordable eco-friendly wardrobe.
Building a sustainable wardrobe with affordable clothing doesn't have to be difficult. By following the tips above, you can slowly replace your fast fashion pieces with eco friendly alternatives. A few well-made pieces will last longer and serve you better than a closet full of cheap, disposable clothes. And remember, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to eco-friendly clothing.
Shop State of Matter for affordable sustainable fashion. We offer a wide range of organic and recycled materials. All of our garments are produced in an environmentally-friendly way, using energy-efficient production methods and local sourcing. And because we believe in quality over quantity, our pieces are designed to last.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can sustainable clothes be affordable?
Absolutely! Sustainable clothing can be affordable. While some eco-friendly brands might have higher price tags due to ethical manufacturing and quality materials, there are ways to access sustainable fashion without breaking the bank. Look for sales, shop second-hand, or explore eco-conscious collections from mainstream retailers. Additionally, investing in durable, timeless pieces means spending less in the long run, as these items don't need frequent replacement.
How to shop sustainably for cheap?
Shopping sustainably on a budget is achievable with a few smart strategies. Firstly, buy second-hand clothes from thrift stores or online marketplaces. These options often offer high-quality sustainable garments at a fraction of the original price. Additionally, support small local businesses that practice sustainable production. Finally, embrace a minimalist wardrobe approach, focusing on quality over quantity, which reduces both cost and environmental impact.
How to buy ethical clothing on a budget?
Buying ethical clothing on a budget requires a bit of research and planning. Look for brands that offer transparency about their supply chain and production practices. Use online tools and resources to find ethical clothing brands that align with your budget. Consider investing in fewer but higher-quality pieces that last longer, reducing the need for frequent purchases. Also, don’t overlook the option of buying second-hand, which is both cost-effective and sustainable.
Are sustainable clothes better quality?
Sustainable clothes are often of better quality because they are made with attention to detail and ethical practices. These garments are usually produced using higher-grade materials and superior craftsmanship, designed to last longer than fast fashion alternatives. This emphasis on quality ensures that sustainable clothes not only last longer, reducing waste and saving money over time, but also maintain their appearance and functionality, providing greater value for the consumer.