Creating a capsule wardrobe with sustainable fashion brands doesn’t have to be expensive. Save time and money with this easy-to-use guide.
A fashion brand being sustainable is one thing, being in an affordable price range is another. The challenge is trying to find the ones that are both. It can take hours and hours of research to find them, but seeing as you’re here, you may as well save time AND money by checking out this list of affordable sustainable fashion brands. You’re welcome. Before we dive into the world of natural fibers and sustainable practices, let’s get clear on some things, my conscious consumers.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Sustainable fashion, otherwise known as ethical fashion, refers to the paradigm-shifting movement and process of fostering a fashion system that prioritizes environmental preservation, social impact, and ethical practices in every step of the way. It aims to reduce the carbon footprint and mitigate carbon emissions generated by the global fashion industry.
This means everything from using raw materials like natural fibers and biodegradable materials, repurposing fishing nets, and even recycling plastic bottles into new pieces, to producing garments in small batches or limited quantities, thus reducing waste. It also includes utilizing deadstock fabrics, giving them a second life, and contributing to the circular economy.
Business models like those of Stella McCartney and Girlfriend Collective are leading examples. They prioritize manufacturing processes that rely on renewable energy sources, strive to achieve carbon neutrality, and aim for a low environmental impact, even when accounting for international flights for their New York runway shows.
Sustainable fashion isn’t just about nature; it’s also about people. Ethical clothing brands ensure that everyone involved in the production processes – from local artisans crafting the products to those managing the warehouses – is paid a fair, living wage. The positive change goes beyond this, as many of these brands also make sure to adhere to standards like the Global Organic Textile Standard and operate as certified B corporations. This represents a positive impact in ensuring the industry is moving towards a future where every piece purchased doesn’t just look good but feels good too.
What is Fast Fashion?
Ever wondered why those trendy tops and jeans at your favorite high street stores seem to change faster than Taylor Swift’s boyfriends? That’s fast fashion for you, babe.
Fast fashion is all about that business model that churns out new collections quicker than a Kardashian Instagram post. This is fashion at warp speed, girls! It’s the ‘now’ of the fashion world but with a price. Unlike our best sustainable clothing brands, these top brands often prioritize making bank (hello, annual revenue!) over the fair wages for garment workers or using natural materials.
Fast fashion brands are like the Kardashians of the clothing line. They’re in the limelight, they’re always trending, and they’re constantly changing. But, much like Kim K’s attempt to keep things private, it’s not all roses. Fast fashion often leads to massive textile waste, and the manufacturing process can spew out greenhouse gas emissions like a vintage fur coat in a PETA meeting.
Remember when synthetic materials were all the rage? Yep, you guessed it – that’s fast fashion too. Unlike our fave sustainable queen, Mara Hoffman, who’s all about natural fabrics, fast fashion can sometimes lean towards synthetics. They’re cheaper, easier to produce, and did I mention cheaper?
Fair Indigo and other conscious brands are like the antidote to this fast fashion frenzy. They’re focusing on sustainable products, production methods that respect our Mama Earth, and investing in the local community. Oh, and they’re also aiming for that carbon-neutral sweet spot, unlike our fast fashion friends.
So next time you’re eyeing up that price-range-friendly piece from a fast fashion brand, consider its cost on the environment and the garment workers who made it. Just saying.
Benefits of shopping Sustainable Brands:
Swapping your fast fashion habits for sustainable fashion is like trading a stale cupcake for a homemade, organic, gluten-free, artisanal muffin (hand-delivered by Meghan Markle, no less). It just tastes better, feels better, and, quite frankly, it is better.
First up, it’s carbon neutral! Choosing sustainable clothes is like giving Mother Earth a big, warm hug. Unlike fast fashion, the goal here is minimal impact – we’re talking less water, lower energy consumption, and fewer toxic chemicals. It’s like swapping your high-waisted skinny jeans for comfy, loose yoga pants – it just feels right.
Being a conscious consumer feels better than rocking the latest Los Angeles trend. It’s not only about getting clothes at a reasonable price point but also knowing that they’re made in ethical factories. You’re supporting businesses (some Certified B Corporation) that respect local communities and animal welfare (bye-bye, nasty animal products!). You’re basically like the Eileen Fisher of the fashion world!
Sustainable fashion also ensures the well-being of future generations (it’s all about the children!). Think regenerative farming and biodegradable fabrics. It’s also a nod to a circular fashion model where clothes are designed to have a second life rather than ending up in a landfill. We are talking about key areas like the entire supply chain, from the merino wool on your back to the people who crafted it.
So, next time you’re about to dive into the fast-fashion pool, remember – climate change is so NOT on trend. Sustainable fashion is the stylish choice that respects your wallet, our planet, and all who inhabit it. Because who doesn’t want to look good and feel good at the same time?
11 Sustainable Fashion Brands That Won’t Break Your Bank:
Some people don’t realize the impact of their fashion decisions, and how what we choose to buy and wear has an affect on the environment. Curating a sustainable capsule wardrobe is a great decision to make. Yet not everyone is making it. This may be because of the price tag that’s associated with it. Ethically sourced clothing typically goes hand in hand with high-end, expensive brands. But this isn’t the reality of what’s available.
For those who just want fast and cheap clothing, fast fashion is ideal. It may not last, the seasons pass, your clothes wear down, tear, and rip, but that’s ok because you can just get some new stuff, right? Yes, this is correct, but that doesn’t make it right. Both the production and waste created by fast fashion are polluting our environment and costing all of us in the long run.
Ethical fashion means eco-friendly sourcing, ethical production, and quality clothing that lasts. When we think high quality, we think expensive. But what if it isn’t as expensive as you think, to buy and wear ethical fashion brands and sustainable fashion designers? Well, the good news is it isn’t. That’s why I’ve put together this list of affordable slow fashion brands, so you can find clothing that doesn’t just make you look good, but makes you FEEL good knowing you’re doing your part to help save the world.
Below are 11 amazing affordable sustainable fashion brands that you should consider adding to your wardrobe.
1. HONEST BASICS
I’ve learned that a strong wardrobe is built on a solid foundation. No, I’m not talking about your bedroom floor. I’m talking about the basics that make the core of your outfits. The best place to start is with staples such as tops and t-shirts. And when talking about staples, Honest Basics is definitely a brand worth checking. Especially if you’re on a budget!
Honest Basics are designed to offer you maximum sustainability with accessible prices. They use sustainable materials such as organic cotton and Tencel. Their ethically made products are GOTS-certified “organic” and also vegan! The brand uses low-waste packaging, either plastic-free or from recycled plastic and offers clothes for the whole family.
NU-IN is another amazing slow fashion brand that offers insanely stylish staples you will just fall in love with. The company is driven by social and environmental sustainability and is using recycled materials in their clothing. Affordable fashion meets sustainability. This brand puts the planet before profit by designing a business that shows the fashion industry that collections that people love can be produced using recycled and organic materials.
KOTN is all about quality wardrobe essentials, ethically made from the finest fibers in a fair and safe production environment. They work directly with farmers, paying fair prices for cotton, and helping suppliers switch to organic. KOTN brings quality and comfort whilst staying affordable. Their transparent approach shows people both the good and the bad, what they’re trying to improve, and what others can do to help. I love that the brand is fully involved in their supply chain and manufacturing. And I’m obsessed with their fitted turtlenecks & hoodies – the perfect additions to your all-year capsule wardrobe.
ARMEDANGELS has a gorgeous range of eco-friendly products. The company is working to combine fair working conditions and sustainable, high-quality materials with beautiful designs. Rather than trying to keep up with current trends, they focus on creating modern, contemporary collections. As they say, Fair Fashion instead of Fast Fashion is what this brand lives for. How stunning are these wide-leg jeans made of organic and recycled cotton? Such a special piece to add to your closet.
Have you got all your basics sorted? Then how about adding a bit of color? BODEN is the place for you. This British company offers beautiful, sustainable, and affordable apparel designed to last. The company is committed to creating a healthy working environment. Not just in sourcing, but for everyone involved in the making of their clothes. Their high standards mean using fabrics that won’t shrink, buttons that stay on, and threads that stay tight. They are one of the only sustainable fashion brands UK has that offers a 365-day quality guarantee. Yes, you read that right. A WHOLE YEAR! How’s that for a lasting promise?
For minimalist and versatile, super-soft and breathable basics, check out BOODY. This brand is a creator of sustainable everyday essentials. They use innovative eco-friendly materials such as organically grown bamboo. Sustainable fashion influencers will love it as much as the Pandas. BOODY aims to provide modern, high-quality basics to suit your everyday lifestyle whilst remaining timeless and durable. I love their sports bras and leggings! They’d be so perfect for my morning yoga practices.
7. PACT Clothing
If you’re looking for simple, soft, and sustainable basics for everyone at home, PACT is the place for you! By partnering with Fair Trade CertifiedTM factories, PACT provides organic clothing that cares for both people and the planet. Their garments can be worn all year round and are GOTS Certified organic and Fairtrade. But best of all, they keep their prices affordable whilst maintaining high-quality standards. Double win for the sustainable capsule wardrobe curators among us.
8. MATT & NAT
MATT & NAT stands for “material and nature”. The Canadian brand offers vegan, PETA-approved, cruelty-free, and recycled sustainable clothing, footwear, and accessories. They value social responsibility, inclusiveness, and authenticity, especially when it comes to creating excellent quality clothing. Inspired by the textures of nature, they are always aiming to improve their ways, and in doing so, protect the environment.
THOUGHT is another great affordable eco-friendly and sustainable brand that you should check out. They use organic ingredients such as hemp, cotton, and bamboo to create eco-friendly clothing. One of the most affordable ethical clothing the UK has to offer. But don’t worry if you live internationally, as they ship Worldwide. Let the variety of colors and styles captivate you, and be sure to check out the comfy nightwear they have. Their organic cotton trousers are such a good timeless staple for your everyday closet!
I have a special place in my heart for comfy, high-quality nightwear, and you will too after discovering NOCTU. NOCTU is a family-owned eco-friendly sleepwear brand on a mission to source the best cotton in the world for their pieces. The brand supports the World Land Trust (WLT) and for every purchase made through their website, they donate money to save 10 square meters of endangered wildlife across the planet. Along with nightwear, NOCTU also offers amazing homeware, such as eco-linen duvet covers and natural bamboo toothbrushes.
11. ALTERNATIVE Apparel
It will be hard to NOT find something you like in the huge range of sustainable basics that Alternative Apparel offers. I love that they incorporate organic and recycled materials to create the finest fabrics that are soft and durable. The range includes something for everyone. Men, women, and children too. The perfect place to shop for the whole family.
Here are 2 more affordable sustainable fashion brands that I love and have already spoken about in this post:
Well, there you have it! We’ve danced through the runway of sustainable fashion, and I must say, we’ve looked fabulous doing it. We’ve twirled around in our carbon-neutral gowns, strutted with pride knowing our stylish choices are supporting certified B corporations, and blown kisses to the adoring crowd knowing we’re preserving this beautiful planet for generations to come.
Let’s be real, though; becoming a sustainable fashion guru isn’t as easy as acing the latest TikTok dance challenge. It requires thought, care, and a commitment to making choices that respect our planet, its inhabitants, and our future. It’s all about swapping the glitz and glitter of fast fashion for the raw and authentic charm of sustainable threads.
Remember, each and every one of us has a part to play in this journey. It’s not about perfection, but making better choices one fashionable step at a time. As they say in the biz, “the best-dressed person in the room is the one with the most sustainable outfit.” Okay, maybe they don’t say that, but they should!
So, as we zip up this eco-chic post, remember, sustainable fashion is more than just a trend – it’s a lifestyle. Embrace it, live it, love it. Now go out there and rock your sustainable fashion like the superstar you are. For more sustainable styling, find me on socials (@SavinaOfficial). Feel free to like, follow, and comment, so we can get more people to know about our sustainable ways.
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This post was updated on 21/07/2023