10 Ways To Buy Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Clothing On A Budget

Last updated on : June 28 2021

Clothes hanger with dresses in the woods. Concept for organic clothes, eco-friendly, ecological fashion.

Article Summary

Ethical brands seek to address dangerous working environments and the vast amounts of energy and toxic chemicals used in our clothing production.

These brands pledge to use non-toxic dyes, eco-friendly fabrics and pay workers a fair wage. However, they can be expensive, and shopping for these clothes can be tricky.

Luckily, we have tips that will help you shop for environmentally friendly clothes without busting your budget - click on the links below to learn more.


How To Shop Environmentally Without Busting Your Budget

1. Buy Secondhand Clothes

2. Choose Ethical Fabrics

3. Use Organic Ethical Brands

4. Visit Recycled Boutiques and Thrift Stores

5. Shop With Intention

6. Buy Handmade Clothes

7. Choose Brands That Connect Through The Process

8. Link Up

9. Follow Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Clothing Related Blogs

10. Go for Clothes Made From Recycled Material

11. Buy Durable Clothes



Many of today's manufacturers make clothes from synthetic fabrics that have a detrimental effect on the environment. They require vast amounts of energy to process and produce toxic chemicals.

Additionally, coloring fabrics require dyes that contain harmful chemicals and a large amount of water to process. When the color washes out, it pollutes the environment.

As a result, more people are looking to buy clothes that protect the planet from pollution, generating a move towards sustainable clothing and shopping, and the birth of ethical brands. 

Ethical Brands

Typically, companies that produce sustainable clothes provide decent working conditions and fair wages. Ethical fashion brands use environmentally friendly fabrics and use no toxic dyes. 

In essence, ethical brands seek to address problems such as dangerous working environments, and vast amounts of energy and toxic chemicals used. These brands pledge to use non-toxic dyes, eco-friendly fabrics, and pay workers a fair wage.

Since ethical brands can be expensive, shopping for these clothes can be tricky.

How To Shop Environmentally Without Busting Your Budget

Luckily, we have tips that will help you shop for environmentally friendly clothes without busting your budget.

1. Buy Secondhand Clothes

Second hand clothes on a rack

For people on a budget, buying second-hand clothes is perhaps the best environmentally friendly option.

Second-hand clothes change ownership without the need for new material. And they do not need additional chemicals, water, and energy, or create waste when discarded.

Also, second-hand clothes are cheaper and easily accessible through online marketplaces, garage sales, and thrift stores. Vintage stores offer brilliant pieces.

Numerous online retailers sell second-hand clothes and allow you to search for products and brands you like at a fraction of the price of new items. Most of the products you get from these sites will be in good condition, even if second hand.

When buying second-hand clothes, you give each piece a longer life and keep them out of landfills. The raw materials, energy, and labor used in the manufacturing process are better utilized.

2. Choose Ethical Fabrics

Most people assume that natural fabrics such as cotton are environmentally friendly, unlike polyester and other human-made materials. However, cotton farming, using modern methods, requires a lot of pesticides and fertilizers.

Renewable fibers are the best fabric if you want to promote a green environment. These fibers are recyclable and use less water for production.

Some great choices include bamboo, hemp, silk, rayon, and linen. Linen comes from the flax plant and requires little energy for the manufacturing process. The plant uses less fertilizer, pesticide, and water. Hemp is simple to grow and also requires less fertilizer and pesticides. 

Clothes from organic wool are also a great choice. Another excellent natural fabric is silk. It is durable, lightweight, and breaks down naturally until the end of life. The materials should use natural dyes that have a low impact. Natural colors like cochineal and indigo come from plants, insects, and animals.

The best green option is a natural unbleached fabric. However, it is not always true that natural fabrics like cotton are greener than polyester and other synthetic materials. Cotton growing methods use a large amount of water, pesticides, and toxic fertilizers. So instead, look for eco-friendly fabrics that consist of renewable fibers that are easy to produce.

3. Use Organic Ethical Brands

Sometimes, buying second-hand clothes or choosing ethical fabrics is not feasible. In this case, choose an ethical brand to help you stock your closet with new items while upholding your values. Even better, select an ethical brand that has budget-friendly prices.

Companies such as PACT and Alternative Apparel have humane working conditions. They also use organic and recycled fabrics using sustainable processes.

Other ethical brands buy fibers directly from farmers and knit them on site. For example, People Tree uses materials from organic cotton and colors them with non-toxic dyes. They use non-toxic dyes because many commercial dyes used to color fabrics pose a big problem for the environment. Some contain harmful toxins and also require a massive amount of water to process.

Ensure that you know the clothing brand and understand their mission and what they stand for. Choose brands that stand for your values. If your goal is to buy environmentally friendly and ethical clothing, ensure you take your time to know the brand.

You can quickly know more about a firm by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and browsing through their website. Following their online presence will help you understand what they offer and also when they have sales. Luckily most brands that sell eco-friendly and sustainable clothing have some affordable ranges, usually of organic cotton clothing.

4. Visit Recycled Boutiques and Thrift Stores

Both thrift stores and consignment shops sell secondhand clothes. Thrift stores stock donated clothes that they sometimes sell for charity. Consignment stores purchase used garments. While they tend to have higher prices, they offer high-quality inventory.

Recycled clothes last longer than conventional fashion. You can quickly get used clothes in recycled boutiques, still looking good and new.

When you see a style that you love in a recycled boutique, ensure you do not let it slip away, as often they are one of a kind pieces.

5. Shop With Intention

Buying eco-friendly in your country, see women's clothing in NZ, for example, should be intentional and use a rigorous mindset. Take your time to understand brands, fabric types, and clothing sustainability. You have to pay attention to buying organic clothing to ensure you are getting both value and the intended saving of the environment.

Since the clothes are durable, you will save some money in the long run. People who choose eco-friendly and budget-friendly clothes make deliberate purchases and are mindful of what they wear.

6. Buy Handmade Clothes

Woman on sewing machine

Online marketplaces like Etsy offer homemade goods from fashion designers.

These handmade garments come at affordable prices and have a lower impact on the environment. You can also get handmade clothes from craft fairs, flea markets, and farmers' markets.

7. Choose Brands That Connect Through The Process

Some brands have invested in many regions around the world, where they have created employment opportunities through factory jobs. These companies pay workers a living wage and ensure ethical standards across the process.

They also create a social connection between the buyer and the product by allowing the person who made it sign their name on a tag. This process verifies that the brand treats its workers well.

Suitable brands pay their workers significantly higher than the national average. They also provide financial planning, healthcare, and other essential benefits and ensure the products are affordable, durable, and well made.

To find these brands, an excellent place to start is the list of Fairtrade Certified factory-made styles

8. Link Up

If you have a person who shares the same ideas about fashion with you, make them your style partner. This person can either be your sister, mum, or an Instagram or Social Media Influencer.

Let them accompany or advise you when shopping to help in choosing styles that are relevant and meets the right ethical standards.

Try clothes that suit and fit both of you and order them online. Using a friend or influencer will not only enable you to save some money but also access more styles in a well-informed manner. 

9. Follow Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Clothing Related Blogs

Numerous blogs promote sustainable fashion and ethical clothing. Use them to keep updated about ethical labels and brands, where to shop, and focus your reasonable efforts. 

But that is not all. Bloggers will often have discount codes and giveaways for making purchases from new brands - a great way to save money. 

10. Go for Clothes Made From Recycled Material

In the recent past, innovations around polyester have surged. If you are in the market looking for exercise clothes, then you should go for pieces made from recycled bottles instead of pure polyester from petroleum.

Polyester produces microplastics that end up in the ocean and hence polluting the water. We also consume these microplastics through the food that we eat.

Buying clothes from recycled materials helps to reduce the effects of harmful substances in the environment. An excellent example of ecofriendly fabric is fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.

Recycling does not only reduce energy and waste use, but it also eliminates waste products.

11. Buy Durable Clothes

Girl holding jeans

When buying ethical fashion, ensure that you pick durable clothes that provide excellent value. Clothes that last longer have less of an impact on the environment. 

Ethical brands choose the best quality material and use them to create affordable products. Also, these clothes are fashionable for ethical and sustainable supply chains.


Buying eco-friendly clothes is the right call. And with the right effort, you can get this type of clothing at budget-friendly prices. Use our tips above to help you find styles that suit you, and are suitable for the environment.

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The Kewl Shop

The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. Important stuff that every modern woman or man needs to know.

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