Fast fashion has a deadly impact on the environment and the lives of our fellow humans. Keeping up with a season's worth of trends while buying super cheap clothes, then, comes at a grave cost. The trade-off for a trendy fast fashion item is pollution, wasted resources, underpaid labor, and horrid working conditions. Recently, we’ve dug deeper into the topic of sustainable fashion and explained why it is important to do your part as a shopper to be kind to Mother Earth.
While thrifting and reusing your existing clothes is the gold standard of sustainable fashion, if you want to buy new, you can minimize the harm you're doing by purchasing from a sustainable line.
Many brands have eco-friendly clothing lines these days. These clothes are made with recycled or organic fabrics, sewn at clean factories with fair wages, and many are made in your local area to save on transportation pollution. The prices, however, often reflect this higher standard. That's why today we're sharing some lower-priced options to help you buy sustainable clothes without blowing your entire paycheck.
Below are 5 sustainable clothing pieces under $50, plus how to style each piece for the summer. Hopefully, this post gives you some ideas about where to shop and what to buy to maintain a green-er closet!
1. Reformation Bodysuit, $48
This first outfit is my favorite of the bunch -- I don't like to save the best for last! There’s this stigma that sustainable style isn’t cute or cannot be trendy at all. In fact, some feel there is only one aesthetic you can wear if you're shopping sustainable (boho chic, basically). However, many eco-friendly clothing shops, like The Reformation, create sustainable pieces that keep up with noteworthy trends.
This outfit is chill and has a cute sporty vibe to it. All the items are from sustainable brands or exclusive lines. The featured bodysuit is made of Eco Rib, a stretchy ribbed knit made of TENCEL® lyocell. The straight neck and ribbed detailing keep the bodysuit on trend, but I feel it can be styled as a timeless piece as well.
2. H&M Conscious Shorts, $29.99
The H&M Conscious collection offers sustainable clothing options at some of the lowest prices that you'll find. Yes, H&M is a large retailer that does contribute to the problems we see with fast fashion, but we appreciate that they are making strides toward sustainability and like to support those efforts. (More on H&M's sustainability initiative here.) Their clean, fresh, and stylish designs are made with eco-friendly fabrics like Tencel® and recycled fabrics. These gorgeous little shorts are made from a lyocell and linen blend.
I styled our shorts for a night out with strappy white heels and a sleek white blouse. I accented the outfit with gold accessories for a glam vibe.
3. Reformation Motif Top, $28
I love this adorable motif tee! Channeling your love for the planet in your clothing can make a statement itself. Save winter from global warming by investing in pieces that don't harm the Earth like fast fashion items do.
This look incorporates a bohemian vibe with the floral wide leg pants. The outfit remains polished with the heels and simple accessories. It would be perfect for a chill summer event or hang-out.
4. Everlane Box-Cut Tee Dress, $20
A t-shirt dress is a simple, comfortable basic that can be dressed up or down. Whether you have summer classes to dress for or your summer plans just include catching up with old friends, an essential t-shirt dress won’t let you down. This box-cut tee dress from Everlane is only $20 which is quite a bang for your buck for a piece you’ll wear often.
I styled the tee dress with sustainable sneakers, a denim jacket (which you can easily thrift), and a vegan leather tote. This look is obviously dressed down, great for casual outings.
5. Krochet Kids Wrap Skirt, $32
Finally, we have this airy high-low skirt from Krochet Kids. The unique cut of the basic black fabric adds a chic detail to the skirt. I balanced out the flow-y feel of the maxi skirt with a fitted top and then added some brown to the shoes and a large tote.
This outfit features a neutral color palette with different cuts, shapes, prints, and textures to make it interesting. I personally love this type of outfit, because I feel most comfortable in neutral colors, but to make it fun I focus on the clothing’s silhouettes and textures. (Does anyone else prefer to dress this way?)
What do you think?
How do you feel about sustainable style? What ways do try to implement slow-fashion in your own wardrobe? Are there any affordable sustainable shops you liked to share? Let's us know in the comments below!