Like any new term or concept, the idea of learning to shop sustainably can feel like a daunting prospect. I get it! For starters, there's a bit more work to determining exactly when a product is more socially and environmentally sustainable than expected—there are varying degrees within this complex world. Supply chains are often opaque so even if part of something is made sustainably, you can't be quite sure about it. And then with the term gaining traction among marketing campaigns, it can be easy to be led to believe something is super sustainable, when in fact, it is not. For shoppers newly acquainted with the concept of sustainable fashion, that can feel very overwhelming.
Luckily, I am here to right correct those misconceptions. Because if you are like me and love charity shopping or finding small brands, you're already a more sustainable shopper than you think. And, as sustainability becomes more popular, it becomes more accessible. There are now entire websites dedicated to sustainable shopping, such as Rêve en Vert and the Sustainable Department Store who source the best sustainable brands in the world and include a completely transparent section about each product's sustainability.
Shopping sustainably can also come across as expensive and exclusive, especially after years of being used to fast fashion prices. But as we continue to learn more about the energy it takes to produce the clothes and accessories we love, it will all start to make sense. While there are fabulous brands creating new pieces sustainably, it's important to remember that shopping second hand and vintage is probably the most affordable (especially at charity shops) and sustainable way to shop.
This list is meant to show you how shopping sustainably can be approachable, fun and not break the bank. I've found the best basics, unique finds and a fabulous mix small but mighty brands I know you'll love. Keep scrolling to see and shop my picks.
Elliss works with two small manufacturers. Their London factory is based in the same building as the garments are designed, allowing them to be involved at every stage of production. They produce in very limited quantities so you are buying something very special and unique to you.
Baserange has the sofest sustainable basics, but each piece is also so uniquely cool.