Like grasping the concept of global warming itself, learning to shop sustainably can feel like a daunting prospect. 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. 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 be very overwhelming. Luckily, there are fabulous websites like Rêve en Vert who source the best sustainable brands in the world and include a completely transparent section about each product's sustainability.
Shopping sustainably can also be expensive, 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 of secondhand pieces I know you'll love. Keep scrolling to see and shop my picks.
Canadian designer Eliza Faulkner creates each of her pieces with as much care as possible. Her signature voluminous pieces are gorgeous, plus she uses offcuts to create little bags so nothing goes to waste.
As the the world's first socially conscious luxury fragrance house, this scent features tropical florals and a blend of frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.
Timeless in design, each cuff is individually crafted by an artisan using reclaimed brass door handles and sink faucets, giving the metal a new life.
Made from offcut fabric and leftover zip ends from backpacks, this bum bag is doing a ton of good while also looking good.
Not only does Carcel use sustainable fabrics like Alpaca wool, but it also employs women in prison with the aim of giving them "new skills and fair wages [so] they can learn to support themselves, send their children to school, save up for a crime-free future and ultimately break with the cycle of poverty."
Investing in a pair of perfect everyday trousers is always a good idea.
Who knew sustainable fashion could be so sexy? Thanks to Fruity Booty and its excellent sourcing of dead stock fabrics and London-based factories, it is.
Word from the wise: Invest in vintage or "old" (pre–Phoebe Philo) Céline before Hedi Slimane's A/W 19 collection (inspired by classic Céline pieces) hits shops.
Made with 100% Tencel, this is the essential everyday shirt.
This is a great price for a Tencel (one of the most sustainable fabrics) basic tee. I love this brand because it donates 90% of its profits to charities.
This list wouldn't be complete without a pair of Veja trainers.
Totally fabulous and completely unique. Love!
Thin turtlenecks work with just about anything. Perfect for layering.
A chic, handmade alternative to cotton totes, this bag is made from abaca, which is a sustainable fibre native to the Philippines and is highly durable, flexible and resistant to salt water damage.
Athleisure is one of the harder areas of fashion to find sustainable options for. Luckily, Evamoso is working to right that by using a sustainable techno-fabric called Econyl, which is regenerated nylon found in landfills and oceans around the world.
A classic crew-neck jumper is always a longterm love, and this one is to die for.
I am always checking Vestiaire Collective for gently used cult pieces I didn't grab in time.
Bamboo jersey is one of the softest fabrics you can find. This basic tee comes in beige and black, making it a perfect sustainable basic.
Vintage Coach bags are one of the best-kept secrets, especially those made during the Bonnie Cashin era. Durable and made to last, they are forever classics.
We're always on the lookout for sustainable jeans, and Christy Dawn—known for her deadstock fabric dresses—just launched a denim line.
An everyday bra to wear under tees and breezy summer dresses that's so soft you'll forget you're wearing it.
The perfect little summer bag if you ask me.
Minimalistic swimwear brand Ocin is making some seriously chic options for the aquatically inclined. This low-back one-piece has adjustable straps and optional padding because no two people are the same and, Ocin acknowledges that.
Vintage earrings always garner all the compliments.
Sunad only uses natural fibres and hand makes each of its pieces. This dress is the brand's take on the slip dress and is dreamy for summer ease.