Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for people when purchasing clothes. If you want to know how to reduce your environmental impact while supporting ethical manufacturing methods and buy the best cheap sustainable clothing, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll look at affordable clothing made by ethical clothing brands, particularly those that avoid fabric waste, use eco conscious and recycled materials, engage in fair labor practices, and ship as ethically as possible.
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What are some of the best cheap sustainable clothing brands?
Fast fashion is out. And with these affordable, sustainable fashion brands, you won’t have to worry about taking out a second mortgage to look great while engaging in slow fashion that’s good for the planet.
- New and used clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories, etc.
- Capsule wardrobe shopping
- Clearance items from $4 and up
- Designer clothes up to 90% off
- Can shop from celebrities’ closets
- Returns accepted within 14 days (with restocking fee)
Buying second-hand is one of the best ways to save money and support the sustainable fashion industry because thrifting can cut your carbon emissions by 25%.
(P.S. Did you know that in 2018, landfills received more than 11 MILLION TONS of solid waste in the form of textiles? I’m sorry, but that is horrifying).
ThredUP is just one example of an online consignment shop that specializes in clothing. I like them and highly recommend them because they provide an extensive selection for women and children, and they are beyond affordable, sustainable, and plentiful.
Because they have literally millions of outfits to choose from, you can surely find some clothes that are made with earth friendly materials like hemp, organic cotton and linen, and recycled materials like polyester and cotton.
Of course you’ll also find used clothes made of conventional cotton, Egyptian cotton, wool, silk, etc., but shopping at ThredUP is a great way to keep your clothes out of the landfill.
One con I must point out is that they currently do not have men’s clothing, so keep that in mind before shopping.
- Free shipping on orders over $100
- Stylish and comfie looking eco friendly dresses starting at $68
- GOTS Certified Organic cotton used, as well as non-toxic plant based dyes
Groceries Apparel is an affordable sustainable fashion brand committed to creating eco-friendly pieces with impeccable style. Their dresses, pants, tops, and other garments are all made using recycled food scraps like avocado seeds, coffee grounds, onion skins, carrot tops, leaves and flowers and … is anyone else getting a vision of flowery soup?
Anyway, I think it’s cool that they’ve found a way to recycle food into something we can wear and it’s an awesome concept to avoid fast fashion.
But beyond that, Groceries Apparel utilizes a special program that allows them to go the extra mile in reducing waste. Plus everything is made at their downtown factory in Los Angeles, and it all comes from organic & recycled fabrics so you can look good while also doing good for our planet.
Prices start as low as $68 too, which is relatively cheap for a dress these days.
What could be better than rocking an awesome outfit knowing it was produced sustainably on top of being wallet friendly? I just love the look of their ribbed cami dresses but they also have chic skirts too.
- Materials made with recycled or renewable materials
- Bralettes – 2 for $40
- All clothes are OEKA-TEX Certified
- 1% of purchase price goes to charity of YOUR choosing, whether you want to help LGBTQ+ youth or encourage planting trees.
- Size and gender inclusive options
- All factories are Fair Trade Certified, SA8000, or WRAP Certified (safe working conditions and fair wages for employees)
Parade is a clothing company that knows you care about your wardrobe and the planet. Their eco-friendly bras, underwear, and loungewear are made with sustainable materials from an ethical supply chain, so you can feel good about dressing yourself in their stylish designs.
Parade’s mission is to have 100% of their products made with recycled materials by this year (2023) and to be 100% climate positive by 2025.
They have a great sale going on right now. You can get their undies at 5 pairs for $45, and their bralettes are crazy inexpensive at 2 for $40 – a great deal when it comes to affordable sustainable fashion.
- 100% organic cotton clothing
- Fair Trade Certified
- GOTS Certified
- Carbon neutral
- Prices at $14 and up
- FSC Certified shipping materials
Pact is a well known name in the fashion industry, and they are quite popular among those who prefer a sustainable clothing brand.
They have clothes for the whole family: his, hers, and children as well. And their prices are right in line with those who are looking to save money while boycotting fast fashion.
Not only do they use eco friendly materials like organic cotton, Pact has acquired the certifications to back up their sustainability promises. And bonus, they also carbon offset with SimpliZero.
Another little side note about Pact that many are unaware of, is that they allow you to donate and ship (for free) any used clothes you no longer wear so they can send them to charitable organizations.
I really love this because I get tired of always taking my clothes to Goodwill. For whatever reason, I want other people in other locations to have an opportunity to get some use out of my donated items.
- GOTS Certified clothing
- Made with organic cotton
- Everything ethically produced
- Affordable clothes and toys
Sense Organics is a wonderful sustainable clothing brand for babies and toddlers (and spoiler alert: they also have women’s clothing).
Like other companies, Sense Organics is well known in the children’s fashion industry. They’ve been around for over 20 years, and they are dedicated to producing clothes ethically and fairly.
The founder, Kirsten Weihe, set out to pioneer against unfair labor practices, child labor, discrimination, and environmental destruction that occurs in the fashion world.
And I’d say she achieved just that.
Sense Organics uses eco friendly materials like organic cotton, and they go above and beyond to ensure their workers receive fair wages.
All of their clothes and toys are free from any harsh chemicals or toxins that might harm your children. So if you’re looking for something special for your little one, or something they can wear every day to school and around the house, Sense Organics is the perfect place to shop.
Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Sustainable Clothing
Why is responsible and eco friendly clothing typically more expensive?
Clothes that are made in a way that’s kind to the environment generally come with a higher price tag for a couple reasons.
First, some of the materials, like organic cotton and recycled polyester, tend to be more expensive to produce because workers need to be treated fairly, both with good pay and benefits.
And eco friendly production, such as carbon-neutrality and recyclable or recycled packaging, further increases the costs.
Sustainable fabrics should be made to last longer, too, which will bump up the price tag. I mean, a dress or a pair of pants that falls apart after a few uses is hardly eco friendly.
And lastly, meeting certification standards is costly for companies. But in the long run, buying from a company with an ethical supply chain is worth it because it’s better for the planet, and it leads to sales from eco conscious consumers.
What are some other sustainable clothing brands I can shop from?
Apart from the ones mentioned here, there are plenty of other great sustainable brands like Made Trade, Hanna Andersson, Tentree, Girlfriend, Boody, Patagonia, People Tree, Reformation, Running Republic, Veja and many more.
I also like Wearwell, which has a secondhand line called Wearwellagain.
Shop around to explore the options available to you. Can you find something local to YOU that’s made ethically with sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, or recycled fabrics? If so, that’s the best place to start.
You can also find a variety of vintage or thrifted clothing items that are often much cheaper and just as eco-friendly by checking out your local Goodwill store, Habitat for Humanity, or even local established clothing swaps.
Ultimately, the important thing is to shop consciously and consider how your clothing choices impact the environment. With a little research, you’re sure to find some wonderful eco-friendly pieces that suit your style and budget.
How can I tell which affordable and sustainable clothing brands are truly sustainable?
You’ll get to recognize a lot of these names if you make it a permanent habit to buy sustainable clothes, but here are some tips.
Look for sustainable labels such as organic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester, bamboo linen, cork, Lyocell, Pinatex, etc.
Second, see if they use recycled or recyclable shipping and packaging, and pay their workers fair wages.
Check the brand’s website or social media, as well as their supply chain, to get a better understanding of their sustainability practices and what else they do to stay away from fast fashion trends.
And be on the look out for certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), Fair Trade Certified, Better Cotton Initiative, B Corp companies, PETA approved, and OEKA-TEX, among others.
Don’t fall for greenwashing tactics, which are empty promises that something is ethical or sustainable when it’s not. These certifications, or an effort to move toward getting certified, shows the company means what they say .
How can I get sustainable clothes cheaper if I’m on a budget?
Look for the sale and discount dropdown tabs when shopping online.
Many stores offer discounts during the end of the season or special occasions like Black Friday.
I’ve also consistently noticed you can get a 15-20% off coupon just by joining their mailing lists.
You can also look for subscription boxes, which offer pre-selected items at discounted prices.
Additionally, you can opt to rent clothes from sites such as Rent The Runway or Le Tote instead of buying them.
And finally, shop for second-hand clothing – you can find good quality pieces at a fraction of the price.
Final Thoughts on Cheap Sustainable Clothing Brands
Sustainable fashion isn’t just one step towards protecting our planet and helping to preserve it for future generations; it’s a vital step.
By choosing brands that use eco friendly materials, carbon neutral production processes, pay fair wages, and use recycled or recyclable shipping materials, we can make a significant contribution to protecting our planet.
I know it’s not easy to make massive changes right away, but I encourage you to start by checking out some of these brands because they are striving to make a difference. And you can too!