Sustainable Fashion: Busting the Myth of Expensive Wardrobes

Walking into a store and being able to purchase clothing for a cheap price is not as satisfying as it used to be. The fast fashion industry has been at the forefront of clothing production, and has made clothes disposable. What seemed like inexpensive clothes are not quite affordable, since they cost the environment. From dyeing and printing to shipping products across the world, the fashion industry has a significant carbon footprint. The truth is, being sustainable doesn't have to be expensive. It's not necessary to throw away everything in your cupboard and buy sustainably; instead, there are some clever ways to mix up your wardrobe while minimising your impact on the planet.



1. Starting by repurposing your current wardrobe

One of the simplest steps to start living sustainably is to repurpose or upcycle clothing that already exists. Incorporating DIY upgrades to your wardrobe is an excellent way to not only cut down on spending but also reduce unnecessary waste. Make jewellery or hair accessories out of leftover fabric scraps or transform an oversized t-shirt into a new and trendy crop top. If you aren't the DIY type or don't have the time to take on such projects, donate or sell clothing to those who will wear it again and avoid throwing clothes in the trash. See: How To Create A Chic Capsule Wardrobe

2. Investing in sustainable materials

Although eco-friendly, sustainable materials may seem pricier compared to their fast fashion counterparts. If it's in your budget, investing in high-quality items made from natural fabrics will not only reduce your environmental impact but can last a lifetime. Pieces made from fabrics such as organic cotton, linen, and hemp have a smaller impact on the planet and can still be stylish and modern. Next time you’re making a purchase, opt for pieces made from sustainable fabrics, and your items will have a more extensive lifespan.

3. Less consumption, More versatility

Minimizing the amount of clothing you add to the closet is another way to be sustainable. Consider opting for pieces that are versatile and can be worn in different ways. There's no need to add to your wardrobe constantly, and when you do, look for quality over quantity. Choosing neutrals and timeless styles can give you more versatility and styling options without making you feel like you're playing it safe. This tactic can also save you money in the long—run. 

4. Adopt fast fashion

Ditching fast fashion entirely is hard for many, but adopting it reasonably can help reduce your impact on the environment. You can wear clothes you love from fast fashion brands and still be sustainable by purchasing pieces that are long-lasting and made from sustainable materials like cotton. Opt for timeless pieces that can go with anything, like jeans, basic tops, or a little black dress. These staples never go out of style, and you can find them in both fast fashion and sustainable brands.

5. Shop second-hand

Pre-loved items might sound like a turnoff, but for the eco-conscious and thrifty shoppers, second-hand stores are a treasure trove. Shopping from charity shops, online vintage stores, or thrift shops not only saves money but promotes sustainable living by keeping existing clothing in circulation. Clothing that may have otherwise been thrown out or left unused can have a new life in someone else's wardrobe.


As society moves toward more sustainable living, the fashion industry is expanding beyond fast fashion and becoming more financially accessible. Busting the myth that being sustainable is expensive and inconvenient. Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is essential for a healthier planet and can be achieved by repurposing your clothing, professing sustainable materials, adopting fast fashion wisely, shopping second-hand, and minimizing overconsumption. It only takes small steps to make a significant change in your environmental impact, and by taking these measures, you can feel better about your wardrobe and protect the planet.