It’s Earth Month, and I want my outfit to match my values… BUT I’m on a budget. Help?!
How not to let $ come in the way of what you stand for.
It’s April! aka Earth Month aka Get Your Green On. 💚 Between the Climate March, Fashion Revolution Week, and Earth Day, there are so many awesome events and gatherings for a socially conscious person to attend… AND many an outfit to pull together.
#Protip: one maybe shouldn’t wear “un-ethical” fashion to said events*. Now, if you’re a slow fashion veteran — you already know this and you’re good to go. BUT, if you’re a newbie who’s just getting started — you may be armed with all the right intentions, but chances are you might not have all the right options, i.e. a closet full of ethical and sustainable outfits ready to go. Telling you now, you’re going to feel slightly awkward if a comrade asks you where you got that fab dress from, and the honest answer is Madewell 😳(based on our research — not exactly an ethical company).
Just kidding- of course wear what you want- everyone’s welcome at these kinds of shindigs! But let’s get down to the facts— very few people can or should go and buy a bunch of new outfits, let alone a whole new wardrobe for this month (or really for any month, amiright?). Ethical Fashion is notoriously expensive.
Which begs the question: how can we be stylish and ethical on a budget this month? (or every month, but let’s start with April, because Earth Day).
1. Buy Vintage / Consignment: YES. Vintage, consignment and second hand ARE ethical + conscious + sustainable options! Apart from wearing what’s already in your closet, or borrowing from a friend, this is the best option for buying something “new”, or new to you at least. Not only can you get high quality or even luxury pieces at affordable prices by shopping second hand, you can also cycle in “on trend” or “was a trend and is a trend again” options easily. Buying used is always better than buying new when it comes to decreasing our environmental footprint. 👣
2. RENT: Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Village Luxe — these are just a few among an increasing number of really cool renting options (and yes, there’s an app for each) that cover the gamut of different styling needs. Renting is great because it’s another form of reusing: you’re not using new resources, and so you aren’t creating additional impact as a result.
3. Borrow and Trade: Fab Earth Month activity: invite a friend or two over for a closet cleaning party — or convince the friend who’s the closest in size to you to do so, and invite yourself over. Clothing swaps are a neat way to again feel like you’re getting something new, without actually buying anything new. Great for the environment, great for your wallet.
4. Learn to Repair: So chic. Do you have pile of stuff sitting in a bag somewhere, just waiting to have a hem fixed or a new button sewn on? Here’s another fun Earth Day activity for you: research a seamstress, take yourself and your stuff there, and invest a little bit to get those items back into rotation! Or DIY and maybe even add a fab patch or two. 🌺🐯🌺
5. Know Your Brands: You’re cruising through Instagram when you see it — that perfect summer dress. And better still — it’s also affordable. You really do need a new summer dress (follow this hierarchy to determine whether new is right), BUT does this brand have ethical and sustainable practices? Check them out on Project JUST, and if they’re not on our Wiki, email them and ask them questions like these ones we’ve outlined here. Bonus ⭐️: you can put in a request for us to research them as well.
6. Buy Quality: And finally, if the cute summer dress you found is from a responsible brand, but doesn’t really feel affordable — but you really want to buy something new to kickstart your positive fashion journey — always remember: quality > quantity. A well made white t-shirt might cost you $30, but will probably last you at least for 30 months ($30 for 30 months = $1 per month). Compare that to a $5 tee that you have to replace every couple of months ($5 every 2 months for 30 months = $75). Gotcha. Save yourself some money and time, and do your bit to save the planet while you’re at it. 💰
So go forth and let your Earth Day / Climate March / Fash Rev flag fly high. What could be better than staying in the green while going green? Cheesy, we know — but it’s true. Don’t let a budget come in the way of your values.
Get creative, get informed, and take action. It’s time to change the status quo.
*If you’re just switching over to the Right Side, get started by reading up on Project JUST and discover the fast fashion offenders which are a DEFINITE no-go. 🙅