Choosing an ethical wardrobe could be a hard nut to crack – especially when your favorite brands are unsustainable. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to shop for sustainable fashion – and it’s even harder when you want to stay stylish.

You might wonder, “How can I make a difference with how I dress when the offerings are so limited?”

You don’t have to settle for boring basics to align with your values. Today, there’s an abundance of sustainable clothing brands that offer fashionable and sustainable options that reflect your unique sense of style without compromising sustainability.

And we’ll help you find them with this post. We’ll discuss how to shop for sustainable fashion without sacrificing style. This article also covers how to identify high-quality, sustainable materials and how to find stylish clothing that fits within your budget.

Read on to learn more about sustainable shopping while keeping your wardrobe fresh without jeopardizing your sustainable future!

Shop Secondhand or Vintage Clothing

Assorted clothes hanged in a secondhand shop

If you’re looking to shop sustainably, buying used clothes is one of the easiest ways. Selling used clothing instead of throwing it away is a solution that appeals to brands and consumers alike who are interested in textile recycling.

We know the thrill that comes with buying new clothes. However, used clothing usually has fewer environmental costs. Why?

Because it’s already been made and put into circulation, there’s no additional strain on resources like cotton or water. Plus, you can find unique and exciting pieces at thrift stores and flea markets!

You can find some great pieces without breaking the bank. Check out local thrift stores for an even more extensive selection of sustainable items.

Ensure you peruse their sizing charts before you buy — not all brands use the exact sizes. Knowing what fits you best can help you score that dream item.

Choose Natural, Organic Fabrics

The truth is some fabrics are not sustainable. However, if you are going all in for sustainable fashion, examine the fabrics that make up the clothing. Natural and organic fabrics are a great option to reduce your fashion-related footprint.

Organic cotton is a popular choice for eco-conscious fashionistas, as it’s grown in soil free from pesticides and other chemicals. You can also go for Tencel and hemp, both durable fabrics that don’t require a lot of water to grow and maintain. Plus, they look great too!

When shopping in stores or online, look for labels that tell you what fabric was used in the garment’s construction. This way, you can support ethical and transparent brands. Even better, natural fibers are often much softer than synthetic alternatives.

Support Ethical Fashion Brands

One key to sticking with sustainability is supporting sustainable clothing brands. Most of them create stylish clothing and accessories using sustainable practices.

Ethical fashion brands focus on sourcing fabrics and materials responsibly, reducing waste, and paying their workers fairly for their labor.

So, when you shop for sustainable fashion from an ethical brand, you’re curtailing your environmental footprint.

Here are some easy ways to discover ethical clothing brands:

  1. Look at product labels – many ethical fashion brands have eco-friendly labels or materials symbols that indicate their sustainability efforts.
    You can also look up the company’s website for additional information on its production processes and sustainability initiatives.
  2. Shop local – many countries have ethical clothing companies promoting sustainable practices in the fashion industry. Check local shops for more information about their sources and sustainability efforts!
  3. Search online – shopping is one of the easiest ways to find sustainable fashion brands. In addition, you can get information about where a company sources its fabrics and the processes it uses to produce its garments.

So don’t be afraid to explore your options. With some research, you can find fashionable, stylish pieces without sacrificing your belief in sustainable practices!

Buy Quality Over Quantity

Assortment of sustainable women's clothing

Always pick quality over quantity. The main premise of sustainable fashion is to shop for clothes that will last longer and can be worn repeatedly.

Buying one good quality piece of clothing you know you’ll wear time and time again will be much better for the environment, unlike purchasing multiple pieces that may not last as long or cannot be worn numerous times.

This means investing in timeless pieces that you can mix and match with each other for different looks, thus getting the most wear out of them.

The trick is to look for classic colors and shapes that can be worn in any season—for example, a neutral peacoat or crisp white blouse. Then, you can use these pieces year after year without them ever going out of style.

When shopping for higher quality, sustainable pieces, keep your eye peeled for specific materials like natural fibers like wool or cotton. They last longer and are kinder for the environment compared to synthetic fibers such as polyester or acrylic.

Do Your Research on Brands and Materials

Researching sustainable brands and the materials that go into clothing is vital. The good news is that many sustainable fabrics and materials options exist.

So, as we said earlier, look out for organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and recycled plastic. In addition, many fabrics, like polyester or nylon, require less water and energy than conventional ones.

Shop Locally-Made and Fair Trade Goods

This may seem not easy, but you’ll find it exciting over time. So, shop for locally-made and fair-trade goods.

This is an integral part of sustainability since it supports local economies and helps cut back emissions associated with shipping clothes.

When shopping for locally-made fashion pieces, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Look for certification labels such as “Made in ____” or “Fair Trade Certified.”

Do your research on the brand or retailer you’re buying from. If they don’t have a website that lists their ethical practices, contact them directly to inquire about their sourcing and manufacturing practices.

Shop from small businesses or boutiques that offer locally-made pieces that adhere to sustainable standards. They may be more expensive than major brands, but investing in quality pieces that stand the test of time is worth it.

Support green designers who use eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and other organic fabrics.

Investing in locally-made and fair-trade goods ensures your money goes toward meaningful causes. And you can enjoy the stylish fashion pieces you can wear with pride!

Avoid Greenwashing

Drawing on paper the greenwashing concept

You’ve probably heard the term ‘greenwashing‘ before, but you might not know what it means. Greenwashing is when companies use deceptive marketing to make their products look more environmentally friendly than they are.

You must be aware of this because there are still a lot of companies out there that use greenwashing to make their products seem more sustainable.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid greenwashing:

  1. Research the company: Check out its website and social media channels to see how they describe its sustainable manufacturing process. While investigating, note how open they are about which materials they use.
  2. Read customer reviews: Customer reviews can be a great way to determine if a company is honest and transparent about its sustainability efforts.
  3. Check to see if customers have had negative experiences with a product or are concerned about the sustainability claims made by the company.
  4. Ask questions: Reach out directly to the company with questions about any materials or manufacturing processes you’re curious about. Don’t be afraid to question their materials and ensure satisfactory responses before committing to buy.

You can shop smart without sacrificing style by doing your due diligence and learning more about greenwashing.

Besides, the feeling you get when your clothing choices align with your values and beliefs is ecstatic!

Try Renting

Renting clothes is a great way to shop for sustainable fashion without breaking the bank. However, it limits your wardrobe’s environmental impact.

Borrowing clothing instead of buying it means you can keep your closet from overflowing with items you might only wear once or twice. Plus, you’ll save money by renting gently used items.

Many online boutiques offer rental options where you can rent clothing for a fraction of the retail cost. In addition, you can rent items for one-time events or even more extended periods.

They also often have a variety of styles and sizes available. So you’ll find something that fits your needs (and you won’t have to worry about it ending up in a landfill!).

When renting clothing, follow the rental company’s rules and guidelines for caring for their garments. Read the terms and conditions carefully before signing any paperwork.

Invest in Trans-Seasonal Clothes

Finding new clothes that look good and last long can be challenging. That’s why investing in timeless, trans-seasonal, and versatile pieces is critical to shopping for sustainable fashion.

So what should you look for when picking out trans-seasonal pieces? Look for items with the following characteristics:

Simple silhouettes: Choose clothes that have clean lines and minimal decoration. These simple silhouettes will never go out of style.

  • Neutral Colors: Neutrals are the way to go for timeless pieces—black, white, navy, gray and beige are all great options. These classic colors will blend seamlessly into any wardrobe.
  • Natural Fabrics: Natural fabrics like cotton and linen are excellent choices because they age better than synthetic fabrics.
  • Natural fabrics are also breathable and durable – perfect for any climate or season!

These tips give you a sustainable wardrobe that mixes and matches pieces easily.

Avoid Microplastic Pollution

Trust us; you don’t want to buy something contributing to microplastic pollution.

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic (less than 5mm long) from synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon.

When washed, these fabrics release tiny plastic fibers into rivers and oceans, causing immense environmental damage. This is why you should avoid buying things made of synthetic materials, if at all possible.

Here are some ways to avoid microplastic pollution when shopping for sustainable fashion:

  1. Opt for natural materials like cotton and linen whenever possible. These materials are better for the environment and more durable and breathable. Plus, they don’t require a lot of energy or toxins to manufacture!
  2. Look for clothes made from recycled materials. Not only is this good for the environment, but it also minimizes the amount of waste in landfills and conserves natural resources.
  3. If a garment is labeled “eco-friendly” or “sustainable,” check the materials used. They can sometimes still contain microplastics! You need to be sure you have an ethical wardrobe.


Shopping for sustainable fashion doesn’t mean sacrificing style. On the contrary, you can make a big difference in the fashion industry with just a few minor adjustments, like researching ethical brands and investing in quality fabrics. The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice your unique style when you shop for sustainable fashion.

Sustainable fashion will ensure your pieces are fashionable and environmentally friendly. So go ahead and try shopping with a conscience—it’s never been easier to go green, and it’s never been more fashionable.