Cheaply made, mass-produced clothing is the fashion norm, but society is quickly demanding a change for sustainability. However, the terms budget-friendly and eco-friendly rarely go together. There are a myriad of reasons why; the main one being the high cost of organic and sustainable materials. But there are solutions to the high cost.
Buying second-hand is one way to find budget-friendly clothes that would otherwise end up in our landfills. But, if you prefer new items, we’ve scoured the web for eco-conscious brands that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Happy Earth Apparel – $
Happy Earth Apparel is a certified B company, which focusses on both social and environmental practices, whose tagline states, “Earth First. Because when it comes to the planet, we actually give a damn.”
Their website backs up their claim and is transparent with the materials used for their products. They also showcases their commitment to partnering with sustainable farmers and giving back to create positive change in the world.
With clothing made from organic cotton, reclaimed fibers, sustainable cork and packaged in 100% PCW recycled materials, you’ll feel good in these clothes knowing you chose well.
Moderately priced for the quality of items you are purchasing, you’ll find t-shirts and tank tops in the $20 range.
Known Supply – $$
Known Supply is a certified fair trade company and certified B company. The company mainly uses GOTS-certified organic cotton, and their ethos is, “The most human brand.”
Known Supply also connects consumers with makers. The makers sign every piece of clothing they produce, so it brings a human element to the buying process.
It’s also important to note that I’m a bargain shopper. Whenever I’m in a brick and mortar store, I head straight for the clearance racks. It doesn’t change when I visit online shops either – I head straight to the clearance section. Known Supply already has reasonably priced women’s and mens’ sections, but their “Last Chance” section is great!
Girlfriend Collective – $$
Transparency! That’s the name of the game with Girlfriend Collective.
The conscious clothing brand started with a pair of leggings from recycled bottles and ended up with a vast clothing line of activewear. Girlfriend Collective puts thought into everything they do, and it shows.
Their packaging is recyclable, they use cupro (a delicate fiber left behind by cotton), their yarn is produced in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility and their recycled polyester is BPA-free. You can read more about their practices here. Diversity and inclusiveness are also evident in all that they do.
From swimwear, tanks and tees and essentials, you’ll be looking cute and your bank account will be, too!
Kotn – $$$
With their direct trade model, where they take out the middle man and source the raw materials directly from the farmers, Kotn is setting a new precedent.
The company works closely with its farmers to put sustainable practices first. They also ensure safe working environments, fair wages and careers to their partners. As stated on their website, “Our mission is to set the standard for conscious creation and consumption. Developing products around the principles of considered design, relentless quality, honest value, and positive impact—for our people, and our planet.”
With products made to last, the price tag is a bit more than the cheaply made shirt that you’ll end up getting rid of next season. However, for quality apparel, the price isn’t too much.