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The Best Sustainable Student-Friendly Shops in Leeds

It is common knowledge that the fashion industry is one of the most damaging to our climate, so when shopping for our wardrobe it is important to keep in mind the life cycle of our clothes and the effect that it has on our environment.

With the 2021 UN Emissions Gap report urging countries to sign environmental pledges to reduce their carbon footprint, to avert climate change, it can be difficult to find sustainable clothing these days, especially when on a student budget.

Here are a few shops that are available in Leeds.

One of the most popular vintage shops in Leeds has to be Blue Rinse. With its new ‘kilo sales’ where customers can buy a kilo worth of clothing for £15, it cannot be argued that it is not a perfect shop for students. Not only do Blue Rinse sell vintage clothing and accessories, but many of their products have been upcycled, reworking old garments into ones that are more up to date with current fashion trends.

Another shop not too far from Blue Rinse that sells vintage clothing is Ryan Vintage. Ryan Vintage is one of the longest-running vintage shops in Leeds that not only sells clothes, but accessories such as hats, shoes, jackets, sunglasses, and jewellery.  Although on the outside the store seems to be small, it actually has two floors full of stock that they sell at affordable prices.

Slightly further out of the city centre, in Hyde Park, is Vintage Boutique. This is a store that I have recently discovered and was pleasantly surprised by, due to the range of products that they sell. Vintage Boutique stocks clothes, antiques, vinyl, books, and artwork – it has a bit of something for everyone. Although some pieces due to their value, may be a bit on the pricier side, many of their products are affordable; it is definitely worth a visit.

Even though it may seem obvious, one of my favourite places to shop for cheap, sustainable fashion is charity shops. I understand that many people criticise charity shops for being “hit or miss,” but many of my favourite items of clothing were purchased from charity shops, and with so many located in and around Leeds there is bound to be something for you! Don’t forget that all the money spent not only helps the environment but also supports national and local charities too.

If online shopping is more to your taste, apps such as Depop and Vinted are interactive sites where users can be both buyers and sellers of unwanted clothing or accessories. The price on these sites often varies depending on the products, however, products are often affordable and more in line with current fashion trends. Obviously, these apps are not specific to Leeds, however, many of the sellers on these apps are students, so tailor their prices to the student budget.

Fashion, to many of us, is an important part of our identity and allows us to express ourselves, so it should not come with the guilt of the damaging impact that it has on our environment. It is important that we all do our little part to help prevent the rise of greenhouse gases and reduce our personal carbon footprints.

Words by: Eilidh Kirk

Edited by: Tamikka Reid

Hi I'm Eilidh, a first year student at the University of Leeds where I am studying media and communications.
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