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Shopping Sustainably is Actually Cheaper?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The words “sustainable fashion” are often associated with extremely basic clothes with an unreasonably high price tag. Many people wish they could avoid fast fashion but feel as if it is the only realistic option. This is a misconception I fell victim to. While I was well-aware of the toxicity of the fast fashion industry, I felt as though sustainable fashion was not a realistic option for me. I viewed sustainable fashion as a luxury that not many can afford. 

When I realized that sustainable fashion is actually the cheapest option, I was completely shocked. You may be wondering how sustainable fashion can be the cheapest option when all of the well-known “sustainable” brands have such high-end prices. Well, the truth is that sustainability has much more to do with how much clothes you buy rather than where you buy your clothes from. 

How many of you have clothes that you hardly ever touch and remain sitting in your closet, collecting dust? The first step in shopping more sustainably is to avoid this as much as possible. To avoid purchasing clothes that will contribute to the piles of clothes in the landfills, it is crucial that we are more mindful of our purchases. This requires us to consider factors such as how often you would wear a piece of clothing and how long the piece of clothing will last before purchasing clothes. Not only would this encourage us to buy less clothing but it would also increase the longevity of the clothing we buy. Buying less means saving more. 

Furthermore, a large portion of sustainable fashion is simply working with the clothes you already own. So, take a good look at your closet and show some love to a clothing piece you have been neglecting. Rather than looking to the stores to revamp your wardrobe, try looking in your closet for some clothes that you can style in a new way. This is a fun challenge that is far more sustainable than purchasing new clothes – whether they are from fast fashion companies or sustainable stores. 

While it is crucial we try to limit the amount of clothes we purchase, it is not realistic to never purchase any new clothes. This is when we must turn to the beloved thrift stores. While sustainable fashion brands have great intentions, many of us are college students who simply cannot throw away our money on one basic white organic cotton t-shirt. Once I discovered Thredup, my life completely changed. I found clothes from my favorite brands that I had debated purchasing at full price for a discounted price on Thredup! My secret trick for finding the best clothes on Thredup is to search by your favorite brands and to filter by your sizes. Thredup is a convenient thrift store option for some more modern finds at a cheaper price. For some more unique gems, I would recommend heading to your local thrift store or downloading Depop. 

This year, one of my resolutions is to shop more sustainably. For me that looks like purchasing less clothes and being much more mindful of the purchases I choose to make. What I have come to realize is that shopping sustainable is not only a better option for me to save money but also a better option for the environment. 

Anastacia Son is a first year at UCSD and is a Political Science major with a concentration in Data Analytics and a minor in Literature/Writing. She has a passion for writing and her hobbies include journaling, swimming/staying active, and reading.
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