How Can Vanderbilt Students Shop Sustainably? A Guide to Eco-Friendly Fashion in Nashville

With the rising awareness of sustainability around the world, particularly in the younger generations, sustainable fashion has piqued the interest of many college students. According to the New York Times, more than 60 percent of fabric fibers are derived from fossil fuels and 85 percent of the textile waste in the United States ends up in landfills. Even though fashion may not be something that is typically associated with environmental activism, fast fashion has become a hot topic and many college students would like to shop sustainably but don’t know where to start. This article offers a guide to shopping sustainably in Nashville through both in-person and online resources.

There are many options available for Vanderbilt Students either on or in the surrounding areas of campus. You could take advantage of the many thrift stores within a walkable distance from campus including Buffalo Exchange, 12th Avenue Thrift, and United Apparel Liquidators.  If you are a Vanderbilt student, you can also check out the “Reuse Wardrobe, Vandy!” Groupme. This group chat provides a forum where students can post their old clothes and connect with other Vanderbilt students looking to purchase them. Not only does this promote sustainability, but it also serves as a networking tool for students interested in fashion.

If you are looking for an alternative to shopping in-person, there are many online platforms where you can buy used and like-new items to lower your carbon footprint. Depop and Poshmark are two of the most prominent used clothing apps that feature many trendy clothing options. Not only can you shop sustainably on these apps, but you can earn some extra cash by selling your own clothes that you don’t wear anymore. You can also shop thredUp which is one of the largest online consignment stores that regularly has sales and coupon codes. If second-hand clothes are not your style, brands such as Reformation, Patagonia, and Alternative Apparel are viable options for cute and eco-friendly products. If you want to check a brand’s ethics and sustainability, you can download the free app called “Good on You” to get an ethical rating on any of the app’s 2,000 brands. 

In order to live a sustainable lifestyle, you don’t have to only purchase from sustainable stores. Focus on incorporating little things in your life that you can do to lower your carbon footprint. Even if you are just buying a second-hand shirt or selling a dress on depop so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill, you are making a positive impact on the planet which is always something to be proud of.