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How Sustainable Style Is More Than Just Avoiding Your Guilty Pleasure Fast Fashion Brands

When you hear sustainable clothing, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind? Maybe it’s looking towards established sustainable clothing brands, or occasionally ditching your shopping sprees at your favorite fast fashion stop. When we talk about sustainable style, we often get stuck thinking we have to shop from specific brands and avoid others in order to be a sustainable consumer.

While supporting sustainable brands is crucial in the sustainable style movement, let’s be real — it still comes with a price (for your wallet). Brands that abide by sustainable ingredients and ethical manufacturing practices can get extremely pricey and hard to rock when you’re a college girl on a budget. Here’s the truth: transforming your wardrobe into a more sustainable collection can be done in so many other ways. In fact, other style habits can be way more sustainable than buying new clothes to begin with. With that, here are some easily attainable options, besides buying new sustainable clothing, for people who want to curate a more sustainable closet. 

Don’t be scared to buy secondhand



Hardest decision of the day… ?? @onewomanstrashny #thriftedthis

A post shared by T.O’s Fave Pop-up Thrift Shop (@thriftedthis) on

Thrifting clothes have been a huge phenomenon lately. It’s time to take the trend and turn it into a staple in your new wardrobe. Savers and Goodwill are both two places that are super cheap and you can find a bunch of hidden gems there. If you don’t want to spend the day scanning racks, you can alternatively turn to your smartphone to buy secondhand. Depop is one app that has taken over how you thrift by shopping other user’s past loved pieces. 

Upcycle past pieces and make them good as new



Paint me like a Picasso, baby pt. 2✨

A post shared by Madison Paloski (@maddiiiooyx) on

If you’re getting bored with your current pieces it might be time for an upgrade. Upcycling clothes have become my personal favorite in giving me one of a kind pieces that no one else owns. Whether it’s cutting and sewing, painting, embroidering, or ironing on graphics, it’s super effortless to make simple pieces brand new again. Some of these tasks are easy enough to learn and there are tons of YouTube tutorials to turn to in case you get stuck.

Raid your mama’s closet

Looking to create a new sustainable wardrobe? The answer is closer to home than you would think. What I love the most about trends is that they repeat themselves. If you and your mom are relatively the same sizes, see if you can borrow some of her pieces she hasn’t touched since the 80s or 90s that are resurfacing in fast fashion stores currently. This is a great way to not only bond with your mom, but also get some cool new finds!

Sustainable style can be Will you be trying out any of these sustainability options? Tag us at @HerCampusStyle and use the hashtag #HCSustainablyStylish in your new fave thrifted look.

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Madison Paloski is a senior at Lasell University studying fashion communication and promotion and graphic design.  She is currently the Editor in Chief of her school's chapter of Her Campus, an editorial stylist for POLISHED Magazine and Founder and Creative Director of the Fashion Styling and Photography Club on her campus.  She can most likely be found with an old film camera in hand, eating Chipotle, or at any local Saver's.  Her Instagram can be found at @maddiiiooyx and other work can be found at madisonpaloski.wixsite.com/portfolio.