How To Shop Sustainably On A Budget

Alice Logan ·

Each year in the UK, we throw away around 300,000 tonnes of clothing. A lot of the items we send to landfill have only been worn a couple of times, if at all. Research has shown us that the average person’s wardrobe contains 115 items, 30% of which has never been worn. Fast fashion is having a huge impact on the environment, and more people are looking to find ways to shop more sustainably. 

The problem is that many sustainable clothing brands can be pricey. Using environmentally-friendly materials and production methods costs more, and the higher fees are passed onto the consumer. 

So, can you shop sustainably without breaking the bank? 

Our answer – yes, absolutely! The key is to buy fewer items (but of high quality) and to take advantage of used clothing. Here’s everything you need to know to get a greener wardrobe on a shoestring budget. 

What is sustainable shopping?

Before delving into how exactly you buy clothes with the environment in mind, it’s worth understanding what sustainable shopping actually is. All it means is being conscientious when buying items – considering if you really need that extra shirt or pair of jeans, and if you do, making sure they’re the greenest option possible. 

Why shop sustainably?

You’ve no doubt heard David Attenborough or Greta Thunberg. The environment is in crisis, and we need to do something about it. Being greener means making small changes in every aspect of our lives – from how much meat we eat to where we go on holiday. It also means changing the way we shop for clothes. Rather than filling up our wardrobes with the latest looks straight from the high-street, we need to shop smarter – buy second-hand, buy less, and buy quality over quantity. 

How to shop sustainably on a budget


If you’re buying fewer items, you’ll want to make sure they have the highest quality possible (even it costs more than a high-street shop). Many clothes churned out from the fast fashion industry are made from polyester. Not only is polyester fabric made from oil, but it simply doesn’t stand the test of time – it’s liable to pilling and retains nasty smells. 

Avoid polyester and look for more environmentally-friendly materials like organic wool, silk, linen, and hemp. Although more expensive on average, they use less energy and water to produce, and will last longer. Perfect for classic styles.

Shop Sustainable British Brands 

Although fast fashion is still a big problem in the UK, the industry is responding. Last year’s London Fashion week put sustainable fashion right at the forefront, showing that it’s more than possible to be creative and environmentally-friendly at the same time. 

Although there are many sustainable clothing brands worldwide, it’s best to try and shop British whenever possible. Not only does this help local economies, but it also also reduces carbon emissions for transport. The most sustainable British clothing companies that we love here at eBloggers include Stella McCartney, Cossac, Yuri Yuri, and Beulah London. Again, buying from brands like these on’t be cheap, but could save you money in the long run. 

Buy second-hand 

Even better than buying new clothes from sustainable companies is shopping for second-hand items. It saves you money straight away, boosts your environmental credentials, and often gives you a wider range of styles than what’s available on the high-street. 

To bag the best pre-loved clothes, head to charity and vintage shops, or have a browse online. 

If you want to riffle through the racks of a charity shop, be strategic. Target well-off areas like Kensington and Chelsea where the shelves are likely to have a number of designer finds. Our favourite shops include [All Aboard](Our shops - All Aboard Shops Limited) in West Hampstead, Mary’s Living and Giving in Primrose Hill, and the Oxfam Boutique in Westbourne Grove. 

If you don’t have the time to rummage through charity shops, then heading online is the best option. Whilst auction sites like eBay will also have a huge range of used clothes, the quality can often be hit-or-miss. With Reliked, you can be sure to get luxury branded used items in top condition, at just a fraction of original price. 

We all need to do our bit for the environment. Aside from cutting down on meat and flying less, shopping sustainably can help towards a greener future. The good thing is that buying sustainably doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. By buying fewer items of high quality and taking advantage of second-hand clothing, you can shop more sustainably on a budget. 

Reliked can help you help you shop more sustainably and save money without compromising on style. We sell pre-loved clothes worn by your favourite influencers at a huge discount – check out what’s currently on offer! 

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