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Hey Fashion Friend: I Want to Shop Sustainably. Help!

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Hi, friend, you are not alone. We could all stand to make our shopping habits much greener, whether it’s just picking better items or more sustainable basics. Personally, I’ve curbed my impulse spending and now choose smarter purchases, buying things I’ll actually wear more than once. I still like to shop, even if I’m just browsing, but I am making a more conscious effort to shop less fast fashion. I am still sorting by “price low to high,” though; I don’t want to spend too much on the things I do buy.

Thrifting is always a good option if you’re patient, which I am not, which is why I’ve rounded up a few places to shop if you do want to add something to your closet. (But first, you might want to try shopping your own closet to see if something you have already works. Allison Bornstein, TikTok’s favorite stylist, has some ideas.)

The Basics

This one’s kind of obvious and probably one of the most well-known and affordable sustainable brands. This boxy tee is probably my most-worn.

Everlane keeps things pretty minimal, so it’s good for shopping tees, jeans, and button-downs that won’t go out of style. Don’t forget to check the sales section.

Cali-based sustainable brand Lacausa lets you shop by price, and most of its shirts, lounge, and activewear are under $100. Pants will set you back a bit more, ranging from $60 for shorts up to $195 for trousers, but they are pretty timeless, like these Paulie trousers I’ve had my eye on.

Nothing here is over $200, and it has pretty good unisex basics like polo shirts and shorts. It’s already rolled out its fall gear with turtlenecks and long-sleeve tops.

Another concern when it comes to sustainable brands: sizing. This inclusive denim brand carries up to size 24. Everything is just under $100, and on sale, most of the denim will set you back just $40 to $50.

Photo: Retailer

Pangaia’s brightly colored basics you can mix and match start at around $65, and on sale, you can shop tees and more as low as $20.

Take advantage of Levi’s trade-in program which allows you to switch out old Levi’s jeans, jackets, and shorts with something new and exciting. If everything is in great condition, you’ll receive a gift card with the balance of your items. Win-win.

If You Want Something More Fun

Because greener fashion doesn’t always mean beige basics, Back Beat Co. offers bolder pieces and brighter colors in deadstock, recycled, and organic fabrics.

Girlfriend Collective has your standard basics but also tons of athleisure if you want to look like you’re headed to the gym or tennis court at any given time.

You Want to Thrift … Kind Of

I love the idea of thrifting — popping into a store and finding the perfect-fitting jeans — but instead, I often leave empty-handed needing a Claritin. My point being, I love curated vintage shops and follow a ton, like Na Nin Vintage, which styles everything in a way that makes me think I absolutely need it.

Elia Vintage is another curated vintage site with styling I’m kind of obsessed with; its pieces go fast, but it announces new drops occasionally.

Inside its Instagram-worthy showroom, the Break offers curated vintage, including a handful of designer brands that don’t come cheap, but you can find a few under-$100 pieces, like these trousers.

Lots of retailers are getting into resale, so there’s a good chance you can find something directly from a brand you like without spending hours on ThreadUp or the RealReal.

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Hey Fashion Friend: I Want to Shop Sustainably & Affordably