One word comes to mind when most people think of sustainable fashion: expensive. And it’s true. Sustainable fashion can be, and is, expensive. This is because the processes used to create sustainable clothing are more expensive than the conventional methods used by fast fashion brands. This is true with fabrics, as recycled materials can be more expensive than virgin materials, as well as manufacturing that uses less water and reduces CO2, because they’re often using new technologies that, because they are not yet widespread, cost more.
So there is reason behind the prices of sustainable fashion, but this doesn’t necessarily make it easier, nor is it always possible, to part ways with your cash. Luckily, some brands have managed to create sustainable clothing for those on a budget and are pioneering the way forward for the sustainable fashion movement! Whilst their prices might be higher than those in Primark, they’re still relatively affordable and potentially more comparable to brands like Topshop and Zara. Here are some of our favourites…
TALA is an activewear brand that was founded by Grace Beverly (formerly GraceFitUK) in mid-2019. The brand creates on-trend sportswear, as well as underwear and a range of accessories, 92% of which is made from recycled fabrics in factories that promote sustainable methods in Portugal. They also promote inclusivity by using a diverse range of models in their promotion.
TALA collections often sell out very quickly, so be sure to follow them on social media @wearetala to keep up to date with their new releases.
Nobody’s Child was founded on an ethical basis, as the name suggests. Their website states that they are “giving people better lives, supporting economies and reducing textile waste”. They produce small collections ensuring minimal surplus fabric going to landfill. Additionally, Nobody’s Child re-purposes leftover fabric from past seasons, as well as donating leftover materials to fashion colleges.
The brand does bold prints, trend-forward dresses and simple but stylish trousers really well. They also stock pyjama sets, which means you can be sustainable and wear cute clothes at home and at uni. Recently, they’ve collaborated with Lauren Mahon, founder of GIRLvsCancer, to create an exclusive range, of which 25% of every purchase will be donated to the cancer charity, Look Good Feel Better.
Prices: £24-£40 (they also have regular sales).
Sisterhood is the place to go for a ‘jeans and a nice top’ blouse or dresses that can be worn both day and night. The brand also stocks scrunchies that coordinate with some of the prints of their dresses and tops, as well as a range of jewellery.
Their packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and their aim is to make all their clothing from recycled materials in the future. They also donate to sustainability projects around the world on a monthly basis based on their carbon usage, with the aim to become carbon neutral. Further, their design process focuses on minimal wastage and avoiding chemicals.
Lucy & Yak pride themselves on paying their workers properly and they have a great deal of information about the living wage, where their workers are based and how they pay them on their website. They’ve also installed solar panels in their factory in India and are striving towards the factory being powered solely by renewable energy. On top of this, they focus on using organic, recycled and biodegradable fabrics.
The brand found success with their unisex dungarees that come in a range of fabrics including corduroy and denim and are available in a range of block colours as well as prints. They also do slogan t-shirts really well and sell backpacks for £35 that are perfect for using every day at uni.