Nichole is the founder of the Joie de Vivre blog.
A lot of people are under the impression that only the upper class can afford eco-friendly fashion. A decade or so ago this may have been the case, but so many conscious brands have emerged in recent years, ‘conscious consumption’ is now available to the masses.
So what exactly do I mean by affordable?
When I say affordable, I’m not talking prices that match those found at Forever 21. The point of developing an eco-friendly attitude towards fashion is to embrace a “less is better” mindset. Think items that are high quality and everlasting, not ultra-trendy and disposable. So for the purposes of this post, I looked for basic tops in the $15-50 range, fashion tops for under $100, and dresses for under $150. If you are truly interested in becoming a more conscious consumer, then these prices should afford you a few new items each season.
And if you still feel that these prices won’t work with your budget, that’s the beauty of thrift stores. Thrifting will always be the most green option when it comes to shopping, and I believe that a combination of ethically-sourced fashion apparel and thrifted items is the best way to go.
Without further ado, here is my list of the best sources for affordable fashion.
I’m obsessed with Alternative Apparel’s basic cotton tees and own them in several different colors. They also have a collection of activewear including leggings, sports bras, tanks, and shorts.
I love this brand’s patterned leggings which are sure to inspire you to get on your yoga mat, and their collection of casual dresses are perfect for a beachy getaway.
This socially responsible company offers highly-versatile pieces including basic tops, pants, shorts, and outerwear. Nearly everything is under $100. They are completely transparent about where their clothing is manufactured and how they devise their pricing model.
PACT uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes to produce their clothing in sweatshop-free, family-run farms using renewable energy factories. It doesn’t really get any more ethical or sustainable as this. Their comfy, cute wrap dresses are only $34 and they also sell leggings, camisoles, socks, and underwear for extremely affordable prices.
When it comes to sustainable apparel that makes a statement, Amour Vert is one of my top picks. Amour Vert is fashion-forward eco apparel without the designer prices.
Though in general Reformation has a little bit higher price tags than some other brands listed on here, you can definitely find some budget-friendly pieces. Reformation is fashion-forward, with a luxury feel, and definitely worth the occasional splurge.
This UK-based fair-trade and eco-friendly fashion company offers fashion forward dresses for under $100, tops for under $50, and hand-made jewelry in the $15-50 range.
Bluer Denim’s high-quality, tailored denim jeans run for $95-145 and are made entirely in America using Georgia-grown cotton, and buttons and zippers forged in Kentucky.
This fair trade company that uses natural and recycled materials, Soko provides guilt-free, on-trend jewelry that is shockingly affordable for the quality. Everything is made by artisans who before being connected through Soko, didn’t have access to global markets.
Formerly known as The Andean Collection, this collection of necklaces, bracelets, and other accessories are designed in NYC and created by artisans in Ecuador, Vietnam, and Swaziland using natural materials like tagua seeds, acai seeds, coconut, and alpaca . The Tagua Bib necklace (which I own in several colors) is one of my favorite statement necklaces.
Gold plated jewelry handcrafted in Cambodia using “metal from land mines and unexploded ordinance.” All pieces are priced at under $50.
A collection of edgy rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings run for $120 and under and are handmade in New York City.
Urban Outfitters’ line of vintage and re-worked apparel includes denim cut-offs, tees, dresses, and other trendy pieces for budget prices.
ASOS offers a curation of vintage, reclaimed fashion apparel, jewelry made from sustainable materials, and anti-cruelty handbags.
Eco Habitude is what I consider an online department store for all things eco-friendly- women’s, men’s, and kids apparel, beauty products, home goods, specialty foods, and even a wedding collection.
This is another complete conscious lifestyle store selling a wide assortment of men’s and women’s fashion apparel and accessories, home goods, and beauty products.