On the internet I often read stories of people telling they can’t afford to dress ethically, with fair trade, green and/or locally made clothes. Yet I know people who dress ethically on a budget. So I had the idea to write this article about the price of sustainable fashion.
Today I still have few ethical clothes but I’m intested in ethical fashion and I share here some information I have found on the internet and while shopping. This article will focus on brands you find in France because I know them more and tackle all budgets, from high to low.
What can I buy with several hundred euros ?
Middle end brands’ prices are cheaper than prices of low end brands. They are also higher than prices of low end (and not ethical) brands like Zara or H&M but the quality is not comparable.
What can I buy with less than 100 euros ?
With less than 100€ , you will find something that suits your taste among ethical fashion brands such as Ekyog, L’herbe rouge or People Tree or brands that manufacture in France such as Mars Loves Her or Bleu de Paname (for men).
However, to optimise your purchases, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions before buying anything. For example: Is it of good quality? Is it my style? When will I wear this garment? Does it make you stand out? Is it comfortable?
And the most important question: Do I need it?
In short, it’s worth taking a few minutes to thing so that you won’t regret your purchase after.
In order to spend less, be on the lookout for sales (“soldes” in French) and special offers.
Here are some exemples of prices of items on sale I have seen:
a pair of Veja fair trade sneakers for the price of a pair of Nike sneakers
organic cotton jeans at AlterMundi for the price of Levis jeans
an organic cotton Mr. Poulet T-shirt for 22€
an Artisans du monde silk scarf for the price of a Monoprix supermarket silk scarf
a pair of Bleu Forêt socks made in France for 7,5€
What can I buy with less than 10 euros ?
Let me be straightforward: you can’t have an ethical T-shirt for 5 euros.
But if you want more, the solution is the second-hand market. Buying second-hand clothes it’s recycling so it’s ecological.
You can find second-hand clothes on the internet, in second-hand clothes shops (“friperies” in French), in consignment shops (“dépots ventes”) or in “vide greniers” (which are a mix of garage sale and flea market). I’m always impressed by the treasures that shopping experts find for a few euros in second-hand clothes shops. It’s worth mentioning charity shops such as Emmaüs, Oxfam or Bis boutique solidaire.
And what if my budget is closer to zero ?
I you have no budget to allocate to clothes, keep in mind that not consuming is the most ecological thing to do.
Nevertheless if you feel like renewing your wardrobe, you can take advantage of a resource you have: you already have some clothes! Those clothes, you can wear them, fix them, transform them. If you don’t like them any longer, you can also sell them, swap them or lend them. Showing imagination can help to make good use of what we have.
As a conclusion
Whatever your budget, there are solutions to dress more ethically.
And if you’re still worried about your wallet, follow environmental journalist Lucie Siegle savvy advice: only buy a piece you can commit to wearing 30 times.