Illustration: Kate King
Sustainable fashion on a student budget is not always an easy task. With rocketing price tags, it can be hard not to break the bank. aAh! wraps up four easy fashion tips to help you make more sustainable choices.
SLOWING DOWN & TAKING CARE
Losing inspiration for new outfits? Believe it or not, this does not mean you are in need of a shopping spree. Elle UK contributing editor and fashion activist, Aja Barber says it best when she tells us to “slow down and be more thoughtful”. Pinterest is a great way of finding endless ideas on how to style the clothes you already own. Organisations such as the Manchester-based cooperative, Stitched Up, also offer hands-on workshops teaching skills such as sewing and garment repair, that will help you take care of your clothes. So slow down and think twice before making new purchases. You don’t always need a shopping spree.
UPCYCLING OLD CLOTHES
Let’s be honest, we all went through a phase in our early teens of watching DIY YouTube videos and taking a pair of scissors to our old clothes. Maybe our younger selves were on to something, as this is one of the easiest ways to up your sustainability and come out with a brand-new piece of clothing. YouTube channels such as Fashion Wizardry provide easy tutorials to transform old outfits into new stylish pieces. So, if you need a new skirt for that flat party you’re going to, save money and the environment by recycling that old pair of jeans you forgot about.
CHARITY & THRIFT SHOPPING
Manchester has plenty of trendy second-hand clothing shops such as Blue Rinse, Cow Vintage and Pop Boutique, ideal for sourcing interesting vintage pieces. Charity shops are also a great way of coming across unique vintage items at a bargain price tag. Buying second-hand can help us get out of this throw-away mindset which in turn, helps lessen our impact on the environment. It is also a good option when you’re on a tight student budget. Why spend a fortune on flimsy fast fashion when you can save money and fight climate change by shopping second-hand?
One thing university students always need is a little bit of extra money; whether that’s to buy new books, gig tickets, or simply restock the fridge. Selling a jumper that’s been long forgotten at the bottom of your wardrobe could be the solution to this. Green Living UK reports that 350,000 tonnes of used but still wearable clothing goes to landfill every year, so why not help reduce this staggering figure while making yourself some extra cash? Try websites such as Vinted, Depop and eBay to sell your old clothes instead of throwing them out.