I’m gonna drop a truth bomb here. Ready? Here we go. Often, buying organic, sustainable, eco-friendly, fair-trade stuff is more expensive.
That’s what happens when the people who are making your stuff are paid a fair wage, the environment isn’t dumped into, and stuff is made in the USA or Europe instead of shipping it halfway around the world and back (right now, fossil fuels are still cheap compared with paying people a decent wage/providing healthcare). You COULD say that actually, the inexpensive, made-by-slaves-poisoning-the-environment clothes are artificially cheap—and in fact, clothing is cheaper than it’s ever been in history.
So you want to do the right thing. But still, budget realities are budget realities, we get it. And that can kinda suck. In many ways, just being able to consider those factors is a privilege surrounded by lots of race and class barriers.
So what can we do? Luckily, there ARE green places to shop that won’t break the bank—you just have to do a little digging. Here at Eco-Chick, we’re all about doing the digging for you—so here’s a list of Eco-Friendly retailers that are having end-of-summer sales!
This super-cool clothing company is on the upscale side, but they have some serious sales going on! For example, this super-cute dress is reduced from $88 to $62. Not to mention, they use all sustainable materials. My favorite thing about Reformation? When you order online, they send you a pre-addressed shipping label so you can recycle some old clothes!
Ten Thousand Villages is one of the largest Fair Trade Organizations in America. They partner with artisans all over the world and sell their products–everything from jewelry, bags, and scarves to home goods—at fair prices. Not only is everything reasonably priced to begin with, they also have a clearance section! The necklace above was made in India and is being reduced from $18 to $9.
We are big fans of People Tree, one of the UK’s oldest and most impactful ethical fashion brands. They are having a HUGE 70% off sale right now, on everything from summer-to-fall dresses, to pieces you could easily wear all autumn long, like the organic cotton Lila zigzag dress, above.
Nau makes functional, sustainable, and legitimately stylish outerwear that will withstand the elements and the test of time. Their clearance page is full of cute stuff–I seriously struggled with which item to feature. I went with this cool bag, reduced from $115 to $46, because I think it’s perfect for back-to-school.
I’ve just become a BIG fan of Elroy apparel. They’re fair-trade and use green fabrics, they’re cute, and they’re CHEAP! A bunch of the stuff in the clearance section is under $30—many ranging closer to $20. This super-cute skirt–also perfect for fall and back-to-school—is reduced from $96 to $28.
A long-time Eco-Chick fave, Nancy’s Gone Green is a mother-daughter duo devoted to using natural, organic, and recycled materials from fair-trade designers. They’re currently being rebooted as Ash & Rose, but there’s still a sale going on at the Nancy’s website! And seriously, how cute is that dress? It’s on sale for only $24.99, reduced from $58!
So you see, you can shop responsibly and cheaply. And if you’re hoping to spend even less, don’t forget to check out your local vintage store! There’s plenty to wear—just remember to dig deep. You could be your neighborhood’s next vintage icon.