How to Transition to Sustainable Fashion If You Are on a Budget

Check out these six ways to get into sustainable fashion without having to spend too much.

We already mentioned that sustainable fashion might seem like an elitist hobby since it costs more to buy from ethical brands than fast fashion brands. In this article we are going to dive deeper into it, to reveal that in order to shop sustainably you don’t need to be wealthy, although let’s be honest, it does help. However, if you plan to take this transition seriously and to change your shopping habits without having to spend a lot of money, this article is just for you.


Invest in Timeless Wardrobe Essentials

shutterstock 1293384706
New Africa/shutterstock

One of the most popular topics related to fashion on social media is closet essentials. It has become even more popular than trend alerts. I believe it has to do with our generation’s awareness of how problematic following trends has become in terms of the ecological consequences. However, it also could be due to being tired of overconsumption, and paradoxically never having anything to wear with a closet full of clothes. Investing in your timeless closet essentials is vital for conscious shopping and slow fashion transition.

The advice here, when buying new clothes try to imagine how it fits into your lifestyle, how many times you can wear it, with how many other existing pieces in your wardrobe you can combine and style this item with. Over time you will get much better at choosing what you should and shouldn’t spend your money on.



shutterstock 1934118089

In my previous sustainable fashion article, I already highlighted the popularity of the thrifting trend among the youth. There is an unlimited number of videos showing thrift hauls, thrift challenges, and thrift shopping. They get many views, proving that there is a demand for this type of content from the younger audience. Second-hand shopping is no longer frowned upon and the stereotype that it is something to be ashamed of is vanishing and becoming a thing of the past. On the contrary, the ability to find stylish and trendy pieces at the thrift shop is a quality worth complimenting and admiring these days.



shutterstock 1968233629
New Africa/shutterstock

If you have a special occasion coming up, whether it’s a prom, a special event, or a wedding, chances are you need a special outfit for that occasion. Instead of spending money on something you will only wear once, you can instead rent it. Not only do you save your money from being wasted on something you will never wear again, but you also will make the world a better place.


Buy Pre-Owned Pieces

shutterstock 1932704108

Now you might ask how is this different from thrifting which was already mentioned above. I wanted to highlight the great change that technology brought to the fashion world. These days you no longer need to go anywhere to buy second-hand or pre-owned pieces. All you need is your phone and an app on which you can shop and buy clothes from other fellow humans, who just like you and I are trying to minimize our fashion footprint. Stay tuned for our upcoming article revealing a list of apps where you can buy and sell your clothes.


Reuse and Repair

shutterstock 1666730062

Another slow approach to fashion is reusing, repairing, remaking, and redesigning clothes that you no longer wear. You can turn your skirt into a dress, your jeans into shorts, all it takes is one Google search on how to remake your clothes. There are many young content creators on TikTok, for example, who show and inspire others how to do that. Of course, this one might be challenging for many of us, but if you consider yourself a talented person with artistic mindset and vision, you need to give it a try.


Sell and Donate Clothes You Don’t Wear

shutterstock 1767747170
22Images Studio/shutterstock

To keep the cycle going, buying from others is not enough, you should also try to sell and/or donate your clothes. As someone once said, “What you give is what you receive”, or something along those lines. In all seriousness, when switching to slow fashion, it is not all about what and where you are buying. It is also about what you choose to do with your old clothes.

As much as you need to be mindful with your shopping choices, you don’t need to keep the clothes you no longer like, or that no longer fit your style and aesthetic. People change and so does their style, so we are not here to shame you for that. However, be mindful of the future of your old clothes. Remember that there might be someone else who will be happy to give that piece of clothing a new life. And as mentioned above, these days selling your clothes became even more accessible with all these new apps that let you sell them fast and easy.

If you are not too tech-savvy, you can still do good by donating your clothes to people in need. Do your research to make sure you are supporting a good cause and that your clothes will not be thrown away.


With these easy steps transitioning to sustainable, slow, and ethical fashion has become easier than ever before. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and take action. You might not have it all figured out at first, but remember practice makes perfect. And your small contribution helps the ecology and our planet in the grand scheme of things.


Photo: indira’s work/shutterstock


You might also like:

Sustainable Fashion: A Myth or an Attainable Goal?


Support us!

All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.


paypal smart payment button for simple membership

Share this post

Interested in co-operating with us?

We are open to co-operation from writers and businesses alike. You can reach us on our email at and we will get back to you as quick as we can.

Where to next?

How Fashion Brands Are Greenwashing You

Greenwashing is a deceitful PR practice of brands in many spheres and walks of life that intentionally or unintentionally claim their sustainable status with little to no proof. In this…

7 Best Apps and Sites to Sell Your Clothes

Some of the pillars of sustainable fashion are repairing, remaking, and reusing your clothes. But what do you do with the clothes that have been living in the darkest parts…