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10 Affordable & Trendy Sustainable Alternatives to Fast Fashion

Would you like to build a conscious wardrobe, but the often (too) high prices and the basic and minimalist designs of sustainable fashion brands don’t convince you?

Would you like to approach vintage and secondhand fashion, but you don’t know where to start?

Great, you don’t have to look any further, we have the ultimate solution for you! We have created a list of sustainable, ethical, trendy, and affordable brands you can’t miss out.

We did our homework and created a list that has it all – from underwear to swimwear, dresses, loungewear, and sneakers. Here you can find everything you need to be consciously on-style without spending a fortune.

And that’s not all! Quite often, that piece of clothing we need and want so much already exists and has been pre-loved… and is just waiting for someone else who is willing to give it a second life. That’s why we have added a ‘thrifting’ section to the list.

Are you curious to know more? Let’s get into it!

1. Minga London

Based in: UK
Categories: tops, graphic tees, hoodies, knitwear, dresses, jackets
Materials: cotton, elastane
Men’s: no
Prices starting at $30
Shipping: international

Minga London wants to change the world and the fashion industry through colorful, unique, young, and vintage-inspired clothes designed for talented people with bold taste and big dreams. Their collections feature special and groovy vibes you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Minga is committed to protecting the environment by following a Chemicals Compliance Policy of chemicals that shouldn’t be used. They also produce only in small batches to avoid overproduction and unsold garments are either recycled to create new styles from them or donated to local associations. I haven’t found any more detailed information about the use of sustainable fibers, but they declare to be working on the increasing adoption of recycled and organic fibers. Keep up the good work!

All their clothes are animal-free and made by fairly paid workers who operate in an ethical environment. What is missing? You! Get ready to join their colorful community where – in their own words – all the weirdos are welcome.

2. Florence Given

Based in: UK
Categories: hoodies, t-shirts, vests, tote bags
Materials: organic cotton, recycled polyester
Men’s: no
Prices starting at $34.60
Shipping: International

Florence Given is by far the boldest and most outspoken brand on this list. They’re not afraid to say what they think the way they think it. Do you want an example? Ok, here it is: “Women don’t owe you pretty” is one of the prints you can find on their items. I think this brand is amazing because it has been created to boost women’s power and to voice relevant social issues sustainably.

Let’s explore the story of the brand a little more. Florence Given is a 21-year-old Sunday Times Best-Selling, record-breaking author and an award-winning influencer. She founded and named after her a sustainable fashion brand based on respect and on raising awareness on hot issues such as oppressive attitudes towards women and their bodies, sexuality, consent, race, and gender.

At Florence Given, it’s also a priority to respect our skin with soft materials, as well as the workers who make our clothes with dignified working conditions, and the world by limiting our impact on the environment. That’s why all their items are vegan, member of Fair Wear Foundation, GOTS certified, and Confidence in Textiles approved.

3. Wolven

Based in: United States
Categories: activewear
Materials: recycled plastic, Modal (fiber made from hardwood trees pulp)
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at $33
Shipping: international

Wolven wants to make sustainability sexy… and they’re doing it great! Wolven clothing is one-of-a-king in shapes, patterns, and colors. They create any multifunctional activewear item you can imagine from recycled plastic and natural fibers with the purpose to empower you to feel confident in your skin, celebrate differences, and strengthen the bonds between one another.

They’re a team of artists and activists working to reduce the negative footprints on our planet. All the patterns are created on canvasses before transferring them to designs, and inspirations vary from the plants to wilderness adventures. Working out and exercising has never been this stylish – and sexy, of course!

At Wolven, they have two lines of production: one for Modal fabric (made in Los Angeles) and one for recycled plastic fabric (made in China). Wolven cares about the conditions in which their clothing is made and has a strict code of conduct that ensures things like health and safety, fair and legal wages, fair working hours, no child labor, and many more. In addition, their Chinese and American suppliers are all independently certified for labor, wages, work hours, health, safety, and environmental practices. For every order, Wolven collects 1 pound of ocean-bound plastic.

4. Hara

Based in: Australia
Categories: bras, undies, loungewear, sportswear
Materials: bamboo
Men’s: no
Prices starting at $35
Shipping: international

When she first traveled to India, Allie (Hara’s founder) was first faced with the environmental impact that the fashion industry is having on the planet, from the chemicals abuse to plastic waste. After spending her time on local cotton farms talking directly with farmers, she wanted to create a solution to the problems and founded Hara, a conscious clothing brand where contemporary and feminine design meets sustainability.

Hara – which means “green” in Hindi – creates ethical and sustainable underwear that is sexy, colorful, extremely comfy, and that won’t go unnoticed. They’re on a mission to bring change, awareness, and education to the issues within the fashion industry while creating sustainable soft dreamy bamboo underwear that also has ethical practices at the core.

Hara is ethically produced in Australia from bamboo fibers that ensure, among others, long-term freshness and heat regulation. Hara has also teamed up with Environmental Justice Foundation to support some environmental projects, especially surrounding pesticides and chemicals in cotton production.

5. Nu-in

Based in: Sweden
Categories: everything – literally – from activewear to dresses to pajamas and underwear
Materials: organic and recycled cotton, recycled polyester, Seaqual (fiber made from ocean-bound plastic), manufacturing waste, Tencel (fiber made from wood pulp)
Men’s: no
Prices starting at $29.82
Shipping: international

Nu-In designs everyday essentials for women with a unique, feminine, and versatile style. Nu-in won’t make you miss Zara & Co… it has everything you need to be trendy and conscious at a very small price every day and at every moment. Whether you’re looking for sustainable dresses or comfy activewear Nu-in has what you need.

When shopping at Nu-in you can be sure that all their pieces are made from eco-friendly sources and they even contribute to water saving – for instance, every Nu-in t-shirt saves up to 2,500 liters of water! In addition, they only produce in factories that invest in clean energy and most of their garments, once disposed of, can biodegrade in the same amount of time as an apple core. They are on a journey towards circularity and strive to be radically transparent.

Nu-In is 100% vegan and PETA-approved. Workers are the heartbeat of Nu-in and their rights are respected and guaranteed. Despite there’s no evidence it has a Code of Conduct, the brand has a formal statement covering workers’ rights, such as safe working conditions and fair wages.

6. allSisters

Based in: Spain
Categories: swimwear
Materials: Econyl (recycled nylon made from old plastic bottles and fishing nets)
Men’s: no
Prices starting at $47 (bottom) and $47 (top)
Shipping: international

allSisters creates sexy and colorful swimwear from recycled fabrics of the highest quality and OEKO-Tex certified. Their innovative and original pattern-cutting – they design lovely and eye-catching pieces like I’ve never seen anywhere else – is inspired by nature’s power and by the special bond that exists between all women and mother earth.

Their multifunctional swimsuits are the perfect balance between strength and sensuality, maximum support and comfort, confidence and sustainability. Without sacrificing bold, cutting-edge design, and functionality, the brand also does a great job in terms of sustainability and ethics.

All their pieces are tested for harmful substances, are animal-free, and are made in socially responsible workplaces from recycled materials. allSisters traces all the supply chain to support local factories and preserve their fair trade conscience.

7. Ethletic

Based in: Germany
Categories: sneakers
Materials: organic cotton, natural rubber
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at $89.43
Shipping: EU, Switzerland, US

Ethletic makes 100% vegan and PETA-approved sneakers with an urban and contemporary style. They design both monochromatic sneakers and bold and extravagant patterns. You can find all the colors you want, from pastels to fluorescent hues. Ethletic creates shoes only from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton – Fairtrade and GOTS certified – and natural rubber – FSC certified.

Ethletic is ethically produced in Pakistan by 50 full-time employees who get paid even when there are no production runs. This ensures them a firm monthly income they can rely on, which is 20% higher than the legally stipulated minimum wage in Pakistan.

For each pair of shoes sold $1 is paid as a premium to the Talon Fair Trade Workers Welfare Society to support health care and educational projects. Ethletic also makes casual clothing and flip-flops starting at $29.72.

8. Tamga Designs

Based in: Canada
Categories: dresses, loungewear, kimonos, jumpsuits
Materials: organic cotton, Tencel, Modal, EcoVero (fiber made from wood pulp)
Men’s: no
Prices starting at $37
Shipping: international

Tamga designs some of the most colorful, sustainable, and beautiful boho-chic clothes I’ve ever seen! I’m sure you’ll fall in love with their flower patterns – believe it or not, there are 23 of them all inspired by nature – and vibrant colors. As if this was not enough, Tamga also creates amazing eco-friendly scarves, printed headbands, and versatile scrunchies to complete your looks.

At Tamga, all the colors are OEKO-Tex certified and come from environmentally and ethically responsible sources. Their dyes use 70% less water than conventional synthetic dyes, which are also toxic to people and the planet and contain suspected carcinogens, heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals.

Simply put, Tamga is a great example because it makes trendy, affordable, and high-quality clothing from the best sustainable materials while ensuring dignified conditions to every worker throughout the process and preserving the environment. They also give 1% for the planet.

9. Fullalove

Based in: UK
Categories: dresses, lingerie, tops, bottoms, loungewear, swimwear
Materials: organic cotton, bamboo
Men’s: no
Prices starting at $16
Shipping: international

Fullalove is a female-owned sustainable and ethical brand that creates size-inclusive clothing for women who want to be stylish and sexy in their bathing suits, dresses, and even loungewear. Their pastel and neutral shades, as well as bold and exotic patterns, are perfect for both casual and fancy everyday looks.

Their mission is to bring sustainability and ethics in the fashion market with an emphasis on trends and competitive prices. Fullalove truly loves the environment to the point that they have created non-toxic collections that swap artificial colors for natural and uncommon dyes such as raspberries, spinach, nettles, and even red cabbage.

Fullalove is ethically produced in the UK by workers treated with respect and dignity and paid properly. They make comfy and great-looking clothes from fully traceable sustainable fabrics that are GOTS and OEKO-Tex certified.

RELATED: Affordable Ethical Clothing In The UK: 11 Brands You Should Know

10. Thrifting

Oh yes.. you read that right! We’re going to talk about thrift shopping, my favorite way to get unique clothes in a sustainable and very cheap way, and definitely one of the coolest ways to find new old treasures. You can go thrifting in local thrift stores, charity shops, and online thrift shops but we recommend that you always plan your thrift ahead to avoid wasting time, money… and end up being unsustainable!

Indeed, the small prices could tempt us to buy more clothes than needed, thus increasing the risk of discarding them immediately after purchase. “Do I really need it?” is the first question we should always ask ourselves before buying any piece of clothing (and before buying anything else too!).

As a big fan of thrift shopping, I want to share three of my favorite online shops with you… and a juicy bonus tip too! And if you want more, go and check out our top 30 online secondhand shop recommendations.

Vinted

Popular brands: Nike, Zara, Levi’s, Mango, Lacoste, Guess, Michael Kors
What to buy: secondhand clothes
Men’s: yes
Countries: Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, the UK, Italy, Portugal, the USA, Canada
Prices starting at $1

Our review of the most exclusive yet affordable and stylish thrift stores starts with Vinted, which has become so popular lately thanks to lots of advertising and influencer marketing campaigns. Vinted is a community-based online thrift shop of over 45 million people who buy and sell secondhand clothes and accessories, and even home textiles and kitchenware.

Vinted is on a mission to make secondhand fashion the first choice and is open to everyone who believes that good clothes should live longer. That’s why you can also easily sell your pre-loved clothes on Vinted and give them a second life.

Asos Marketplace

Popular brands: Adidas, Birkenstocks, Burberry, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, Moschino, Puma
What to buy: vintage clothes
Men’s: yes
Countries: worldwide
Prices starting at $2.66

ASOS Marketplace has a unique product range of over 130,000 products and is home to 900+ small businesses including independent brands and vintage boutiques from 50+ countries. Whether you’re on the hunt for a vintage sweatshirt from your favorite brand, the perfect pair of vintage jeans, one-of-a-kind vintage dress or artisanal hand-made jewelry, their marketplace has got you covered.

If you meet ASOS’ strict criteria, you can even open your own boutique on this marketplace and benefit from ASOS’ extensive global audience.

Thrifted

Popular brands: Emporio Armani, Champion, Napapijri, Stone Island
What to buy: vintage clothes
Men’s: yes
Countries: worldwide
Prices starting at $15

Thrifted is a leading online vintage and retro clothing retailer that aims to deliver quality secondhand clothing for both special events and everyday outfits. They offer the best brands and styles from the 70s, 80s, and 90s at very affordable prices. Thrifted also has vintage sportswear such as football shirts.

All of their clothing is sourced from a wide range of suppliers located around the world. Unlike Vinted and ASOS marketplace, it’s not possible to sell on Thrifted.

Bonus tip

As promised, here’s the juiciest tip ever to shop consciously for next to nothing! Have you ever taken part in vintage and secondhand fashion sales events? They’re definitely the best chance to find unique and one-of-a-kind fashion pieces – from coats to jeans to bags and belts – at a very small price.

Whether you’re in Europe or planning a trip there, you can’t miss one of the over 700 upcoming events that VinoKilo will be holding in 90+ different European cities. Grab the opportunity, for about 40 euros per kilo of clothes, to get a complete vintage and/or secondhand outfit! Check out their page here to find out more.

Can’t join a live event? No worries! VinoKilo also has a great online shop where you can find the highest quality vintage and secondhand clothes starting at $1 (shipping within the EU and the UK). Their most popular brand are Adidas, Armani Jeans, Asics, Burberry, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger.

Alberta Bernardi
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Alberta Bernardi is a Ph.D. in Management, Innovation, and Sustainable Development. She likes to call herself a “sustainability warrior” because she aims to spread knowledge on the environment, ethics, and plastic pollution day after day. Her love of nature and battle against plastic around the world are on Instagram @together_no_plastic