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Affordable Sustainable Clothing: Embracing Style with a Conscience

by Orianna

woman with wide eyes looking at a clothing price tag

This article includes affiliate links.


What is Sustainable Clothing?

In recent years, the fashion industry has witnessed a growing demand for sustainable clothing as consumers become more conscious of their environmental impact. Sustainable clothing refers to garments made with environmentally friendly materials and produced under ethical manufacturing practices. While sustainable fashion has often been associated with high price tags, there is a rising number of affordable brands that prioritize sustainability without compromising style.


Before delving into affordable sustainable clothing brands, it's essential to grasp the principles that define sustainable fashion. Sustainable clothing aims to minimize harm to the environment throughout its lifecycle, from production to disposal. This involves using eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, hemp, or recycled fabrics, as well as adopting responsible manufacturing practices, such as reducing water and energy consumption, minimizing waste, and ensuring fair labor conditions. By embracing sustainable clothing, individuals can make a positive impact on the planet while still expressing their personal style.


Based on these criteria, we curated a list of 16 budget-friendly brands that champion sustainability. It's important to admit that these brands do not have prices similar to SHEIN and other fast fashion makers. However, we highlighted products for each brand priced at less than $100. Buying a higher-quality piece means they will last longer and save money in the long run!


16 Affordable Sustainable Clothing Brands

1. Everlane

Everlane is committed to radical transparency, providing customers with information about their factories, materials, and pricing. They focus on creating high-quality wardrobe essentials using sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing practices.

woman in white short t-shirt and jeans
Everlane Ribbed Baby Tee

Highlighted Product: The Ribbed Baby Tee - "The Ribbed Baby Tee features a scallop-weave neckline and sleeve detailing in a playfully cropped silhouette. Revealing just a hint of midriff, its textured fine-rib fabric—made of organic cotton with a touch of elastane, gives it that figure-skimming fit. Pairing well with your favorite high-waist jeans or pants for that perfect on-camera moment." Priced at $35.


2. Patagonia

Patagonia is a renowned outdoor clothing brand that prioritizes sustainability. They use recycled materials, implement fair labor practices, and support environmental causes through their activism and initiatives.


Highlighted Product: Women's Stretch Planing Micro Shorts - "Light and breezy, these micro boardshorts are versatile enough for almost any activity in or out of the water; made from stretchy, fast-drying 100% recycled polyester with a PFC-free DWR finish (durable water repellent coating that does not contain perfluorinated chemicals)." Priced at $59.


3. tentree

tentree is an eco-conscious brand that plants ten trees for every item purchased. They use sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled fabrics to create comfortable and stylish clothing.


Highlighted Product: Knit Rib Skirt - "Body hugging skirt with high waist in wide rib with side split can be worn dressed up or dressed down. Wear with sneakers, flats, or heels." Regularly priced at $58.


4. People Tree

People Tree is a pioneer in fair trade and sustainable fashion. They partner with artisans and farmers to create ethically made clothing using organic cotton and natural dyes. This company is based in the UK, so depending on where you live the shipping may have a big impact.

woman wearing a short sleeved black dress and sandals
People Tree Carol Dress in Black

Highlighted Product: Carol Dress in Black - "100% organic certified cotton. Made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, it has a bodice made from soft jersey that skims the body perfectly, over a poplin skirt that gathers at the waist, the hem at midi length, for a smarter, more airy feel." Priced at £89.00.


5. Thought

Thought Clothing is a sustainable fashion brand that emphasizes natural and organic materials in their collections. They prioritize ethical manufacturing processes and promote slow fashion.


Highlighted Product: The Organic Cotton Breton Stripe Top - This classic striped top is made from organic cotton, exemplifying Thought's focus on sustainable and timeless pieces. Priced at $51.


6. Kotn

Kotn is dedicated to creating affordable clothing using ethically sourced Egyptian cotton. They work directly with cotton farming communities and invest in education and development projects.


Highlighted Product: The Long Essential Crew - Made from authentic Egyptian cotton, this staple crewneck t-shirt combines comfort and sustainability. Priced at $35.


7. Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective specializes in sustainable activewear made from recycled materials. They prioritize transparency and offer a wide range of size-inclusive and eco-friendly athletic apparel.


Highlighted Product: The Compressive High-Rise Leggings - These leggings are made from recycled water bottles and offer a compressive fit, demonstrating Girlfriend Collective's commitment to sustainability in activewear. Priced at $78.

Woman in light blue crop top and matching pants
Organic Basics Seamless Long Sleeve Crop Top

8. Organic Basics

Organic Basics focuses on creating minimalist and sustainable essentials. They use organic cotton and recycled materials while ensuring fair working conditions and transparent supply chains.


Highlighted Product: Seamless Long-Sleeve Crop Top - "Soft, stretchy, and oh-so-cute – this long-sleeve crop top is made for wearing all day, every day." Priced at $85.


9. Lucy & Yak

Lucy & Yak is a sustainable fashion brand known for its vibrant and ethically made clothing. They prioritize organic and recycled materials, and their garments are produced in fair-wage factories.


Highlighted Product: The Original Organic Cotton Dungarees - Made from organic cotton, these colorful and comfortable dungarees embody Lucy & Yak's playful and sustainable ethos. Priced at $65.


10. PACT

PACT specializes in affordable organic cotton clothing for the whole family. They prioritize fair trade practices and transparency, offering a wide range of comfortable and sustainable essentials.

Woman in black top and leggings
Pact Pureactive Pocket Legging

Highlighted Product: Pureactive Pocket Legging - Made with Organic Cotton in a Fair Trade Factory. Regularly priced at $38.


11. Outerknown

Outerknown is a sustainable surfwear brand that places emphasis on using organic and recycled materials. They are committed to fair labor practices and transparent supply chains. This one is a bit of a stretch for an affordable list, but their stuff is good.


Highlighted Product: Seventyseven cord shorts - "A modern take on a 70s favorite! Made sustainably with 16-wale corduroy that gives these shorts their endlessly soft feel in an array of summer-ready hues!" Priced at $88.


12. Alternative Apparel

Alternative Apparel focuses on sustainable basics made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and low-impact dyes. They prioritize fair labor and social responsibility. They describe their brand as Earthleisure. "Like Athliesure, Earthleisure is all about casual, comfortable clothing. From Eco-Materials to responsible manufacturing, it’s all made with our planet in mind. For work, play, every day…nothing feels better."


Highlighted Product: Triblend Patterned Eco Meegs Racerback Tank - This tank top is manufactured with recycled polyester. Alternative transitioned to manufacturing with only recycled poly in 2022 and has set our sights on using other responsibly sourced fibers. I just purchased this from their Amazon shop for $16.


13. WAMA Underwear

WAMA Underwear specializes in eco-friendly and comfortable underwear made from hemp, one of the most sustainable fabrics available. They prioritize transparency, ethical production, and reducing the fashion industry's carbon footprint.

Highlighted Product: The Hemp Hipster Panties - "Hemp Hipster Panties provide the perfect balance between comfortable coverage and sexy cheekiness, making them a no-brainer for daily wear. With a low rise waist and flexible waistband, you’ll love wearing our breathable hemp hipster panties under all your favorite pants." Priced at $24.


14. United By Blue

United By Blue combines style and sustainability in their clothing and accessories. They are committed to removing one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product sold.


Highlighted Product: Recycled Sherpa Zip-Up Hoodie - "Cozy all over. A fluffy, cloud-like sherpa hoodie with contrast piping and a slightly cropped fit. Made of 100% recycled polyester from pre- and post-consumer plastic." Priced at $98

white fuzzy hoodie with gray and yellow trim
United By Blue Recycled Sherpa Zip-Up Hoodie

15. Bleed

Bleed is a sustainable sportswear brand that combines functionality with eco-friendly materials. They offer affordable activewear for men and women, including workout tops and leggings. This is a German brand, so if you are in Europe this is a great one to check out!


Highlighted Product: Light-Breeze Buttoned Lyocell (TENCEL™) Skirt Blue - "Thanks to the light, cooling material lyocell (TENCEL™), this skirt is definitely a feel-good piece. The elasticated waistband makes sure that nothing pinches or cuts into you. Thanks to the understated blue colour, this skirt is easy to wear, whilst the multiple buttons on the front take any outfit to the next level." Priced at €69.90.


16. ABLE

ABLE is a brand focused on ethical fashion and empowering women. They offer a range of affordable clothing, shoes, and accessories, with a commitment to transparency and fair wages.


Highlighted Product: Gloria Graphic Tee - "That graphic tee you'll want to wear with everything. The modern tiger illustration represents India, the country of production. The Iris is in honor of Tennessee, where you find ABLE headquarters. The design adds a bit of interest to any look, while the black and white color scheme keeps things versatile, making it an easy fit into your wardrobe." Priced at $45. (We really love this one!)


These are great brands that have products in a more affordable price range. However, if eco-luxury is your thing, check out this article that lists six stylish sustainable fashion brands not covered on this list!


Tips for Shopping Affordable Sustainable Clothing

While the brands mentioned above provide excellent options for affordable sustainable clothing, it is helpful to have a few guidelines when shopping for such items.

Consider the following tips:

  • Prioritize Essential Pieces: Invest in versatile, timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits, maximizing their value and longevity.

  • Thrift and Secondhand Stores: Explore thrift stores and online platforms for pre-loved clothing, as they offer unique sustainable finds at budget-friendly prices.

  • Sales and Discounts: Keep an eye out for sales, promotions, and discount codes offered by sustainable brands, allowing you to snag quality items at reduced prices.

  • DIY and Upcycling: Get creative

Final Thoughts

With the rise of affordable sustainable clothing brands, it has become easier than ever to make eco-conscious fashion choices without breaking the bank. The mentioned brands demonstrate that sustainability and affordability can coexist, offering consumers a wide range of options that prioritize ethical practices and environmentally friendly materials. By supporting these brands, individuals can contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry while still enjoying stylish and budget-friendly clothing.

 

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