Investment piece or budget buy - Slow fashion guide to an ethical wardrobe

One of the problems I always seem to hear when it comes to buying sustainable fashion is that it's too expensive. However, this isn't strictly true; slow fashion and shopping sustainably isn't about having a full wardrobe of organic cotton and £60.00 t-shirts. Anybody on any budget with any style can shop sustainably and ethically.
Knowing when to spend money and when to save is one of the most helpful things I have learned from shopping sustainably; knowing that shopping slow fashion and monitoring your consumption is more important than where you shop.

I used to go shopping nearly every weekend but now its a very rare occurrence every few months, for items I really need and would use for a long time. Now, if there is something I know I will love and use regularly, a classic piece that can be used as part of my core wardrobe then I know it is worth the investment. An investment piece for me is usually a coat a scarf, shoes or a bag that are really classic styles. When I'm looking for something like a good coat I would usually shop around for a few months, searching for something with an excellent fit and cut,  quality materials and at the very least a reputable brand. If you are going to buy something that will last 10+ years it has to have all of these components, then it won't ever date, break or fray.
I recently went to the opening of the new Barbour shop in town and for me, this is the classic example of an investment piece. They are classic, water and windproof and will last your whole life. They have always kept their products in line with their brand; every jacket is intricately made and can be worn anywhere. Ethical and sustainable fashion is not just about buying all your clothes from People Tree, it's about making an investment in your clothes and style. Jack wills and Barbour have recently put sections on their websites about their environmental standards and ethical trading, however, for me, they don't go far enough to be considered an ethical or sustainable brand. You can, however, pick up some really good classic pieces from them second hand on Depop, Asos marketplace and at Kilo sales. As for more expensive investment ethical pieces, brands like AYNI make some of the most beautiful knitwear; Burberry and Louis Vitton can be picked up ethically on Vestier Collective.
When it comes to the best areas to save money, budget buys are some of my favourites to shop ethically for. I will usually look for both basics and statement pieces, but I find you can be more relaxed about the style. Shopping in charity shops or at kilo sales, you can pick up some really exciting and unique pieces and try out trends without spending a lot of money or damaging the environment. Finding items in places like that for the same price as clothes in Primark or Top shop is not hard they are usually well within anyone's budget. I always buy my statement pieces second hand, this saves so much money and is better for the environment!

Shopping in this way has given me so much more financial manoeuvrability, saving me money and allowing me to buy things that are really special that I can invest in. Shopping sustainably is possible on any budget you just have to choose wisely, save your money and invest in quality that will last where you can.

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