By Brittany Moura

 

When we think about sustainable fashion, we immediately see high price tags. Most options are unaffordable to college students, who are all about the Forever 21 sales. However, that is not always the case. There are plenty of sustainable brands that even us dining hall dwellers can opt for.

 

Thrift shops

The most obvious way to shop ethically is thrifting, and Boston offers plenty of chain-thrift stores, such as Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange, as well as local favorites like the Garment District, where you can literally buy pounds of clothing for a few dollars.

 

Ref Jeans

If you’re into the French “it-girl” aesthetics of sustainable clothing brand Reformation, there’s a new, cheaper alternative for you. Their sister brand, Ref Jeans, not only sells denim, but basics and dresses, ranging from $28 to $178, which is a lot easier on the wallet than buying a $300 floral mini dress that is easily duped by fast fashion brands.

 

People Tree

If what you’re searching for is not as trend-based, there are many more minimalistic companies to purchase from — the most well-known being People Tree, which is known as one of the first brands to place such an emphasis on sustainability, starting in 1991. The prices are fair for the quality of material you’re getting, as well as simply knowing you’re not contributing to fast fashion’s evil grip. On their website, you can learn about their humble beginnings as artisans and farmers.

 

Ash and Rose

If you’re looking for a local boutique, you can check out Ash and Rose, located on Thayer Street in the South End. You can find boho styles that are similarly priced to brands like Topshop or Zara, two major perpetrators in the fast-fashion industry. Their website deems the brand as “a shop for women who love all things romantic, whimsical, pretty and practical – and care about the planet and the people who inhabit it.”

 

I know that personally it takes a lot for me to step away from the wonders of Newbury Street and the grand allure of Urban Outfitters. But recently, shopping ethically has left me and my wallet feeling justified and grateful for those who decide to put the planet and unfair factory conditions in front of convenience.