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Study Across The Pond US Blog

Ethical Clothes Shopping on a Student Budget

Posted by Olivia Morris, ATP Student Advisor on May 8, 2017 7:00:00 PM

Ethical clothing on a student budget

When traveling to a new country, trying to blend in (or stand out) is one of my top priorities. Currently, student fashion is the capital for unique fashion, so why not join in? Being an advocate of ethical clothing, I pride myself in buying and wearing clothes that promote favorable working conditions, fair trade, sustainable production, a positive impact on the environment, and animal welfare.

Many popular brands are unethical

Being a student, budgeting can be difficult to manage; it’s best to find quality goods for a cheap price. It’s important to know how to strut your stuff, while looking after our world and keeping to your budget. Unfortunately, some inexpensive brands aren’t the most ethical, so do your research before you bust open your wallet to cheap and cheerful clothing.

Be a student that makes a difference!

While thrift shops have lost their popularity since Macklemore’s hit, charity shops in the UK have been thriving. A charity shop is a store run by a non-profit organization (British Heart Foundation, RSPCA, etc.) and accept donations of books, clothes, and furniture. Many students might flinch at the thought of wearing second-hand clothes, but that’s what washing machines are for.

Thinking of going down the second-hand clothing route? Here are some guidelines to help you do it right…

- Don’t buy shoes or bags - Most people donate clothes when they grow out of them; but shoes are donated when they’re on their last legs. No matter how cute you may think that pump is, that shoe has years of someone else’s sweat infused in the fabric.

- Think outside the box - Charity shops have clothes for all types of people; so, try looking in clothes of a different gender. Scavenge for statement pieces (coloured pants, bold blouses or funky jewelry). Sometimes, you might see a piece and think it’s ‘grandma garbage,’ but if you imagine your favorite celebrity wearing it, suddenly the piece becomes stylish.

- Finally, you’re helping charity - There are two ways you can make an impact on the ethical shopping scene: donate and buy! Many charities get a lot of their funding from charity shops. Donating old pieces, or helping them raise funds makes an incomprehensible difference for helping other human beings.

Note: You can also support fair-trade companies. However, some of the quality organizations can get a bit pricey; this article is about shopping honorably for cheap.

 University is known as the period for exploration and self-discovery. Finding clothes that fit you, while changing fashion is easier than you think. Want other tips on living in the UK? Contact one of the Across The Pond Advisors.

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Topics: Student Ambassador