Move over H&M & Co : A guide to environmental friendly fashion websites & other alternatives

Alisa Narbutas

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H&M Shop Window. Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes (Flickr)
H&M Shop Window. Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes (Flickr)

As promised in last weeks fair trade and sustainability in fashion article, I created a guide to my  favourite online shops, which offer a wide range of stylish and environmental friendly fashion.  But as beautiful as fair trade materials can be, they often exceed a small student budget (such as my own 🙁 ) and therefore some creative and cheaper alternatives are included below.

Web Shops 

// The Reformation

Screenshot The Reformation

Not only do they make killer clothes but they also don’t kill the environment ! Created back in 2009,  The Reformation provides limited-edition collections from their own factories, located in Los Angeles. They get rid of retail markups by cutting out middlemen, making sure every garment and process involved in the production is sustainable. Their wedding dress collection, is actually to die for! If that wasn’t enough, they also use renewable energy, provided by their heat-reflecting roof – good thing it’s always sunny in L.A!

// Revenvert

Screenshot Revenvert Rêve En Vert was founded three years ago and is now one of the biggest online retailers, when it comes to sustainable luxurious clothing. They selection process of designers is based on fair living wages, use of ethically-sourced materials as well as low-environmental impact materials. Definitely not student budget material but they offer a – 25% discount if you sign up to their newsletter – yay!

// People Tree (also available on Asos.com)

Screenshot People Tree

For more than twenty years People Tree has been partnering up with fair trade artisans and farmers in the developing world, in order to produce ethical and eco friendly collections. They provide a colourful range of summer dresses, everyday organic cotton shirts and lovely accessories. Adding, they currently have Sale and also do a men’s collection! Meaning you and your boyfriend (or best friend) can order in one go and save on shipping costs!

// Fair A Porter

Screenshot Fair A porter

Founded by fashion journalist Alex Bohn, Fair A Porter had one idea in mind: giving the unknown product a story and opening up about transparency and the ethical production behind it. Next to being a web shop, they also offer you style inspirations and several reviews of lifestyle products.

Alternative Shopping Guide for a Small Budget:

//DIY – Get creative!

As a student you are mostly high on ideas but low on money. As for myself, I once went to a vintage pound sale in a backyard somewhere, basically in the middle of nowhere, in north London. I spotted some great bargains and wasn’t exactly sure what to make out of them. So I looked up different YouTube tutorials, cut off some old Levis mom jeans, turned them into fancy shorts and later dyed them light purple to create my own unique look. If you need some inspiration, check out this tutorial of DIY cut off shorts below!

YouTube / m4keshiftmichelle – via Iframely

Another cool thing to do – take a set of old shirts  (or your dad’s, for some great oversize stuff) and turn them into stylish items by throwing a batik dye party with your friends! You can even perforate them, to get some of that Yezzy x Adidas look!

//Vintage

Oh yes, who doesn’t love a good vintage find? Dublin is the city to be in, when it comes to a wide range of vintage shops! There are too many to count but  two of my favourites are the Vintage Shop in George’s Arcade and the Dublin Vintage Factory. They offer affordable vintage pieces and the staff is always up for a good chat 🙂

//Flea Markets

Flea markets are so much fun! Normally happening on weekends, you have time to meet friends, stroll around and hunt for some bargains. Just make sure you wash your new additions first before you take them out for admiration. In the following weeks I will provide you a list of the best flea markets Dublin has to offer, so watch out!

IMPORTANT: A great way to make some room in your (potentially Narnia sized) closet, is to  pile up everything you haven’t worn for at least a year. Don’t throw away, give away – one man’s/women’s trash is another man’s/women’s treasure! This is a great opportunity to make room (for new things hehe) and to support your local charity shop.

What are your favourite sustainable designers or alternatives to the usual high street brands? Feel free to comment and I will add them to list 🙂 

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Alisa Narbutas