You keep telling yourself you’re going to ditch fast fashion, but your heart skips a beat whenever you see ethical garments with three-digit price tags.
Maybe you’re about to give up, wondering: “Does affordable sustainable clothing even exist?!”
We promise it does! But changing your mindset is actually what makes the BIGGEST difference for your wallet.
So, we’ll show you what to focus on first—hint: not the actual price tag—and then recommend our favourite affordable sustainable clothing brands (because there’s no denying that some are more budget-friendly than others).
That way, you’ll finally be able to embrace a more ethical lifestyle—even if you’re on a student’s budget.
Yes, ethical fashion tends to be more expensive than fast fashion…
And for good reason!
- Ethical fashion brands put quality and durability over trends
- They pay workers fair wages
- They invest in eco-friendly materials and processes
- They rely on small-scale instead of mass-production to reduce waste
If you ever thought that fast fashion is so cheap that it seems too good to be true, it’s because… it is! Those companies manage to keep their prices so low because they come with a high cost:
- Their clothes are designed to be disposable and fall apart after a few wearings. Who cares if they contribute to the 92 million tonnes of textile waste generated every year? (Well, we do! And we wet you do, too)
- They hide a problematic supply chain that often includes child labour and modern slavery conditions
- They use cheap materials and production practices that are terrible for the environment
- They save money by mass-producing clothes (and often have to discard or incinerate their unsold stock)
… but consider the cost per wear!
We appreciate that not everyone can afford to buy from most ethical companies (but, hopefully, our list of the best affordable sustainable clothing brands will help) .
Be honest, though: do you tend to spend hundreds on clothes regularly because you update your wardrobe every few months?
Then switching to ethical fashion will actually save you money in the long run.
How? Through the mindset change we teased: investing in fewer and higher-quality garments (that you actually love) and wearing them for years.
Look at the cost per wear:
- A £15 fast fashion dress that you bought on a whim and only worn three times = £5 per wear (and don’t forget that you’ll then feel compelled to buy a new dress—and another one)
- A £90 ethical fashion dress designed to last for years (and that you'll wear at least 30 times because it actually represents your style) = £3 per wear
6 of the best affordable sustainable clothing brands
A lower cost per wear already makes a huge difference.
If you’re on a particularly limited budget, though, you can save even more money through the most affordable sustainable clothing brands.
Here are some of our favourites—and their cheapest item at the time of writing this article.
1. Honest Basics - everyday essentials that are easy to repurpose
With a minimalist and timeless approach, this fairly cheap sustainable clothing brand focuses on versatile clothes.
You can easily remix them and layer them to create all kinds of outfits.
Cheapest item: £11.09 top
2. Aroop - stylish and colourful patterns
Their clothes are literally the opposite of what most people picture when you mention sustainable fashion: colourful, with bold patterns, and just as stylish as what you see in most fast fashion stores.
The only difference? They’re produced ethically and made to last.
Cheapest item: £24.08 top
3. No Nasties - affordable organic cotton clothing
This affordable sustainable fashion brand is 100% vegan and prioritises organic cotton.
It offers a large and varied range, from minimalist pieces to the most eye-catching or patterned designs (and anything in between).
Cheapest item: £14.99 top
4. Bibico - charming, timeless clothes
This affordable ethical fashion brand uses natural materials to create versatile and easy-to-wear pieces in both neutral and bright colours or patterns.
Perfect for everyday and smart-casual outfits!
Cheapest item: £19 skirt
5. Komodo - most sustainable fabrics
A sustainable fashion pioneer, Komodo is also a pretty affordable ethical clothing brand.
They use eco-friendly materials like GOTS organic cotton, hemp, linen, and recycled or upcycled fabrics.
We love the eclectic way they combine Eastern and Western designs!
Cheapest item: £6.79 socks
6. Organication - best for casualwear
This affordable sustainable clothing brand has a wide range of items, but it’s especially known for its basics, t-shirts, and hoodies.
As you probably guessed by the name, they prioritise organic materials like cotton and linen. They also choose recycled polyester, which has a lower environmental impact.
Cheapest item: £21.17 t-shirt
How to find more affordable sustainable clothing on Project Cece
We hope our list was a handy starting point!
Still, we get it:it’s hard to scout for the right ethical clothes for your style (and wallet) when they’re scattered all over the web.
That’s exactly why we brought hundreds of sustainable fashion brands in one place—and added filters to save you time.
So, to find the most affordable ethical clothing:
- choose a category (e.g. tops, dresses, etc.)
- sort all the items by price (low to high) or use the slider to set your preferred budget
Now that you know about cost per wear and where to find these garments, swapping fast fashion for affordable sustainable clothing will be easier than ever!
After all, your clothes don’t need to cost the earth—in both senses.
Found this helpful? Start receiving our tips and inspiration to make even more sustainable fashion choices.
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