If you want cheap clothing, yes you can go to Shein and Zaful. But I’m asking you to reconsider. I understand that it’s affordable and super trendy but those brands are the epitome of fast fashion.
To remind you, fast fashion is the term used to describe clothing copied quickly from famous designers showing off their clothes on the catwalk of fashion week to stores, making super trendy clothes accessible to everyone super fast. The reason why fast fashion is so bad is because it’s cheap – for you that’s good but it’s not good for the people who are making the clothes or the environment. Fast, cheap, stylish is the only thing fast fashion brands care about. It’s the opposite of everything I try to support. As consumers we should try our best to support quality brands that make quality products in the most eco-friendly and sustainable way.
Let’s talk about Shein. It’s sustainability rating is “very poor”. Shein is so cheap because of the inferior quality of the clothing. But more importantly, where is the company? Who makes the clothing they sell? There is no transparency on their website. Not to mention, Shein has been accused of stealing the designs of multiple smaller fashion brands. So rather than supporting Shein, support the smaller brands making those designs.
Zaful is much like Shein. Actually their clothes even look alike. Similar looks, similar costs, and as it appears, similar business philosophies; to sell super stylish clothing at crazy low prices, at a super low quality.
So enough, on my rant about fast fashion. I have three pieces of advice. Thrift when you can. Even if you buy something that originated from Shein, if you bought it from a second-hand store, you are still doing your part to help the planet. Second, buy quality. And lastly, here are some brands that sell inexpensive clothing but work on being responsible and sustainable:
Top Ten Eco-Friendly Brands
Pact sells great quality, sustainable clothing. Their selection is mostly made up of awesome basics ranging in color. Their clothes are all made of organic cotton that use no pesticides or toxic chemicals, less farm, and 91% less water than non-organic cotton.
Kool and Konscious
This brand has clothing ranging from basic pieces to super unique pieces. They’re in the process of making super original pieces that are on trend and off trend but in the best way possible. This brand shows that an item can be trendy while still being sustainable.
This store has a wide range of departments ranging from home to furniture to clothing to shoes and more! Whenever possible, they source their materials locally. Their products are made with earth-friendly materials, either responsibly sourced, harvested, recycled or upcycled and are made to create minimal negative environmental impact.
Everlane makes awesome basics. They make high-quality, low-impact, long-lasting products. Their materials are carefully chosen to reduce waste, chemicals, and plastics that endanger our planet’s ecosystems.
Renting clothing is such big trend currently and I support it 100%. It’s a way of reusing clothes over and over again so you’re constantly circulating your closet while also helping the Earth. Gemme Collective has amazing, statement pieces that you can rent for 1, 3, 7, or 14 days!
This website is also a renting site. You basically just sign up for a membership then pay 99$ a month for six pieces of clothing.
Levi’s is amazing! They’re known for high quality denim clothing and known literally everywhere. They are making a huge effort to make themself more sustainable. They’re saving water by using hemp, some of their items are made out of recycled water bottles, they’re also making an effort to reuse, recycle, and repair their clothing rather than throwing out any products. (Not the cheapest but good quality. You can find them on sale almost anywhere)
Stitch Fix’s vendors are expected to minimize their environmental impact, they use conflict-free minerals and ensure that their workplace is a ethical one with ideal wages, workplace conditions and much more.
My List at Bloomingdale’s
Bloomingdale’s is now offering a rental subscription to their store. You can rent any piece of clothing you want and if you decide you want to keep it, you then have the option to purchase it!
Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway has been around for a long time. You can rent amazing designer pieces and staple pieces. Renting is the new retail! (Not the cheapest but you receive expensive/designer items for cheap prices)