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Sustainable Fashion Ideas

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

If you are obsessed with online shopping but trying to be a somewhat conscious consumer, you might be looking for sustainable fashion ideas. Let's dive into 4 different ways to become a more thoughtful fashion lover. From vintage shopping to eco-friendly brands, there are lots of ways we can all improve!

Vintage/Second Hand Shopping

This one is kind of obvious. Thrifting is back and better than ever! Whether you are browsing through your local goodwill store, finding amazing second-hand stores nearby or checking out curated online vintage spots-- you are almost guaranteed to find something unique. Of course thrifting is better for the environment but it can also be better for your wallet and your wardrobe. I've dived into this lately for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is I want to try to be a more conscious shopper. BUT I've also seen influencers I'm obsessed with do this and create amazing outfits that have a more unique look than simply putting together an entirely new outfit. This is simply an amazing way to diversity your wardrobe. If you want to learn a bit more about why thrifting is more sustainable fashion idea, learn more from Goodwill here.

Sustainable Fashion Ideas
Nothing like a good vintage leather jacket

Two of my favorite influencers @pigmamiii and @caro_beth have promoted Elodie Studios, which is a vintage store in Brooklyn that I am excited to check out when I'm back in NY.

Of course Goodwill is also a perfect place to thrift. Their mission is to "empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work". They also are committed to more sustainable and affordable fashion for all. Find a Goodwill near you here.

To discover more amazing thrift stores in NY, explore these 10 recommendations.

Clothing Rental

This is #1 on my list to try when I return to NY. I remember hearing about Rent the Runway when I was in high school--initially I saw it as a place to rent dresses for prom or special occasions. Years later a few of my friends invested in a subscription for workwear and going out clothes. Now as a 27 shopping addict, I think it's a genius way to add variety to my closet, try brands I love and do it sustainably and affordably. Seems like a win-win-win. Now there are a ton of options out there, so whether you try Rent the Runway or Nuuly or another clothing rental company, I think this is a beyond genius way to renew your wardrobe in a more conscious and sustainable way.

Rent the Runway - Sustainable Fashion

Credit: Rent the Runway Instagram

Sustainable Brands

Realistically most of us will keep shopping traditional first-hand brands and stores so another way to be more conscious is to consider what brands you shop. Here are a few brands who have continuously renewed their commitment to sustainability in fashion:


Levis- Levis jeans has made a commitment to sustainability along with their reputation as one of the best quality denim brands. They are known to use recycled materials and are committed to limiting their water use. To learn more about their initiatives, take a look here.

Credit: Levis

A little of everything-

Reformation- If you are looking for sustainable dresses, linens, knits and all around amazing pieces, Reformation is a good place to start, The brand is focused on transparency and sustainability and it shows. You can learn more about their practices including sourcing eco-friendly materials, deadstock material practices and water conservation practices and more here.

Credit: Reformation


Pact- If you are searching for a place to buy all of your basics, Pact could be your new favorite. The brand puts a focus on sustainability. The clothing is both organic and Fair Trade certified and they have all of your necessities.


Girlfriend Collective- This activewear brand puts a premium on sustainability. The brand boasts recycled materials, ethical factories, a "takeback program" and much more. It has all the styles and colors you would want from your workout clothes.

Credit: Girlfriend Collective


If you are looking for sustainable sunglasses, check out my article on my favorite sustainable sunglasses brands.

Other Creative Ideas

There are lots of other ways to constantly update your closet more sustainably. A few ideas outside of vintage shopping are taking advantage of second-hand markets like the Real Real or Poshmark, These are great sources for selling clothing you no longer wear (or never wore) and acquiring designer items for half the price.

Another great way to update your wardrobe is hosting a clothing swap (or sale)! You can even do it at your own apartment. Check out this article on hosting a clothing swap if you are interested.

Final Thoughts

Of course shopping and clothing in general are not necessarily sustainable. It's always a good idea to re-evaluate your habits and reconsider your impact. That said, none of us are perfect (especially me). I am constantly learning about the sustainability aspect of fashion. I used this wonderful resource to research sustainability practices by brand. Good on you indexes almost every fashion brand you can think of! Check it out.

Disclaimer, I am not an expert on the fashion industry and sustainability. I did my research on these brands and practices but I am always open to feedback.


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