It can be difficult to live a more sustainable and environmentally healthy lifestyle on a budget. 64% of U.S. adults reported increased impulse spending in 2022, and 35% of impulse purchases were clothes.
Fast fashion is the mass production and sale of cheap, trendy clothing to meet consumer demand and follow fads. Fast-fashion brands include Shein, H&M, and Forever 21.
93% of brands don't pay a living wage, according to Fashion Checker, a European Union-funded campaign. Forever 21 paid factory workers $4 an hour, according to the LA Times.
Having a clothing budget can clarify what you can afford. Jamie Ebersole, founder and CEO of Ebersole Financial LLC, says clothing budgets vary by person and need.
Tachelle Ting, biologist and author of "Fast Fashion: Wearing Out the Planet," suggests starting with what's already in your closet. Your existing pieces are most sustainable.
Investing in timeless essentials is the best way to build a durable wardrobe. Keeping up with trends contributes to fast fashion.
Thrifting helps avoid fast fashion and save money. Goodwill and Plato's Closet are two secondhand clothing stores.
If you're trying to save money and stop buying clothing from fast fashion brands, avoid going to malls, even discount outlet malls.