Ethical fashion is something that’s growing as a movement, and that’s a wonderful thing, as more people start looking away from unethically sourced clothing and towards shopping more consciously. Switching to an ethical wardrobe is an impossible task to take on overnight, and a scary one too, but I’m all about doing things bit by bit and making small steps to work towards big changes.

That’s why I’ve compiled a post of small changes you can make to start to make your wardrobe a little more ethical.

Don’t chuck out your “unethical” wardrobe

So the first thing I’m saying is do absolutely nothing! Easy, right? Even if your aim is to eventually completely overhaul your wardrobe you don’t need to start by chucking out all your old clothes, especially if you’re still getting good use out of them.
Rather than wasting the clothes you’ve spend hard earned cash on, and creating more landfill, just keep on rocking them.

Vintage shop and charity shop

This is especially good for those of you, like me, who are on a lower of budget. Ethical fashion is known for being expensive and I know that I can’t afford a lot the clothes I see advertised by ethical companies.
What I definitely can afford, however, is bargain bins in vintage shops and clothes from my favourite charity shop. Here you help to recycle clothing and even give money to a charity in the process.

Shop less

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world after oil? Yep, a lot of resources go into clothes and a lot of waste is produced, but by buying that little bit less you could be saving the environment, and your wallet.
Clothing companies want you to believe that you need the exact same item in fifteen different colours; but there are only seven days in the week. They also want you to believe that buying more will make you happier (spoiler alert, it doesn’t). One idea is to spend the money you would’ve spend on a new item for your wardrobe on coffee with friends, or investing in a new hobby, something that will bring you real satisfaction.

Think local and handmade
It’s always good to support local business and by buying local and handmade you’re taking money away from big companies exploiting labour and giving it to someone who will really appreciate it.
Plus, by buying local handmade items you get something that’s just a little bit more personal and unique. A win win.

Invest in ethical pieces

Fast fashion isn’t built to last. If you buy a basic piece at full price for a couple of quid it’s not going to be very sturdy, for pieces you’re going to wear time and time again it’s worth spending a bit more to get a garment that you know is made ethically and that won’t break after a couple of wears.


When there’s something in your wardrobe you no longer want, instead of chucking it out straight away think “is there anything I can do with this?” Could those jeans make a cute pair of shorts? Could I make a two piece out of this dress?
Ok, so a few of my up-cycling projects haven’t quite gone to plan but I only lost something I didn’t want anymore anyway. YouTube is a great resource for tutorials and a lot of projects don’t even require a sewing machine. You get to save money, have a new piece for your wardrobe, and learn a new skill.

So those are a few of my tips for making your wardrobe that little bit more ethical. I hope this article was helpful to you and maybe you’ll even try a few of these out yourself. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a lovely week.

Photography: Izzy McLeod
Post-Processing: Rae Tashman


Izzy McLeod

Hey I'm Izzy, an Ethical Fashion, conscious travel, general life blogger, and Astrophysics student from the UK. I love exploring new places with my camera in hand, eating all the vegan food I can find and I'm always at home by the sea.


  • Bivisyani Q.

    OMG IZZY! Should’ve known the post is from you!
    Amazing tips, girl!
    Brb sharing this on my blog’s FB page

    Alive as Always

  • I’ve been trying to control my shopping so this article is perfect! Thanks for your tips :)


  • smoorelovin

    Such great tips! I love that you point out not to get rid of what you’ve got right off the bat – so important!

  • Absolutely brilliant ideas! I’m a huge fan of upcycling and updating an old, tired piece of clothing into something you’ll fall in love with all over again!


  • I love these practical tips! Shopping less is something I’m pretty good at. But I wouldn’t have thought about that first tip in regards to transitioning into an ethical wardrobe. And that point about the expense of ethical clothing is truee. It’s probably the thing that holds me back the most. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Thank you! Yeah well I mean wasting clothing isn’t ethical and you may as well get good wear out of the clothes you have :) Yeah it held be back but I mainly stay ethical by second hand shopping

      The Quirky Queer

  • These are fantastic tips! I’ve gotten more into the idea of ethical fashion in the last few years but can’t afford to buy from expensive brands. Instead, I’ve been buying basic tops from ethical brands that I get a lot of wear out of, and try to buy the rest from charity shops. I’m so eager to make it all “ethical” though, that I’ll skip past your first step to replace perfectly good pieces of clothing with “better” versions. Definitely something to keep in my mind, and to use in combination with shopping less.

    Kate |

    • Yeah I’m definitely the same, being on a student budget doesn’t allow for a lot of ethical brand clothing. Yeah that’s a good goal, but you’re doing it piece by piece which is a good way of doing it, Thank you

      The Quirky Queer

  • Great tips! I am already following not chucking out and shopping less :)


  • Love you for this. So important! I love thrift shopping and I’m definitely shopping much less now. I upcycle clothes most of the time now and it’s great!

    Arden | Missing Wanderer

  • Love this list so much – that third bullet speaks out to me too much. I’m trying to spend less this year on clothes mostly to save money but that little tidbit about the fashion industry polluting the earth is something good to keep in mind!

    cabin twenty-four

    • Thank you! I mean spending less on things is always a good thing but it’s even better when it makes a difference :)

  • AMEN.
    I did an entire year of thrifting, as a challenge, and it was great! I’m still a mostly thrift/vintage shopper, as I find it the best way to feel good about my fashion choices (Also, I find the coolest things and it’s such a fun little treasure hunt some days!).

    Have you ever heard of this phenomenon in Toronto (Canada) called Bunz? It’s a trading app/fb page that has gained lots of popularity here, and I tend to get clothes and items through there lately! For example I wanted a red hat like in life aquatic, and got one in a trade! I also recently got a beautiful white button-up shirt, an amazing tapestry, some chia seeds, a magic bullet blender…. it’s the coolest. Highly recommend reading up on it.

    • Yeah I mostly thrift and vintage because you get unieuq pieces and it’s a rewarding way to shop.

      No I haven’t, I use depop or gumtree here in the Uk sometimes to find pieces but not much. I will definitely give it a look!

  • Sophie Lee

    Totally agree with the idea to be more ethical, this is amazing <3

    xoxo, Best Wallets for Women 2016