Sustainable student fashion

Student Communications Ambassador, Sophie Gonzalez, shares her tips on how to have a more sustainable wardrobe as a student.

Sustainable fashion is a topic that has gained a lot of visibility in the last few years and the industry has started making some changes towards more ethical labour conditions and eco-friendliness. However, most affordable and popular brands still remain quite unsustainable, so here are a couple of tips to make your wardrobe more sustainable on a budget.

Get informed

I think it’s nice to want to make a change in our consumption, but it’s also good to be informed about the functioning of the industry and its impact on people and the environment. I find that the more you research this sort of thing, the more convinced you are that change is needed and that you can decide to stop buying from certain brands or purchasing certain products. Documentaries are a great place to start gathering knowledge easily. I’d recommend watching documentaries on the Rana Plaza disaster (can be difficult to watch!) to understand the working conditions behind some of the biggest fashion brands.

Another good place to start getting more knowledgeable is the website Good On You. It's a goldmine of tips from where to shop to which materials to choose, and it also gives ethical ratings of many well known brands and smaller ones.

Buying second hand

Many of the brands recommended as ethical and sustainable are often also very expensive and definitely out of budget for students. Therefore another option to stay sustainable is to buy second-hand. Charity shops are your go to place on the high street! However, many apps such as Vinted or Depop are also very useful when looking for specific items, or if your budget is very tight, as there are more options compared to your local charity shops. You may find loads of garments from fast fashion brands on these platforms, but considering that you may be their second or third owner makes it much better for the planet! If buying second-hand clothes isn’t really your thing, some people sell their items unworn and with the tags still on too.


Similar to buying second-hand, only even cheaper, is the option to swap your clothes with other people! This is something you can do with your friends, your family, but also with strangers via apps and events. Bath Spa had several of these events before the pandemic run by the Simple Swaps campaign, and a university group was set up on the Dopplle app during this last academic year to allow swaps to happen in a covid-safe way! This is an awesome way of sustainably refreshing your wardrobe for free and participating in uni life.

I hope these tips were useful for you! I’ve been buying second-hand clothes for a couple of years now and try to limit buying brand new items to the essentials, and I’ve saved so much money whilst knowing that I consume in a way that aligns with my values. Alternatively if you’re a bit crafty and ready to learn new skills, you could even try to make your own clothes!

Share your sustainable fashion tips and second-hand purchases with us @bathspauni.

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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