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How to Support the Slow Fashion Movement Without Spending Money

You can support the slow fashion movement without spending money. Here's how to do it, from outfit repeating to using your voice.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

You may think supporting sustainable fashion means having a closet that's made up of thrifted pieces and ethically-made garments. But that's not the only way you can show your passion for slow fashion.

A lot of us still have plenty of previously-purchased fast fashion pieces in our closets. As much as we love finding cool new sustainable brands and taking the time to sift through thrift stores for that perfect vintage find, it's not good for your budget or the planet to let go of old unsustainably-made clothing for an all-new sustainable closet.

Luckily, there's a lot more to the sustainable fashion space than just consuming. If you're looking for ways to be a slow fashionista without cleaning out your wallet, we've come up with a couple ways to show your support.

5 Ways to Support Slow Fashion Without Spending Money

1. Take Proper Care of the Clothes You Already Have

Fast fashion clothes may not be made to last, but you still can do what you can to give them a longer life. This could include washing your clothes less often, washing at lower temperatures, air-drying instead of tumble drying whenever possible, and storing your clothes properly so they'll stay new for longer.

Some of your garments may even come with tags that give you instructions on how to wash and care for them correctly, so you can make the most out of what you already have. What's more sustainable than that?

2. Be an Outfit Repeater

In true Lizzie McGuire fashion, don't be afraid to be an outfit repeater. Wearing the same outfit multiple times isn't tacky; it's planet-friendly. Sometimes there's pressure to have something brand new to wear to every event or to flaunt on social media, but there are plenty of ways you can make an old outfit feel new with every wear.

Maybe it's changing out the shoes, or maybe it's adding some fun jewelry. You can also accessorize with scarves, belts, and bags—whatever you have on hand. If you have something you feel good in, why not wear it more often?

3. Learn to Repair Your Clothes

When you find a hole in your leggings or a snag in your sweater, you might have an urge to toss it and buy something new. Instead of giving in and getting rid of an otherwise perfectly-good garment, learn to fix it so it can live on.

Something as small as using a de-pilling tool on your fleece hoodie or mending that hole in the armpit of your t-shirt can make your clothes feel brand-new again. Giving those items a little TLC also keeps them far away from a landfill.

4. Borrow From Friends and Family

Have a friend or relative whose style you really admire? Ask if they'll lend you a couple pieces to try out for yourself. It's a fun way to try out new styles and trends without spending money. You also don't need to worry about whether or not you'll still like it later on.

By borrowing instead of buying, you get the gratification of having something new in your closet without the guilt of having gotten it unsustainably. If you want to get more friends involved, you could also host a full-blown clothing swap.

5. Be an Advocate for Sustainable Fashion

Social media is a force to be reckoned with. Now, it's easier than ever to make your voice heard. Inform your loved ones about what the slow fashion movement is and what it advocates for. Continue to do your own research and call out companies you think could be doing better by sending them an email or giving them a call.

There are even fashion activism movements—such as Fashion Revolution and Remake—that provide resources and information so you can use your own platform to fight for ethical fashion. All without spending a dime.