Autumn is my favourite season. I love the fiery colours coating trees, cold walks wrapped up in a scarf and coming home for hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles (you always need those sprinkles). It’s also one of my favourite seasons for fashion as I’m a big fan of cosy knitwear, mustard and aubergine tones and a good Chelsea boot. This year I couldn’t wait to get my autumn wardrobe out and already had all my woolly jumpers hanging on the first of September (it was a few weeks before it was cold enough to wear them though!)
At the beginning of each season I like to take out my clothes from last year, see what would be great to wear, what might need replacing and what I’d like to add. Turns out this season I could do with a few new bits. I thought I’d share how I shop for clothes ethically and sustainably, aside from buying second hand. We all shop differently and this is just what works for me, but I hope you find some inspiration.
BUY WHAT YOU LOVE
This for me is the most important. I only buy clothes that I really like. If I’m not 100% sold or it doesn’t fit perfectly then I don’t buy it. This means I’m happy to wear every piece in my wardrobe again and again, year after year. I have quite a few dresses, but I get a lot of wear from them as they are all different, comfortable and make me feel gorgeous. Limit buying clothes you’ll rarely wear and instead go for exciting pieces you love and can wear every day.
BUY WHAT FITS
Although I don’t have a capsule wardrobe, it’s important I choose pieces that fit with what I already own. For example if I’m buying a top, I like to be able to use it in a few different outfits. I’ll often choose not to get something if it means I need to buy more clothes to make it work.
BUY FROM ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE BRANDS
This is normally my first port of call when looking for something new. I love People Tree and have been wearing one of their summer dresses repeatedly the last few months. I’m definitely coveting some of their gorgeous autumn dresses now. I’m also a big fan of Thought clothing and have a dress I bought from them last year that’s still getting plenty of wear. It feels great to buy from these brands as I know they pay fair wages and keep the environmental impact of production low.
BUY FROM ETHICAL HIGH-STREET STORES
As much as I love People Tree and Thought, they can be a little pricey and sometimes don’t have the style I want. One of my favourite brands is actually Marks and Spencer’s. I love that their clothes are elegant and classic in a way that won’t go out of style. They’re also known to be one of the best high street stores in terms of ethical and sustainable fashion. They have some great autumn looks this year and I’ve definitely added a few to my wish list.
Another favourite is Fatface, their jeans are great quality and they do some super cute, comfy basics. Both M&S and Fatface produce quality clothes that have lasted me years and years at affordable prices. White Stuff and Sea Salt are also both great for some gorgeous new autumnal knitwear if that’s on your wishlist this year.
When it comes to the high-street I avoid fast fashion outlets like H&M, Zara and Primark. This was hard at first because I knew going into those shops would get me a lot more for my money, but now I am happier with a smaller, higher quality wardrobe that lasts me years.
I love finding independent British brands who make their products in this country. They often have interesting backstories that make their clothes extra special. It also feels great to support local businesses. Three of my favourite made in Britain brands are; Lady Vintage London, The Pretty Dress Company and The Cambridge Satchel Company. Not only do these brands make great quality clothing, but they also make unique styles you wouldn’t find on the high-street.
There are a few brands I absolutely love for special pieces which I know I’ll wear a lot. Two of my favourite smaller British brands are Lindy Bop and Chi Chi London. I have bought a few evening dresses from both and absolutely love them. They are very special items that I take care of and wear for special occasions. Guaranteeing your clothes are ethically sourced can be difficult, but I think at minimum making sure they’re good quality, long lasting and something you’ll wear a lot, goes a long way.
I hope you find some inspiration from my shopping tips and wish you all a wonderful autumn!