How To Be A Sustainable Yet Fashionable University Student On A Budget

In today’s world, sustainability is more than just a trend; it’s a lifestyle. As university students, balancing fashion and wanting to be more environmentally friendly can seem challenging due to the increased costs of sustainable pieces which are not always affordable to students. But this doesn’t have to be impossible.

 In this blog, we’ll explore how to embrace sustainable fashion practices while still maintaining a stylish wardrobe on a student budget. From thrifting and clothing swaps to investing in timeless pieces, there are plenty of ways to make eco-conscious choices without sacrificing your personal style.

 Join us as we discover the art of being a sustainable yet fashionable university student, proving that you can look good while doing good for the planet.

Person putting clothes into a recycling bag

What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that takes into account the environmental impacts while it is being produced. This can also refer to clothing that is reused to reduce waste and increase its lifespan.

There are many reasons why we need to be more environmentally conscious while purchasing clothes. The statistics from indicate that 92 million tonnes of clothing end up in landfills every year and if no measures are taken, this industry’s global emission can double over the next decade. 

Now more than ever, we have a responsibility to be more conscious of our impact on the environment, which is why we will be discussing how we can do our part to not contribute to the excessive fashion waste every year. 

Brown sweater that has a 100% recycled fabric tag

How to be more sustainable as a university student?

Shop Second Hand 

One of the easiest ways to be more sustainable as a university student is by shopping second-hand. There are plenty of charity shops in the UK where you will be able to find a wide variety of clothing items that suit every occasion. You will also be able to get pieces that have good quality at a reduced rate so you can not only optimise your budget but also be positively contributing to the environment! 

You can also donate the clothes that you don’t wear to these charity shops to help reduce waste and continue this cycle.

Read this blog on 5 Charity Shops In Birmingham That You Should Check Out. All of the charity shops in this blog have branches all across the UK, so you can browse through them to find the one closest to where you live!

Person shopping second hand

Organise Clothing Swaps

Another creative way through which you can be more environmentally conscious with your fashion is by arranging clothing swaps with your friends or classmates.

You can create a set number of clothes that you no longer wear and swap them with another friend. This way you can upgrade your wardrobe at no extra cost!

A group of young girls at a clothing swap event

Invest In Good Quality Basics

A good measure to increase the lifespan of your clothes is by investing in basics of good quality. 

Try to invest in anything that you believe is a staple in your wardrobe like white t-shirts, trousers and coats.

Good basics can also totally elevate your look, so this is just another added benefit to it!

A lady holding a shirt in a shop


If you are a creative person, this is the perfect hack for being sustainable yet fashionable at university. 

You can use your crafty skills to make new clothes from your old ones. This could be bags, accessories or full outfits that you make from your old clothes that you no longer wear. 

Person stitching clothes

Rent Outfits for Special Occasions 

While at university, you might have several events to attend where you will probably be required to follow a dress code.

You can opt to rent out different outfits for special occasions through which you will not only be saving so much money but also be reducing one-time purchases of outfits that you might never wear again. 

A range of fancy outfits hanging on a cloth rack

Clean Your Clothes With Care

A lot of us have the habit of just throwing all of our laundry into the washer without separating them beforehand. 

While we completely understand the need to just get done with laundry, especially on busy days, washing your clothes according to their requirements can increase the lifespan of your clothes significantly.

So whether it be washing or drying instructions, try to refer to them before washing your clothes, so that they can last for a longer amount of time.

Lading putting clothes into the washer

Opt For A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a term popularised over the past couple of years that refers to selecting a set number of articles of clothing and accessories and reducing the number of clothes owned. 

This is an interesting way to challenge overconsumption and also a way to get creative with how you build your outfits with a limited amount of pieces.

The concept of a capsule wardrobe is perfect for university as you already have limited space to store all your clothing. So you can use this to your advantage and be more conscious of how you purchase clothes in the future. 

 The aim of a capsule wardrobe is not just to ensure that you own less number of clothes, but to make sure that you don’t make unnecessary one-time purchases for different events. So be sure to include a decent variety of clothes that suit all your different needs to avoid splurging.

Girl evaluating the clothes in her wardrobe

By incorporating sustainable fashion practises into your university lifestyle, you’re not only reducing your environmental impact but also setting a positive example for others. Remember, sustainability is a journey and every small step counts. 

As you navigate the world of fashion on a budget, prioritise quality over quantity, embrace second-hand finds, and support brands that align with your values.

 By making mindful choices, you can create a wardrobe that reflects your personal style while contributing to a more sustainable future. So, keep experimenting, stay creative, and continue to be a trailblazer for sustainable fashion in your university community.

If you are looking for accommodation for the next year, then you are in the right place. Visit our Urban Student Life website and browse through a range of properties all across the UK.  We are sure you will find something that caters to all your needs! 

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