The Ultimate Sustainable Back-To-College Fashion Guide

Outfit inspos to raise the style quotient on campus.

Finding the right outfit every morning before class, can be overwhelming. It is also a task to mix and match college outfits by finding the best sustainable fashion brands. But does that mean there aren’t enough options to choose from? NO! 

Listed below in this sustainable back-to-college fashion guide are useful fashion tips along with six cute college outfit ideas. Walking into class with on-point outfits is about to be an #everydayphenomenal for you with this fashion guide. 

college students
Monkey Business Images

6 sustainable fashion tips for creating an ethical wardrobe on a college budget

Creating a college essentials checklist may seem like a tedious task. The tips and ideas in this back-to-college fashion guide are designed to make this process easier for you. These sustainable college essentials will help spruce up your ethical wardrobe on a budget. 

1. Opt for sustainable brands and unsubscribe from fast fashion

say no to fast fashion
New Africa Studio

The first step when making a college essentials checklist is to NOT opt for fast fashion brands. Simply put, unsubscribing from such brands is essential for an ethical wardrobe. Going with sustainable fashion brands instead is better, as the pieces last longer and come at affordable prices. 

Slow fashion brands mostly offer the best go-to outfits for back-to-college fashion. They also offer customers recurring offers, end-of-season sales, and coupons! 

2. Follow ethical fashion blogs and sustainable designers

sustainable fashion designers

Kudos to you if you’ve come this far, in this back-to-college fashion guide. You can always learn more about slow fashion brands through ethical fashion blogs and forthcoming designers. From fashion tips to trendy clothing pieces, these blogs and creators make ethical shopping even more fun (and planet friendly.) 

When on the lookout for trendy baddie outfit ideas, most sustainable designers and bloggers have got your back. Their research helps you with ethical brands and tips that can best fit your college budget.  

3. Invest in quality, not quantity, with a capsule wardrobe

capsule wardrobe

As it is rightly said, choose quality over quantity.  

Sustainable designs in limited quantities than a bag full of clothes is a great idea for a capsule wardrobe. Contrary to the popular myth, sustainable fashion isn’t that expensive when compared to fast fashion.  

Ethical fashion pieces, in fact, can save you a lot of resources as they are made to be durable. These trendy baddie outfits last longer and can get more bang for your buck.  

4. Swap clothes with your friends

back-to-college fashion guide
Ron Lach / Pexels

One of the best fashion tips when going back to college is to swap clothes with your friends. Swapping clothes help with your college budget and thickens bonds with friends you’ve been missing forever. 

You can organize thrift parties from the comfort of your home, invite friends over and get ready to swap clothes! This is a fantastic way to add new pieces to your capsule wardrobe while keeping the clothes out of landfill wastes.  

5. Thrift shop or go vintage

thrift store shopping

Thrift shopping is a popular fashion trend today. 

Most individuals are giving used clothing a second chance at life. The good news is at local thrift stores, you can find high-quality clothing items for the best prices. By shopping second-hand, you can keep still-wearable items out of waste. 

Plus, we all love finding amazing retro, and vintage finds at these super affordable thrift stores! 

6. Think twice before you throw your clothes out

donating old clothes
Brenda Rocha Blossom

This is one of the easiest sustainable fashion tips ever! All you got to do is not toss away the clothes after you’ve done using them. Most of these clothes are often made of synthetic and non-biodegradable fiber. When thrown away, they’re likely to end up in landfills along with the toxins the environment doesn’t deserve. 

The next time your clothes have become outdated, consider doing the following: 

  • Repair the clothing into something fun and cute or redesign a whole new garment altogether. 
  • Give away your clothes to your friends or family. You can also donate to organizations that are often in dire need of clothing. 
  • Sell them on second-hand apps like thredUP. 
  • Discard clothes the right way by placing them in the textile recycling bin only.

6 trendy baddie outfit ideas that are HOT this season! 

Want to look super stylish whenever you walk around the campus, this season? Try these trendy college essentials that are the best grab for the forthcoming college year. 

1. A versatile cardigan, cargo pants, and slip-ons

back-to-college outfits ideas
Able / Boyish / Nisolo

This autumn, be the diva you are with this ultimate sustainable back-to-college fashion guide. A pair of cargo pants paired with a cozy cardigan can never go wrong. These make for the best college essentials while balancing comfort with what’s trending.  

These high-rise cult favorite cargo pants feature super cool oversized cargo pockets. The deep pockets can really come in handy while in class. You can conveniently stash your hair ties, keys, cell phone, and other small must-haves in them!  

Plus, this versatile cardigan will turn out to be your dream second layer when paired with these snug cargos and slip-ons. By layering some fashion jewelry and a tote, you can add some fun elements to this trendy baddie outfit.

2. Cute tank top, joggers, and sneakers

back-to-college fashion guide
Able Clothing / Nisolo

Tank tops have forever been our favorites for their simplicity and price. And white sneakers? Damn! You can hardly go wrong with a pair of white kicks that work with everything in your ethical wardrobe.  

A cute tank top and athletic joggers make for the best combination; not to mention, they are super comfortable. You can further elevate this basic college outfit with some rose gold jewelry and a pair of white sneakers. To look classier, style such college outfits with a denim jacket over your shoulders.

3. A floral blouse, skirt, and statement accessories

back-to-college fashion guide
Able Clothing / Fair Trade Winds

Time to take a cue from this sustainable back-to-college fashion guide. Pretty sustainable blouses are a total must-have, especially the adorable floral ones. Spice up your outfit with a cute blouse and a sweater skirt, and throw on some cool accessories! You can pair the blouse with a cute skirt for a super casual look or a checked one for a stylish vibe.

Better yet, you can style your skirt with sneakers, which will absolutely stand out this autumn and beyond. If your vibe is more of the ‘classy look,’ you can choose as many rings or layers of chic neckpieces as you love. 

Are you a curvy woman? Fret not. Brands like Sotela and Loud Bodies have tons of plus-size stylish outfits that are bound to stand out.

4. T-shirt dress and boots

back-to-college fashion outfit ideas
Urban Outfitters / Nisolo

Is back-to-college sustainable fashion even complete without a t-shirt dress? Oh, hell no! 

A dress that can be belted at the waist for a totally chic blazer dress moment is a great college outfit idea! These dresses come at really great prices while making you look like a comfy ‘showstopper.’ Pair this outfit with slightly high boots, and you’ve got your sustainable back-to-college fashion game on point!

5. Basic sweater, boyfriend jeans, and Oxfords

back-to-college fashion guide inspo
Amour Vert / Able Clothing / Nisolo

There surely isn’t a more classic or school-appropriate combo than a sweater, jeans, and sandals. This outfit combination is simply timeless, especially for the coming season! It is the ultimate go-to look when you’re in a hurry to get to class. 

Sweaters that are funky, bright, and nostalgic are all undoubtedly trending today. Plus, it is okay to mix and match your sweaters, even if you are purely a denim person. Just be ready to answer a billion questions about where you got them from! 

Wear a cozy sweater on your boyfriend jeans, a pair of eye-catching sandals, and you’re all set to raise the fashion quotient on campus.

6. Comfy matching sweats and everyday sneakers

back-to-college fashion outfits
Able Clothing / Nisolo

Running late to class, but still want to look stylish? Grab a set of matching sweatshirts and sweatpants that are definitely worth the look and price.  

These super cozy college essentials can be worn with sneakers for a more relaxed look. If you’re feeling extra edgy, throw a blazer on top to finish the off-duty chic matching set. You can also try pairing the sweatshirt with a miniskirt from your capsule wardrobe.  

These sweatpants are so versatile that they will work best with a tank top when paired with your go-to sneakers.

students walking together

We hope this sustainable back-to-college fashion guide has helped you gather all your college essentials before the new year begins. Know that a college outfit doesn’t really mean buying all these clothes at prices you cannot afford. It means setting a tight college budget that best fits your needs while making you look stunning and cool as always! 

Before the new school year begins, try this no-fuss back-to-school skincare routine that will help you shine bright and stay clear. Get ready for the new school year with new skin, new clothes, and a new YOU!

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Who is buying sustainable fashion?

People who support ethical and sustainable fashion prefer clothes made from sustainable materials. They also support small sustainable fashion brands, fair trade practices, and recycled clothes. They are conscious shoppers who care for the future of the planet and its people. 

2. What is the size of the sustainable fashion industry? 

In 2021, the global apparel market share of sustainable clothing items sold was roughly 3.9 percent. The Statista Consumer Market Outlook predicts that this value will rise over the coming years, reaching 6.1 percent in 2026. 

3. Is sustainable fashion too expensive? 

Sustainable fashion isn’t expensive. It only seems that way, as sustainable brands use sustainable textiles and don’t embrace mass production. Further, the price tags on ethical garments produced with fair wages for employees can sometimes be more than a cheap fast fashion brand.

This creates the perception that sustainable fashion caters only to an exclusive clientele. 

4. How do people afford slow fashion? 

Contrary to popular belief, slow fashion isn’t expensive. You can do the math yourself and work out how much you spend on fast fashion brands regularly. Then try the alternative. Use the same amount spent on fast fashion towards shopping ethically, by buying slow fashion brands or opt for thrifting.

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