Sustainable Style For Alternatives, Goths and The Environmentally Friendly

 This post is in conjunction with IFB Project #91.

I had never really focused in on the ideal ways to sustain fashion before. It turns out that in the end I’m rather good at it – most of the time – but that’s because I’m a poor, Alternative, University student that relies on thrifted/second-hand pieces and the occasional splurge piece to give my wardrobe more versatility. As an alternative person it generally comes with the territory: second-hand clothing, thrifting, DIY and independent retailers are introduced to most of us in out transitional years of our style.

It was only thinking about these ‘traditional values’ that it really made me realise how much harm mass marketing “Goth-shops” are doing – less about the derailing of a subculture and more to the destruction of the environment.

vintage belle
Photograph by! on Flickr


Thrifting is greatly practiced throughout the alternative community. Though it’s often started through appreciating the history of Goth it definitely gives you a new lease on clothes. You’re able to get great quality pieces (if you search for them) at a fraction of the price and it’s helping the environment since you aren’t supporting the consistent manufacturing of clothes (whether humane or not) that are usually filling landfills.

Recycle Your Clothing

Typical Goth brands like Hell Bunny, Demonia and Lip Service are expensive, splurge pieces but are they filled with just as much quality as price? I know there have been an increasing number of Fashion Recycle Facebook pages for Alternatives (try saying that five times, fast), like Alternative Buy-Sell-Trade Australia, that resell these pieces almost brand-new.

I personally like to give my old, pricey clothes to good friends that I know will wear them to death and then they will probably past them on once more.

 Independent, Small Goth Business

Buying wholesale is brilliant – I understand that. But where exactly is your product coming from? Who’s actually making it? That’s why buying from small, independant stores rather than from mass retailers is great. Particularly in an age when online market-places like Etsy are buzzing with creativity and unique pieces. There are millions of independent alternative jewellery stores all over the internet and all over the planet and to not take advantage of that is just silly.

Splurge Occasionally

You guys know I’m a fan of the occasional splurge piece (as outlined and defined here) that will last a long time and is versatile enough to go with most of you wardrobe. Since these will hopefully last a little (scratch that – a lot) longer I consider them sustainable. This goes hand in hand making conscientious fashion decisions instead of splurge-buying things you will never wear.

What do you do to keep your style sustainable? I know a lot of you are way more knowledgeable than I in terms of sustainable fabrics and beauty, so why not school all-of-us a little down in the comments – I’d love to hear!



  1. April 14, 2013 / 12:28 pm

    Yup yup yup to all of these points. I try to do all of these things where ever possible. Fantastic post, as always! xxx

  2. April 14, 2013 / 12:29 pm

    I actually buy most of my clothing second hand, the pieces I do own from expensive goth brands I have always bought second hand. 😀 The times I buy from real stores like HM or something is when I found something I really want on sale. ^^

  3. April 14, 2013 / 1:39 pm

    80s vintage is definitely best for Goths, not many people want the New Romantic clothes so they're cheap. I scored a high waist velvet skirt for £12 and I've literally worn it to death, it's worn out and I'm thinking of whatever else I can do with it.

  4. April 14, 2013 / 2:32 pm

    Rarely do I buy new clothes, I can't actually remember the last time I wandered into a high street shop, and branded Goff wear tends to not fit well or be way too expensive for what it is, I also either give my unwanted stuff to charity or sell it on eBay! I do spend some money in Claire's Accessories though, and buy lingerie from Primark.

    I own a Spin Doctor bustled waistcoat, but apart from that I don't think I've bought anything that wasn't second hand in about four years >.<

  5. April 14, 2013 / 6:11 pm

    Being born in a little italian city i've always shopped online, and since i was a broke student once i really really loved second hand..

    Now i live in a big city, i have a job but i'm still broke so i STILL buy second hand online!! Woooooo! =D
    I always scout communities to sell/buy/swap items, european and italian online markets. Also i spy independent designers, no point in buying something if i know all the local babybats will find the exact same item in the extra pricey shops here in Rome.. =D

  6. April 15, 2013 / 4:11 pm

    Real vintage clothes are always the best quality. I have a few 50's dresses that could go very well in a goth outfit. Fabrics in that quality is very rare today.
    Otherwise I try to find cheap pieces on second hand or I buy designer clothes that makes eco or fairtrade friendly clothes.
    I have promised to stop buying clothes at H&M and stores like that, because the people who sew work under terrible conditions (more like slaves).

  7. April 15, 2013 / 5:50 pm

    About 80 percent of my clothing comes from thrift store. Every spring I try to give clothing to friends that can wear them or to charity. My splurge pieces tend to be accessories or makeup. I really love second hand clothing because you can always modify it and the clothing is already comfy and worn in. Which you know Sary I am all about comfort! Great post. 🙂

  8. April 23, 2013 / 9:11 am

    I'm not great about keeping my wardrobe sustainable, but I do buy a lot of things through Etsy, in order to support small shops and independent artists. Recently I bought my wedding dress there. 🙂

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