The college I attended was in the heart of New York City, and based on both fashion business and fashion design. Most students paraded around in Prada brogues and Balenciaga sweaters decorated with monogram logos. I was not one of those people. From day one, I couldn't keep up. I always felt less fashion than most. Nobody wants to be the girl staying in on a Saturday night stuffing herself with one dollar pizza while admiring her brand new pair of Gucci loafers; worn inside only, of course. An $18 New York margarita was more on my radar. Spending money on fast fashion was too fast for my sad, overused debit card, and I didn't have enough money to throw at designer clothing. Simply being in New York City brought a financial sacrifice.
I'm no longer a student, but not much has changed. Hello, my name is Ellen and I'm a twenty-three-year-old millennial - and very broke. Fendi, Dior, apologies; you'll just have to wait. Even if I could afford small amounts of money to throw at my wardrobe, fast fashion isn't speaking to me as it once did back in my teenage days. Now, as I scroll through websites I see the cheap fabric and loosely-stitched hemlines. I see clothes I know I’ll be throwing away after one wash.
But despite my lack of funds the shopping itch hasn't gone away completely. We still need clothes, right? What has changed is my mindset. The millennial ‘treat yourself’ mentality is dwindling. People are becoming more and more conscious about sustainability; both in dressing and in life. I would be lying if I said I don't drool over heart-stirring outfits from Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. But in the meantime, I’m finding solace in re-wearing, for now.
The way millennials spend money is truly changing. But sustainable fashion does not have to cost an arm and a leg. These labels that make shopping as a broke millennial so much easier. You'll be saving both your pennies and the planet all at the same time.
Zara - Join Life
H&M - Conscious - Sustainable Style
Lycocell paper bag trousers, €27.99
Mango - Take Action
Ribbed strap top, €17.99 at Mango