How to have clothes for free

If you have ever wondered how to have clothes for free, you’re in the right place! This is not only great for your economy but also for the planet! In this post, we are going to see some sustainable activities we can do to have clothes for free and also we’re going to talk about why it is so important!

How to have clothes for free

Buying new clothes it’s not the only way to live and enjoy fashion. We can discover our personal style and other ways of having clothes such as:


Imagine, you have a special date and you don’t know what to wear. Is it worthy to go to a shop and buy a total look for that special occasion? We all have that friend that will be there for anything we need and a special look to borrow as well. Or maybe, a member of your family like a cousin, an aunt, your mom…

Swap with a friend

Swap clothes with friends is a really cool idea. I also know that in some cities or towns they do like trading clothing markets. You can only buy a piece of clothing with another cloth and that person has to agree with the one you’re paying them for. And it’s very nice because it’s a way to let go garments you don’t wear anymore to welcome new ones. Some go and others come. Why not?

So if you don’t know any trading clothing market in your town or neighborhood, it’s a good opportunity to organize one yourself! And also to encourage others to do it and show them how great it is.


Upcycling clothing is the practice of creating new pieces from old or damaged materials giving a new life and extending the time they are being used. It is a great activity to do it at home if you know how to cut and sew textiles and it is also an opportunity to expand your creativity. But in case you don’t know how to do it, there are fashion entrepreneurs and even brands that do beautiful work upcycling clothes. There’s nothing better than supporting responsible and conscious fashion.

TikTok is full of upcycling clothing ideas! Go and check it out.

Why opting for these activities?

Yes, there is another reason than saving money for borrowing clothes, swap with friends and also upcycling. It’s more sustainable! Avoiding buying new clothing it’s the synonym to avoid all the chain production a new garment has that it’s very pollutive. For you to have a clear idea, borrow clothes, swap with friends, upcycle old clothes, and even buying second-hand or vintage clothing prevents:

  • Industrial pollution: The apparel industry emits 10% of the global carbon emissions. That’s more emissions than international flights and maritime shipping combined. And this is due the energy used during its production, manufacturing and transportation of all the million pieces each year.
  • Material waste: According to the UN, every single second the equivalent of one garbage truck of textils is burning or throwing to a landfill. Most of the garments are made of synthetic fibers (like polyester) that are plastic fibers. So they’re non-biodegradable and can take up to 200 years to decompose.
  • Water abuse: The fashion industry is responsible for 20% of the total waste of water globally. This is the equivalent of the amount of water that 5 million people need to survive. For example, it requires 10,000 litres of water to manufacture a single pair of jeans and 20,000 liters of water to produce just 1kg of cotton.
  • Animal exploitation: quality wool, leather and down products, for example, last decades. And its better if you obtain vintage clothes of these materials because they were already made and there was no need of another animal suffering.
  • Human exploitation: Nearly all of our clothes are made in countries where workers rights are nonexistent. Garment laborers are exploited because they are forced to work from about 14 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week and just gaining $3 per day in terrible conditions.
    A report from 2018 published that forced labor and child labor exist in the fashion industry in different contries like Argentina, India, Brazil, China, and more. You can see the report here.
    Moreover, as time goes by more and more brands are sharing lists and details about their workers and wages. But it’s not enough because there’s still forced labor and the 80% of garment workers are women.

Other sustainable ways to have clothes

There are other ways to have clothes that are great and a whole new world. Everything it’s a matter of trying new things and let the experience begin.

Buy in markets or second hand stores

Markets, vintage or second-hand stores are great places to find treasures. Yes, I call treasures to those pieces made of good-quality materials and that last many, many years. They are treasures, aren’t they?

In these places you can find all type of clothing, styles and special designs you can image. So if you have some vintage clothes in your wardrobe they will be different from the rest. And that’s fantastic because it ensures a unique style. This also means that you have the chance to explore your personal style. It encourages creativity. So don’t doubt at the time of play with clothes and try on new things. Because you don’t know until you try!

Being pre-owned, the vintage clothes cost a lot less money than new items. Of course that the prices depend on its label, materials and if it’s from a designer or don’t. But surely you will pay less money. So if you love saving or just don’t like to spend lots of money on clothes then vintage clothing is ideal for you! If you want to know more, I recommend you to read 5 Reasons why shop vintage clothing.


Have you ever thought about renting clothes? I think it’s a fantastic idea for formal events, for example. Where you have to wear a formal dress and spend a lot of money for only wearing it a few times. Is it really worthy? There are some stores that offer renting clothes (all types you can imagine) for a limited time period.

And not only talking about formal or elegant garments… but also for the day-to-day! If you tend to get bored of clothes easily, you are like the ones that prefer to have new clothes as much as they can, then renting clothes will be your sustainability savior! Here are some recommendations of where to rent clothing:

Last thoughts

Having a more sustainable approach to fashion it’s about little steps and habits we can start having. I encourage you to try at least some of these activities to avoid buying new clothes! You can tell me in the comments if you have already tried one of them and how did you felt 🙂

If you liked this post, then I recommend you to read Easy steps into ethical fashion consumption. And for more content, you can follow me on  Instagram and TikTok.

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