Shopping sustainably during a pandemic

Over 2 months without charity shopping, how are we all holding up? I am not holding up well at all.

I miss the excitement of not knowing what you might find in a charity shop, and the even better feeling when you find something amazing for like £3.

I have been tempted by online stores who are still delivering and bought some new clothes, which i feel awful about. I was doing so well at shopping sustainably before this all happened and then i ruined it.

So, i’ve been keeping an eye out and i want to share my favourite ways to shop sustainably during COVID-19. It’s not impossible, it just takes a little longer. But patience is key when shopping sustainably, pandemic or not.

Big Sister Swap

Big Sister Swap is an online, personalised swapping service where you send your unloved clothes to them and get a box of preloved clothes, selected based on questions about your style and size.

They’ve been a thing for a few months now and are still working during the pandemic. You purchase a Starter Swap (£7), 1kg swap (£10) or 2kg swap (£15) and get a box back containing items which add up to the same weight.

They also have a Little Tot Swap if you want to shop sustainably for your kids as well!

I purchased the 2kg swap as i had a lot of clothes i didn’t wear anymore, and after a few weeks i got a 2kg box back.

Swapping is a genius way of being sustainable and re-creating that charity shop excitement – you have no idea what you’re getting back and there are good brands included, if you care about that kind of thing.

I did a haul of the things i got in my box which can be found on my instagram, but i’ll definitely be doing another swap in future. Shopping is more fun when it’s a surprise!

Lost Stock

Lost Stock was launched recently and is a clothing box service containing high street orders which were cancelled by retailers due to the pandemic.

These orders being cancelled has meant the workers are not being paid for work they have completed. Lost Stock will pay for their wages, whilst ensuring the clothing made does not go to landfill and instead goes straight to us.

You pay £35 for a box containing at least 3 items which would retail for double what you pay. You get a massive saving on clothes you would’ve purchased anyway and help to pay workers so they can continue to survive.

You answer a couple of questions about your style, size and what kind of fit you like your clothes to be, then wait a few weeks for your box. I haven’t received mine yet as they’re not quite ready to ship them, but i can’t wait. I love surprise deliveries!

I placed my order almost immediately and have had messages from so many people saying they’ve done the same. It’s a really worthy investment and although the clothes are technically brand new, they would’ve been destined for landfill without Lost Stock.

Small businesses

It’s so important, now more than ever, to consider shopping at your favourite small businesses to support them during this pandemic. It’s an unsure time when you’re self-employed.

I’m just going to include a few of my favourite small businesses that i would like to show support for – i know there are a lot out there and i’m always looking for recommendations so feel free to leave your favourite independent business in the comments.

Dorkface, aka Jemma, sells colourful pins, patches, notebooks, stickers and more over on her shop. She pours her heart and soul into each and every design and her items make perfect gifts for friends and family.

I am totally obsessed with the Maui hook pin and i want it on everything! If colourful, positive designs are your cup of tea, you’ll love Dorkface.

Lunar & Bloom, by Lauren, is a relatively new shop which sells gorgeous unique jewellery homemade by Lauren. Each item is honestly breathtaking and will have everybody asking where you got it from.

I really love the gold plated moon earrings and i am genuinely tempted to order them right now but i have to resist. If unique, custom-made jewellery is your thing, Lunar & Bloom is for you.

And finally, Emma Warren Design is a shop i have supported for a long time now and continue to do so. This shop consists of clothes which have been embroidered with adorable designs, mostly animals or cute slogans.

I already own a few pieces from Emma and i’m currently eyeing up the tie dye orca tee. I love tie dye, i love orcas. I need it. If you love embroidery, shop with Emma.

Depop/eBay

Depop and eBay are personally my favourite ways to shop sustainably – i’ll often go onto a high street site, see something i love, then hunt for similar on Depop. The thrill of the chase makes the reward much more rewarding.

If you search for long enough, you can find some really amazing bargains. You just have to be careful, only purchase in-app and look at reviews on every seller’s page to avoid scammers. It’s awful, but they do exist.

This is a great way of shopping brands you know and love, grabbing a bargain and being sustainable.


So there we go! I hope i’ve given you some inspo for shopping sustainably. I’ve used all of these methods during the pandemic and will continue to do so even after it’s over.

Stay safe out there and try to stay as positive as you can!

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