A Guide to Sustainable Shopping in Leeds

With a newfound freedom and an instalment of your maintenance loan, it can be easy to spend all your spare money on the latest Urban Outfitters release – I’m speaking from experience. However, with the damaging nature of fast fashion on the environment, consider the perks of sustainable, ethical fashion. Leeds is home to thousands of fashionable gems just waiting to be found in a charity shop. 

Blue Rinse, Call Lane, Leeds © Stephen Craven cc-by-sa/2.0 :: Geograph  Britain and Ireland
Blue Rinse Call Lane / Credit: Geograph

In the heart of the city centre, Cow and Blue Rinse are great vintage stores. With stores dotted around the country, Cow is home to big brands alongside re-worked items. From varsity jackets to 70’s flares, it’s the perfect one-stop shop for a range of clothes. It’s on the pricier side but is nevertheless a great place to look for one-of-a-kind pieces no matter your personal style. Similar to Cow, Blue Rinse is also a fantastic place to find quirky, one-of-one items. Located on Call Lane, the infamous vintage store is always packed to the brim and an overall cool place to visit.

Charity shops are a great place to dig for vintage pieces for low prices. There are so many dotted around the city centre alongside the Hyde Park and Headingley areas. It can be time consuming, but it’s a great way to spend your free days with flatmates or new friends. New clothes are constantly being donated and waiting for a new owner. Buying clothes from charity shops ensures your money goes towards a good cause whilst ensuring you have an item of clothing that not everyone will be sporting on campus.

File:Inside the Corn Exchange 2 - Leeds.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Corn Exchange Leeds / Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Kilo sales are great to seek out around the city. The Corn Exchange often hosts kilo sales year-round which are great to visit with friends and find quirky clothes. Buying in bulk means you can get your money’s worth whilst saving clothes from being sent to landfill. Blue Rinse also puts on kilo sales – you can find out when these are on their Instagram. These sales are handy for grabbing basics which you can flip into new garments, graphic sweaters or groovy patterned shirts: all for a low cost. 

The impact of sustainable shopping on your wardrobe is beneficial in a myriad of ways. Not only will you be developing your own personal style and creating new shopping habits but extending the life cycle of clothes and preventing them from ending up in landfill sites. It’s also a great way to explore your way around Leeds and is a great bonding activity with new mates. Leeds is full of different fashions and sustainable shopping is a great way to develop your own style whilst being a friend to the environment.