Fun and Sustainable Fashion for the Broke Student

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Have you ever gone on a shopping spree, and no matter how great the pieces you bought looked on you, you couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt for having spent too much cash? Well I have a solution for all you shopaholics out there who don’t have the dough to support your favourite hobby: a free store shopping spree! I recently had time to go down to the store and rummage through all of the racks; I found some amazing treasures that have become staple pieces for my fall wardrobe! Here are a few examples of things I have picked up.



Le Petit Prince is my all time favourite children’s book so I fell in love with this shirt instantly. However, I do have a confession to make: I made some slight modifications to it. This was a bit of an oversized t-shirt for me, so I simply cut off the sleeves and made the neckline a bit lower (to make it a bit more feminine) and voilà! There are some pretty wicked graphic tees at the free store who are just looking for homes, and this is a great way to make some old and out of style pieces, into new and fresh ones. Since the cold weather is coming, I also picked up this cotton plaid shirt to throw over the top, and it really completes the outfit, making it more appropriate for the upcoming cold weather


Do you have t-shirts that you absolutely love but that got destroyed by stains? Who cares? Crop tops are all the rage this year (at the risk of sounding like a hipster), so why not just snip it. This free store t-shirt had some pretty serious stainage going on, so I figured I would join the crop club and snip away. It looks great with a pair of high-rise jeans, or even with a skirt and my pleather jacket. This is definitely one of my new favorite pieces.


Now when it comes to men’s clothing, this is my motto: anything boys can wear, girls can wear better. I was floored when I found this amazing men’s flannel shirt at the free store. Not only did it look cool, but the material is also super thick and really keeps me warm these days. I matched it with a beanie, and some second hand hunter boots (not from the free store, but still) and it was perfect for playing in the leaves. 

Now to wrap things up, we are hoping that this blog post inspired you to do two things: come to the free store, but also recycle your clothes! Just because something from your closet seems to have gone out of style, doesn’t mean you have to throw it away. Try making small adjustments, be creative, and most of all think sustainable fashion! And if you really can’t figure something out, bring it to us and we will find it a new closet to call home.

~ melissa - office of campus sustainability intern
photo credit - uOttawa student Eleni Levreault

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