Where to find eco-friendly outfits for your end of year balls in Notts

You shall go to the ball

‘Tis the season of end of year balls, boat parties and graduations. With all of this excitement comes the stressful task of finding the right outfit. If you’re graduating this year, you may want to make that last image count with a breathtaking fit, and for those attending postponed graduations, after up to two years of cancellations, it would be rude not to go all out on your outfit.

But if you’re anything like me it can be hard justifying treating yourself to something new without feeling guilty about the environmental impact. With exams and deadlines looming, it can be all too tempting to turn to fast fashion out of habit and convenience. Thankfully, there are several eco-friendly alternatives to consider while sorting your outfit, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg either.

Here are some places you might want to check out for eco-friendly events outfits in Notts.

Hockley charity shops 

Charity shops are far and away the best way to go if you want to be eco-friendly and Notts is spoilt for choice. You’ve got the classic Hockley area crawl of My Sight, Oxfam and Sue Ryder but personally I think Mind and Cancer Research on Friar Lane are underrated.

Beeston charity shops

Beeston is definitely the place to go for charity shops though and not too far from campus if you’re feeling bad about taking time out of your revision schedule. Admittedly, it can sometimes be a bit tricky if you’re searching for something specific, but always worth a look because every so often you’ll unearth a hidden gem with your name on it.

Case in point: a steal of my housemate’s dress from a recent charity shop trip

City Centre vintage shops 

Nottingham is also home to a healthy, and growing, selection of independent vintage shops, from the well established Cow and Wild to the seemingly omnipresent White Rose to the newer additions of 101 Vintage and Bubble. All have a big selection of, often designer, cargos, vintage shirts and jumpers ideal for guys who fancy changing it up from the traditional suit and tie especially if the event you’re going to is a little more low-key. Cow also have some stunning ball-appropriate dresses in at the moment and you won’t have the worry of someone else turning up in the same dress. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment but you’ll also be supporting local business, so it’s a win-win.

via Instagram @cownottingham

Online thrifting can prove successful for Ball buys 

If you’re bogged down with essay deadlines like me and don’t have as much time to go scouring round the charity shops, a search on one of the Holy Trinity of second-hand apps such as eBay, Depop & Vinted, might be an easier alternative. You might even cop yourself a bargain on something preloved that you were eyeing up new.

A green Urban number I managed to pick up for half the price on Depop

I also recently discovered Oxfam’s online shop which is a bit of a game changer, where you can shop stock not only from your local branches but any Oxfam charity shop in the UK.

There are also plenty of online options if you want to keep it Notts-based. Cow, Wild, 101 Vintage and Braderie all have websites so you can shop straight from George Green if you need to. Not only do Nottingham-established chain White Rose have their city centre and Beeston shops but also an online store offering free delivery on orders over £35.

via Instagram @cownottingham

Sustainable brands now offering student discount

Obviously one of the main selling points of uni, degree who?, is the student discount so you might as well make use of it while you’re here. UNiDAYS and Student Beans are currently offering student discounts on several sustainable brands that are worth checking out such as OMNES, whose satin midi dresses I might have to give in to, and Nobody’s Child. Vestiaire Collective is another preloved clothing app if your tastes are a bit more high end/luxury, who also offer 10% off to students.

Obviously it’s worth keeping in mind that being eco-friendly can be as much about your mindset as it is where you’re buying from. It’s always good to consider how long something is going to last you and how much wear you’re going to get out of it before purchasing. Fast fashion may have become the norm but it turns out that there’s eco-friendly options in their abundance. What’s more is that buying sustainable and preloved items doesn’t hurt the planet and won’t break the bank.

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