17 ingenious tips from an eco-friendly fashion blogger who rarely spends more than £2 a go on her clothes


But one fashion blogger is proof that love for new trends doesn’t have to come at a cost to the environment.

Louise Croft has been ‘thrifting’ since the age of 19 and knows a thing or two about how to stay on top of fast fashion. Croft only ever shops at charity stores and has a strict spending limit of £5 every time she goes clothes shopping.

“Most items I buy are either £1 or £2,” says the 26-year-old working as a charity shop consultant. Here are her secrets on how to snap up a bargain without racking up a huge carbon footprint.

1. Start slow and small

Fashion blogger Louise Croft.
(Pauper to Princess)
The question is, where do you start? How do you buy clothes worn by other people that don’t look drab by the time they reach your hands?

“If you are a beginner, start in more posh areas,” says Croft. “Stick to the ‘high-end national charities where everything in there will be clean and in great condition.


“And go as a group – it can be an enjoyable day out with girls as you’ll find a mixture of hilarious vintage and gorgeous current season outfits.

“Once you start getting the hang of it, you can be bolder and try car boot sales or jumble sale shops.”

2. Learn to spot the things you want

Believe it or not, charity shops often stock items from the current season – you need to learn to look. And while it might be a bit daunting at first, you soon know to scan your eyes and spot the things you want.

Fashion blogger Louise Croft.

“You do get good at browsing the rails quite quickly,” says Croft. “And the things you like will jump out at you.”

But the hard part isn’t deciding whether you want to buy the outfit you are holding in your hand – it’s finding that hidden gem tucked away amongst a sea of other second-hand clothing.

“The real imagination comes from what to pick from the mash,” says Croft. But don’t worry, though; Croft says people usually get the hang of it quite quickly.

3. Visit thrift stores regularly

Fashion blogger Louise Croft.
(Pauper to Princess)
If staying on top of the latest trends means a lot to you, visit thrift stores as often as possible. Believe it or not, you can still be trendy, even buying from charity shops.

“Fast fashion is slower than you think,” says Croft. “Although most stores have eight collections yearly, the trends overlap significantly.

“People are shopping rapidly, and as a result, the charity shops are keeping up quite well.

“I often find things at charity shops that are current season or season just gone.”

4. Keep an eye out for investment pieces

Trends may come and go, but certain things will stand the test of time.

“There are items that never go out of style… like blazers or jeans,” says Croft.

So, if you’ve spotted a good-quality tailored jacket or an amazing fur coat, snap it up ASAP!

5. Make a wish list of all the things you want

Fashion blogger Louise Croft.
(Pauper to Princess)
Not all charity shops are super-organized with their items. And that means you might end up browsing things you don’t want. But this is where planning comes in handy.

“I have a mental wish list of the perfect shirt or something I have seen in a magazine that I always watch for,” says Croft.

“Sometimes I buy something that’s on my list or not buying anything at all. But the list is always at the back of my mind. It helps me stay focused.”

6. Figure out which brands work for you

Fashion blogger Louise Croft.
(Pauper to Princess)
Although not label-conscious, Croft believes sticking to your favorite brands at thrift stores often helps you buy something you will wear.

“I am not a hugely label-conscious person, but I do keep an eye on things,” says Croft. “I don’t have too many designer items because even if they are cheaper than the original retail price, they are still expensive.

“My favorite item in my wardrobe is my Moschino belt that I got in America. I was convinced it was fake when I bought it, but when I looked at all its markings, it turned out to be real!”

Croft says she only paid a fiver for the belt. Keeping an open mind certainly helps!

7. Set yourself a shopping limit

Fashion blogger Louise Croft.
(Pauper to Princess)
Like most uncontrollable shopping sprees, thrift shopping can often get out of hand, so Croft suggests setting a strict budget and following it.

“My official limit is £5,” says Croft, who shops almost every week.

8. Experiment and get creative

Fast fashion isn’t sustainable. But if you buy something you like from a thrift store, wear it a few times, and take it back to the charity shop, you are doing your environment a good turn.

“I love playing with fashion and being creative,” says Croft. “I like wearing things a few times and experimenting with the clothing.

“But I buy everything from charity shops or thrift stores, so it doesn’t have all the unethical bounce-back.

“It’s also a great opportunity to try and experiment with something that’s out of your comfort zone at a meager cost.”