My approaches to shopping tend to skew toward opposite spectrums. On one end, about half of the clothes I have collected over the years have been gifted to me for free by friends or my sisters. Most of the rest of my clothes are bought at thrift or consignment stores.
On the other hand, if I get in mind a particular item I want, I try to find a high quality version of it that will best meet my needs, even if it's expensive. While it seems contradictory that I am both into cheap and free clothing while also willing to spend a lot when buying something new - it's really all part of my approach to reducing resource consumption.
I welcome clothing cast offs from friends because it means I don't need to go out and buy something new and waste the world's resources - and I also don't need to spend my time or money on shopping. When I do need to buy something new, I want the best version for me that will last a long time, so I won't need to keep buying more stuff. For example, when I buy a pair of shoes, I want it to be classy enough for the office, but also comfortable enough for walking all day or dancing all night. I don't want to own multiple shoes to fit many different situations when I can find one or a few pairs to fit lots of purposes.
Eco-friendly lines are often available only online or can not be found reliably in stores, which makes it hard to try things on. For my current shoe search, I'm using Zappos, even though I'd rather frequent local stores, just because I don't have time to go all over town from store to store until I find something that works. Lately, I've also had some success with Etsy, as many sellers are willing to custom-make items to fit your size or wants.
Much of my wardrobe doesn't fit perfectly because they're castoffs from friends or I've had it for so long that it's worn down and stretched out. But I'm not willing to go out and spend a small fortune to replace my whole wardrobe.
When things happen like the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, I stop caring that my wardrobe isn't perfect and am glad that I'm already doing what I can to avoid contributing to the ethical and environmental problems of the fashion industry, and then I stop car. Apparently Bangladesh is in the news again today as hundreds of garment workers have fallen sick from contaminated water.
What's your approach to shopping? Do the recent news about the conditions of garment workers make you think twice about where you get your clothes? Do you have any favorite brands or places to shop for eco-friendly clothes that you can share?