Guilt-Free Buyers-Guide

For years we’ve used a disposable income to buy disposable fashion. Items we’ve purchased because the price was right, the style was ‘in’ and, well if we’re honest, everyone else was wearing it.

Thankfully with more awareness of our environmental footprint, we’re seeing a shift towards conscientious buying practices.

To help you on your way we’ve compiled a guilt-free buyers-guide: 


To help build your conscientious wardrobe we suggest sticking to classic cuts and colours. If mauve is the colour trend of the season opt for a timeless black, white or grey instead. You can dress up a classic base pallet with accessories, like the Barrow Petite Rose. Rather than having to ditch the item at the end of the season because it’s ‘out’.

If you want to create a more unique style put some purchasing rules in place or a checklist of sorts; ask yourself:

  • Does it suit me?
  • Will I want to wear it over and over again?
  • Does it go with other items in my closet?
  • Do I love it enough to buy it at full price?
  • Has it been made well and from sustainable resources?
  • Has it been made ethically?

If you’ve answered yes to all these questions it’s safe to check out.


Every item of clothing produced has a negative impact on the environment but the degree of damage varies enormously. We’ve listed information about the most commonly used fabrics so that you can make an informed decision before you buy.

Worst offenders


  • Nylon is a petroleum oil bi-product.
  • The chemical process used to make Nylon usable is harmful to the environment and to humans.
  • It’s not biodegradable.
  • It’s dyed using a chemical acid.
  • The manufacturing process contributes to greenhouse gases.


  • Polyester is made from a chemical reaction using coal, petroleum, toxic acid and water.
  • The production uses a high amount of energy and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • It’s not biodegradable.

Better Options


  • A man-made blend of cotton, wood fibres and natural fibres.
  • Is produced using toxic chemicals.
  • Contributes to deforestation.

Best Options 

Organic cotton

  • Made from natural fibres.
  • No pesticides or chemicals used.
  • However, the production uses a large amount of water.


  • Natural fibres.
  • No pesticides or chemicals required. 
  • However, the production uses a large amount of water.


  • Natural fibres.
  • Requires less water than cotton.
  • Biodegradable
  • However, silkworms are killed as a result of production.


Before you make a new purchase be honest with yourself, do you really need three grey t-shirts and four pairs of blue jeans? If your closet is full but you have nothing to wear it might be time to switch to a Capsule Wardrobe. A Capsule Wardrobe consists of about seven to 10 clothing items which have been purchased because they are extremely versatile and can be mixed and matched to create a number of different styles.

Or if you can’t commit to a few well-structured, sustainably sourced items hanging in your closet consider thrift shopping and upcycling instead.


"I'm so happy I learned about Barrow. This watch is perfect and I plan on wearing it every day for years"! 

Mary - New York