Affordable Ethical & Sustainable Decor for The Conscious College Student

Heading back to college and looking to furnish your dorm or apartment? I know the struggle of wanting ethical and sustainable decor, but also being on that college budget. I actually started The Honest Consumer in college, so I’ve been there for sure. And wanting your place to be cozy, yet sophisticated, and “adultish” is a tricky balance. TBH I’m still trying to figure it out. But for the sake of heading back to school and furnishing those apartments on a budget, here are a few products & home decor brands worth checking out as you furnish your small space on a budget. All the ethical and sustainable home goods in this post are under $100!

fair trade dorm room decor

Namaste in Bed Pillow- $40

Hand-stitched with cotton letters forming the phrase “Namaste In Bed” and a heart made of repurposed cotton sari, this pillow is handcrafted at Rishilpi Development, who have the chance to transform their lives through fair wages for their skilled work.

fair trade organic bed sheets

Organic Fair Trade Sheet Set-$90

Sleep safely and sustainably knowing your sheets are made with 100% cotton. PACT sheets are made in a Fair Trade Certified factory. These soft sheets come in a wide range of colors catering to a variety of styles and all the sweet dreams!

fair trade pillows

Silk Pinwheel Pillow- $50

Comfort and sophistication are what comes to mind when gazing upon this pillow from Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts. Ethically made using fair trade practices, these unique pillows add a subtle pop of color to any couch that needs a little something extra.

fair trade baskets

Bright Bits Jute Baskets- $40

This fair trade basket is handcrafted from jute and recycled cotton sari fabric. Great for storage in small spaces!

fair trade home decor

Pineapple Dish- $22

These dishes are lovingly hand-crafted in the Philippines from sustainably harvested acacia wood. Use it as a spoon rest or ring dish!

fair trade tea towel

Fair Trade Tea Towel- $30

Ethically made using fair trade practices, this tea towel adds a bit of soft color and character to your kitchen!

fair trade salad server

Fair Trade Salad Servers- $18

Serve in style with this fair trade, boldly patterned salad set. Each is hand-carved in Kenya from olive wood and accented with a batiked cowbone handle.

ethically made blanket

Kantha Blanket Natural Cotton- $50

This blanket was created with love using cotton, sari cloth. Your purchase helps empower + employ. Each one is natural white with colored stitching.

fair trade home decor

Silver Dot Star Lantern- $14

Ethically made using fair trade practices, this lantern adds a bit of bohemian style and light to your home. These star lanterns are a great way to cozy up any space.

ethical home decor

Recycled Sari Flower Garland- $19

Add a colorful touch to your space with the reversible Recycled Sari Flower Garland. This eco-friendly garland is handcrafted by artisans in Bangladesh.

fair trade dream catcher

DZI Dreamcathers- $35

Dreamy white dreamcatchers handmade by an artisan collective in Katmandu, Nepal are a great way to add a bohemian vibe to your bedroom. Each unique design is made with love.

fair trade room dividers

Sari Rope Door Curtain-$60

Trying to create some separation in a small space or art for a wall? The Rope Door Curtain is made from upcycled cotton sari fabric & terra cotta beads for a fun, boho flair.

affordable organic cotton bath towels

Fair Trade Organic Towels- $20+

PACT’s 100% organic cotton towels use zero harmful chemicals and softeners are used because PACT’s minimally-processed cotton is naturally soft and absorbent.

recycled glass storage

Recycled Glass Canisters- $18+

These are great for storage and sustainable style! Made in small batches using recycled glass and reclaimed wood. Great for bathroom or kitchen storage.

fair trade home decor

Sweet Star Box -$21

The perfect place for a few pieces of your favorite ethical jewelry! The Sweet Star Box, featuring etched glass, is handcrafted in Moradabad, India by artisans.

fair trade duvet cover

Organic Cotton Duvet Cover- $99

Sleep safely and sustainably with an organic duvet cover. Let your skin breathe comfortably while you enjoy sweet dreams. Ethically made SOL is a great choice for investing in a quality duvet cover.

ethical home decor

Worthy Flag- $18

Sometimes all it takes is the right word at the right time to boost your spirits and promote confidence. Hang this simple, yet decorative flag anywhere as a reminder of who you are and that you are worthy of love and happiness. Ethically made in Uganda.

fair trade pillows

Indigo Geo Print Pillow- $30

This pillow is crafted by marginalized artisans from MESH. MESH works with leprosy colonies & rehabilitation workshops throughout India, ensuring fair wages & empowering those with limited opportunities due to physical disabilities.

sustainable pitcher made from recycled glass

Valencia Pitcher- $38

Serve dinner in sustainable style with this pitcher made from recycled glass.Made in small batches, this is not only practical for serving, but is also a piece of art.

fair trade bowls

Half Moon Bowl Set- $40

This is crafted and hand painted by artisans in Mexico using traditional pottery techniques. Each piece is colorful, lead-free, dishwasher and microwave safe.

eco-friendly candle holder

Keyhole Votive Candle Holder- $15

This candle holder adds a bit of sustainability to your space. Made of 100% recycled glass this candle holder is a great way to light up your space.

fair trade home goods

Mug Rugs- $20

Hand-knotted with love in Haiti this set of coasters makes a lovely touch to your living room. And a friendly + subtle reminder to your guests to use a coaster.

upcycled plant hanger

Upcycled Sari Plant Hanger- $36

This hand-painted terra cotta planter complete with colorful upcycled sari macrame hanger and terracotta surface tray is great for hanging your favorite plant.

sustainable home decor

Hurricane Vase- $56

Add plants, stones, candles or whatever your heart desires to beautifully accent your favorite space. Hand crafted in small batches from 100% recycled glass.


Oh and fun fact, you can check out my college apartment from a few years back here in my apartment tour video! I’ve learned about a lot more affordable ethical home brands since then! For more tips & tricks on conscious home goods check out our Ethical Brand Directory. Be sure to subscribe and follow The Honest Consumer on social media to stay in the know.