6 Tips for Sustainably Styling Your College Apartment

Back to that college life and living on campus or in an apartment near by? Or just graduated and starting that first adult job? You can totally decorate sustainably and on a budget. I started this blog back when I was a sophomore in college. I know what it’s like to be on a budget and trying to find ethical & sustainable home decor. Here are a few tips to help!

affordable sustainable furniture

Shop Secondhand Furniture

When I was living in my apartment during my last two years of school I got SO much furniture from vintage & secondhand shops. Honestly, I had a blast browsing for furniture at these stores. One of my best pals, Kendal and I, found some good deals. We came out of the secondhand shop and for around $300 I got a coffee table, dining room set, and bookshelf. Getting it up the stairs was a bonding experience for sure. This was a fun and affordable way to furnish my place. All the furniture had character and kept my apartment feeling cozy.

Affordable Home Decor

Ethical, sustainable, and fair trade home decor is a great way to add some character to your place. It’s fun to decorate your place with items that share a story and share your values. When I was in college I found a lot of affordable fair trade home goods on GlobeIn and Ten Thousand Villages. But I’ve since learned about SO many more home decor brands such as Fair Tribe, Acacia Creations, New Creation, & Newly. I collected decor from previous travels and secondhand shops too! Consider checking out my guide Affordable Ethical & Sustainable Decor for the Conscious College Student to get some inspiration.

sustainable home goods

Organic Cotton Bed Sheets

If you splurge on something….I encourage you to consider organic cotton sheets because you don’t want to be sleeping on toxic materials. PACT Organic has recently launched a new line of fair trade organic sheets and towels that tend to be more affordable than other brands. And if you sign up for their e-mails they regularly send out discount codes.

Shop Local Craft Fairs

One of my favorite ways to get find art for my apartment is by browsing local craft fairs. I think it’s fun a great way to connect with local artists and small business owners in your area and start you collection of meaningful pieces. Local prints can be a cheap and easy way to decorate your place. Purchase a small print for around $10, find a frame at a secondhand store, and you’ve got yourself a piece unique to your space.

Unique Finds on Etsy

When in doubt I always go to Etsy because you can find some great reclaimed wood pieces, unique art, and fun pieces you won’t find anywhere else. This is a great way to shop small and support small business owners who share your values.

Buy from Other Students

If you live in or near a college town try to buy from others who might be moving out. This is an easy way to reuse furniture and make sure it doesn’t end up in a landfill.


Discover more resources on ethical home decor and furniture in our Ethical Brand Directory! And be sure to subscribe & follow along on social media for new tips & tricks on conscious living.