Back to School | Ethical Shopping Guide

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I don’t often talk about college, but the fall semester is nearly upon us. How? If summer wants to stay, I’d be cool with that, but the reality is it’s back to school, which may mean a bit of shopping. I thought I’d put together some ethically and sustainably produced, vegan and chic products for college/university students.

I just feel the need to put a disclaimer on this post, so here it is. You do not have to buy all or any of these things to go back to school. I won’t be because I already have perfectly useable items from school years past. It’s meant to give you some suggestions if you are happen to looking for these items and it’s just a bit of fun.

1. Backpack

When it comes to lugging textbooks all over campus, a backpack is your best friend. This mustard one from Everlane just launched and it’s not only adorable, but functional with two large compartments and pockets at the front and sides. If yellow isn’t your color, it also comes in black, gray, navy, emerald and brick. Perhaps the best part is that the small size $38 and the large is $48. Sounds good to me!

2. Reusable & Collapsible Lunch Box

If you don’t have a meal plan, you’re going to have to bring your own meals and what better way than via a reusable container with different compartments and a utensil. The best part? It collapses when empty, saving space in your bag.

I will be picking this up because I have to pack lunches for the first time. Expect a What I Eat in a Day vegan student edition!

3. Planner

College is a busy time, so having a place to keep track of classes, appointments and every in between is essential. A few months ago, I switched over to a bullet journal (see how I use it here). I use the dotted A5 Leuchtturm 1917 and actually, at the end of the month, I’ll be putting out a plan with me video specifically for students. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don’t miss out.

If you prefer a traditional setup, Valfré has the perfect thing if you’re a gal with a plan and love their quirky illustrations and retro vibes.

4. Multi-Use Creme Makeup

Because you’re so busy, you probably don’t have time to get full glam every day. If you only have five minutes before walking out the door, consider this Au Naturale blush stick for a flush of color on the cheeks, lips and even eyes. There will be no telling that you were up late cramming for that exam.

5. Something Cozy

This is a bit of a weird one, but especially if you live in a dorm, I suggest making a small investment in your space to make it feel more comfortable. Whether you’re studying there or just winding down, something as simple as a candle can make it a nicer place to be. This particular one is made from soy wax in California and comes in a bunch of lovely scents. My pick is teakwood and tobacco.

6. Ye Old Timer Teller

I never check my phone during lectures because I find it very rude, but honestly sometimes after the professor has been droning on, I do wonder when the torture will end. A watch is a simple solution. Votch makes chic luxurious vegan watches and I’m obsessed with this rose gold and coral one. If you’re on a budget, hit up a local thrift store and just replace the battery. Useful and cute.

7. Reusable Water Bottle

We all know staying hydrated is so important, but all that bottled water you buy on campus creates unnecessary waste. Break up with plastic and opt for a more sustainable choice like these reusable bottles by Yuhme. They’re made out of sugarcane, how cool!

8. Comfy Sneakers

Okay, it isn’t usually my jam, but Veja’s vegan sneakers may just convince me. No one wants to deal with uncomfortable shoes walking from class to class all day. A pair of these sneakers will keep you comfortable without having to sacrifice style.


I really can’t believe the semester is about to start! I even ordered textbooks. If you want to see more college/university related content, let me know. I’m on the fence whether to talk about it or not because honestly, I don’t love it, but maybe that’s a fresh perspective.

Check out my other shopping guides if you’re in need of more inspo!



Bras | Activewear | Jewelry | HandbagsSwimwear



3 thoughts on “Back to School | Ethical Shopping Guide

  1. Pingback: Wardrobe Refresh | How to Streamline Your Closet | Rose Recast

  2. Pingback: August Favorites | Beauty, Food & Music | Rose Recast

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