Eco-Friendly Living

Eco-Goth: How To Be Green And Alternative

There are tons of “types” of goths within the goth subculture. So, you might be wondering what is eco-goth? Can you combine your passion for environmentalism with alt subcultures?

What Is Eco-Goth?

So what does eco-goth mean? The term eco-goth originally came from the Hex Girls from Scooby Doo and the Witches Ghost.

In hindsight, that movie shaped me as a person because I loved that movie as a kid. Since then, it’s taken on a life of it’s own. There are lots of self-proclaimed green goths who might not be aware it was originally from a kids movie.

Eco-goth definition: Eco-goth is exactly how it sounds; goths (or alt people) who also care about the environment.

woman in black and red short sleeved dress standing in front of green steel structure
Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on

Can You Be Goth And Green?

There’s no reason why you can’t be an eco-friendly goth or alt person.

Goths and alternative people can live sustainable lives just like everyone else.

At it’s core, goth is a sub-culture about the music. Like most alt subcultures, you can dress like other people in the scene do, but they are heavily rooted in being a fan of certain genres of music and seeing the world a certain way. It’s more about ideals than looks.

I would says being green and alternative is pretty common, even if people don’t label themselves that way. Apparently, the McDonalds in Milton Keynes ran out of McPlants when My Chemical Romance played there!

Is Fast Fashion Only Mainstream?

person holding black android smartphone - on a guide about how to be green and goth
Photo by cottonbro on

If you didn’t know; the fashion industry is not sustainable at all. Aside from being highly polluting and wasteful, we can’t gloss over the use of child labour and the existence of sweat shops. This is something most alt people would not want to knowingly support.

At a glance, you might thinks that alternative fashion is immune to fast fashion. After all, these are people who generally don’t follow trends. Unfortunately no, alternative fashion is not always sustainable by default. There are tons of alternative fast fashion websites full of marked-up products from fast fashion retailers.

While in general, alternative fashion doesn’t seem to be as impacted by trends, it’s not exactly immune to it either. I don’t really notice as many microtrends in alternative communities as much as I do with others – which are trends (usually originating on social media) that come in and out of style very swiftly. These sub-cultures are not stagnant so the style will change.

Plus; each subculture has always had its social media moment, like MySpace, and, so it’s no surprise that E-Culture (or whatever you call them) has its own trends on TikTok now. Alt people are definitely not immune to doing big clothing hauls on social media, which I do see on TikTok.

What About Band Merch?

woman in goth outfit standing beside a wooden door - on guide on what is eco-goth
Photo by Elyas Pasban on

For the emos in particular, you probably don’t want to stop buying band merch. I don’t! I love supporting my favourite bands, and I love coming home from a show with something to remember it by. I would argue that people tend to respect merch more than fast fashion. Personally, I don’t think I’ve thrown any old merch out, and other people seem to keep theirs for a long time too.

While yes, creating any piece of clothing is bad for the environment, one of the bigger issues with fast-fashion is people overconsume it, and it ends up in landfills very quickly. Merch is usually more expensive, *should* be better quality, and is usually treasured for years.

While I don’t wear band merch and skinny jeans almost every single day anymore, a lot of old merch has been demoted to pyjama tops. And even older merch or t-shirts by bands I don’t like – or feel particularly nostalgic towards – anymore gets used as a hair towel! Using a t-shirt seems to be better for your hair than a towel, so it’s a win win.

So What Are Eco-Goth Clothes?

woman in black and white dress with pink hair
Photo by HernĂ¡n Toro on

Goth is a music based sub-culture, as are the likes of emo and punk. So, technically, there isn’t an eco-goth aesthetic because goths don’t have to dress a certain way. If you like goth bands, you’re goth. Eco-friendly goth clothes are whatever you want them to look like.

Still, eco-goth fashion can be tricky. While there are “slow” fashion or ethical fashion brands selling basics or clothing that alternative people wouldn’t be into, I’ve yet to see any cater to alt people.

The premise of these sustainable slow fashion brands is usually that they are ethically made, high quality, and use sustainable materials/production! This is wonderful!

They often cost more than fast fashion. If everyone involved in the process was paid fairly, that’s probably what fashion in general would cost. Unfortunately, not everyone actually has the budget to fork out more than $20 for one pair of underwear or socks. It’s not “too expensive,” it’s just not accessible to a lot of people.

So, if you don’t have the budget, what do you do if you want to be an eco-friendly goth:

  • check out vintage stores
  • shop around Depop or Vinted
  • buy good quality clothing, made to last
  • opt for timeless pieces, over microtrends
  • do a clothes swap with your friends for new looks
  • avoid impulse buying
  • upcycle old clothing
  • think of ways a piece can be worn multiple times with different looks before buying

If there actually are sustainable alt fashion brands, let me know!

How To Be Green And Alternative

Some of my previous blog posts might help you on your eco-goth journey:

You might also like my music bucket list.

Do you consider yourself an eco-goth or someone who is green and emo or green and alternative.

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