For many, summer is the season of fun especially when it comes to everyday dressing, which certainly includes the ultimate wardrobe staple – the dress. However, that is also a day-to-night year-round essential we need for so many occasions, which makes it reasonable to spend a bit more time and money to find the right one.
These are amazing eco-friendly brands that make the most beautiful dresses that are not only stylish and timeless but sustainable and ethical too. From natural fabrics to ethical and environmentally friendly production, they have it all.
Thinking of investing in an all-year piece for every occasion? Don’t miss these!
WHY WE LOVE IT: This New York City brand was born from the concept that great style doesn’t have to come at the expense of our environment—and that design can strike a balance between beauty and good intentions. All materials are environmentally friendly, whether organic and natural fabrics, reclaimed fibres that conserve material resources or trims made by artisan collectives in the developing world. Amur is committed to supporting the work of artisans and empowering their communities. For the debut collection, they partnered with NEST, the nonprofit fair-trade organization, to develop hardware in collaboration with artisans in India and Vietnam.
PRICE RANGE: from £200 up to £700
DELIVERY: Unfortunately, they only ship to U.S. and Canada at the moment, free 14 days refund on all full-price purchases.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The Indian label focuses on two ancient crafts of India, dabu and block printing; it is a cocktail of ancient printing techniques of Rajasthan. An attempt to keep these crafts alive, Rias is a bridge between the craftsmen’s’ skills and modern designs. From fibre to garment – everything is handmade which you can see in the finish and quality of the pieces. Their handspun khadi and hand block printing employs a large number of people in various villages of West Bengal and Rajasthan, which results in a better standard of living for those involved. Great job!
PRICE RANGE: from £40 up to £80
DELIVERY: Free delivery for orders over £115; international shipping available.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Dôen is a fashion brand made of creative Los Angeles-based women. They support women in the workforce in all aspects of their organization, supply chain and community. They use domestic production wherever possible and have carefully selected overseas manufacturing for their intricate hand-woven, hand embroidery and knit. They have partners in California, India, Spain and Peru who share their commitment to their mission to decrease the gender gap at any point of the supply chain. Each season they also design a unique children’s style and donate 100% of those to benefit Room to Reads mission to promote gender equality and literacy.
PRICE RANGE: from £120 up to £330
DELIVERY: International shipping available.
WHY WE LOVE IT: An Indian label, Little Things is founded by Ankita Srivastava, a textile designer graduated from New Delhi. Sustainability is the ethos of the brand so most of the fabric is sourced from different weaving communities in India including the new fabric – Cupro. Known as vegan silk, Cupro is made from the waste of cotton. It also dyes easily, it’s anti-static and biodegradable. Sounds exciting!
PRICE RANGE: from £60 up to £190
DELIVERY: Free shipping within India, worldwide delivery available.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Founded in 2007 by Gosia Piatek, Kowtow has some heavy sustainable goals! Their garments are certified by non-profit, internationally recognized organizations. They support fair wages, no child labour and gender equality. Their fabrics are supplied through organic cotton farming while using environmentally friendly dyes and washes (GOTS certified) as well as regenerated fabric such as ECONYL in their garments. They also encourage the Take Back Programme, where instead of throwing away pieces you don’t wear anymore, you can send them back to recycle.
PRICE RANGE: from £90 up to £240
DELIVERY: Free UK and EU shipping for orders over €200.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The name of this brand means pure cotton in Hindi; they work with a variety of 100% cotton (organic, handloom and power loom) and a variety of eco-friendly dyes (vegetable and azo-free). Every dress is artisan handcrafted – not made in a sweatshop or a large factory by industrial size machines. They also use large amounts of natural light to reduce the consumption of electricity in the factory. By 2020, 20% of their electricity will be produced using solar power. The brand is proud to be fair trade meaning their artisans have higher than average market salary so most of them have been with the company for many years.
PRICE RANGE: from £68 up to £145
DELIVERY: International shipping available, including the UK
WHY WE LOVE IT: The brand uses deadstock fabric to make their feminine garments. Instead of ending up in a landfill, the leftovers of the residual fabric from major fashion houses are repurposed for their collections. Sometimes, they find just enough deadstock fabric to make one dress. For most brands, that wouldn’t be worth the effort which is what makes Christy Dawn unique as well as the fact that all dresses arrive in a wooden box, not a plastic bag. Fairtrade and ethical production is a very important part of the brand meaning all the pieces are made by seamstresses in Los Angeles.
PRICE RANGE: from £160 up to £270
DELIVERY: Worldwide delivery available but it comes priced around £25.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Owner of the Pink City prints, Molly Russell, founded this hand-made womenswear brands to celebrate the beauty of craft and sustainable fashion. She lives in Jaipur, India and works along-side block-printers, indigo dyers, embroiderers and weavers overseeing the whole process from start to finish. A single embroidered dress, made of natural fibres such as cotton, hand-loomed khadi cotton and silk, takes three days to complete. The brand is fair-trade and ethical too and they treat all the employees with care and respect, while the owner is also working with a women’s centre to teach them skills so they can provide for themselves. Amazing!
PRICE RANGE: from £125 up to £295
DELIVERY: UK shipping will cost you £5, while international £10.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Determined to create a real difference after seeing the reality of modern-day slavery and exploitation of women, Natasha and Lavinia founded Beulah intending to empower women to break the cycle of poverty and achieve long-lasting freedom through skilled craft and employment. The uses sustainably sourced materials while having craftsmanship, high quality and environmental consideration in mind.
PRICE RANGE: from £165 up to £550
DELIVERY: UK standard delivery will cost you £6, worldwide shipping available.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The brand was founded in New Zeland believing in transparency, caring and respecting people in their supply chain and enduring that the health of our planet is at the forefront of every decision they make. A huge part of their goal is to create a circular and regenerative business, which comes down to their fabric. By the end of 2020, 50% of their collections will be made using repurposed and recycled materials. The brand will ship their products in fully biodegradable bags made from root starch (cassava) vegetable oil and a vegetable polymer, material that decomposes back to nature and dissolves in water.
PRICE RANGE: from £266 up to £644
DELIVERY: Free delivery to New Zeland; international shipping available from £16.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The brand makes beautiful dresses made of homemade khadi cotton! Khadi is a fabric that was originally propagated as the main uniform of choice in the fight for freedom and Mahatma Gandhi became its uncrowned ‘brand ambassador’. However, the fabric wasn’t accessible to many, yet ever considered as a trendy one. Luckily, Red Sister Blue has transformed that and created khadi pieces that are extremely breathable and comfortable, unlike synthetic fibres such as polyester. Also, khadi is a low carbon-footprint fabric as it doesn’t need electricity or any kind of fuel for its production.
PRICE RANGE: from £115 up to £210
DELIVERY: Unfortunately, the brand currently only ships within India.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Maati by Neha Kabra is a contemporary womenswear label from Udaipur, Rajasthan that makes simple yet stylish garments. Maati is also an environmentally friendly, PETA approved vegan brand – their labels are made of seed paper and upcycle old fabric while using natural dyes. The brand also empowers the women in the village of Gajsinghpura, supporting and helping them with employment.
PRICE RANGE: from £30 up to £65
DELIVERY: Worldwide delivery available to most of the countries, price calculated at the checkout.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Founded in 2016 in India, Shiksha Bhansal created minimal, limitless and easy to style pieces based on the organic materials, zero waste and fair trade policies. This ruffle obsessed brand believes in the 4 C’s – comfortable, conscious, chic and classy! Also, they use coconut shell buttons to replace classic plastic ones which is a nice touch.
PRICE RANGE: from £45 up to £55
DELIVERY: International shipping available, including the UK.