Sustainable summer dresses have come a long way from those scratchy shapeless sacks. I've rounded up 30 of the most stylish ethical and sustainable clothing brands making comfortable, easy-to-wear dresses that are versatile enough to wear to picnics in the park, cocktail parties, and even weddings and other formal events. I own pieces from the first 6 brands; they make up the majority of my summer wardrobe.
Most are mid-range brands, a few are affordable, and a couple are on the luxury end. I note whenever the labels have a sales section or have pieces available to rent on Rent the Runway. The majority of these ethical clothing brands are from the US, with a few from the UK and Canada.
Check out my easy summer outfit formula and learn how to style a sundress.
The most sustainable thing you can do is avoid the overconsumption of clothing. Buy fewer but better-constructed garments that will last, which these brands do well. Don't forget you can always search for summer dresses secondhand on resale apps
When you purchase through links on this site we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us provide free content for you to enjoy.
Known for their vintage-inspired prints in flattering shapes, Faithfull the Brand's collection evokes the spirit of travel in the sun. Founded in Indonesia in 2012, they collaborate with Bali’s best manufacturers to create their hand-made garments and continue to work closely with their local community ever since. In 2021, Faithfull the Brand became a certified B Corporation. Orders are shipped from their warehouse in California.
You'll often find me wearing Faithfull dresses and tops in the warmer seasons because they're so easy to wear and take care of. They're my go-to brand for building a romantic summer wardrobe.
2. Christy Dawn
When I discovered Christy Dawn a few years ago through the ethical fashion scene, they were making dresses from deadstock fabric, fabric left over from bigger fashion houses. They still do for their Deadstock Collection. To expand the brand while still remaining sustainable, they launched a "farm-to-closet" initiative in southern India, working with traditional farmers and craftspeople to nourish a depleted plot of land back to health, and sowing their own cotton with regenerative techniques that honor Mother Earth.
Based in California, they work with talented dressmakers in LA and India to make garments that last. I own a couple of Christy Dawn dresses, and I expect to keep wearing them for decades to come.
3. Mata Traders
Mata Traders is designed in Chicago and handcrafted by fair trade women's cooperatives and artisan groups in India and Nepal. Their summer dresses are made with natural materials and organic cotton. They feature handmade elements such as block printing and embroidery, flattering design, and vibrant colors.
One of the more affordable sustainable fashion brands on this list, they often have decent sales. I own one of their cotton summer dresses and love that it is washer and dryer friendly. I try to avoid dry clean-only garments whenever possible.
Discover more affordable ethical clothing brands.
Founded by women from Santa Barbara, Dôen is inspired by nostalgia for California of decades past. Their feminine, romantic dresses are made with care in India with GOTS-certified organic cotton. The summer dresses also come in children's sizes for mothers searching for matching family sets.
Dôen's clothes are timeless. I invested in The Jane Blouse in the color Salt over five years ago. I wear it frequently, and it still looks as good as new.
Reformation built their own factory in Los Angeles and also works with sustainable factories abroad. Their flirty summer dresses are often seen on celebrities and they have stores in the US, Canada, and the UK. If. you're in the States, Reformation pieces can be rented from Rent the Runway.
I own a few Reformation pieces and recommend avoiding their viscose/rayon garments. They're dry clean-only; they'll shrink in the wash, even under the delicate setting. I also don't have confidence the fabric will hold up in the long run. Instead, choose their linen dresses or pieces made from other natural fibers. (FYI, they make great jeans.)
VETTA makes versatile capsule collections of 5 items that make 30 different outfits. Their clothes are made in the USA from sustainable fabrics such as Tencel and linen. You can buy individual pieces, the full capsule collection, or create your own capsule.
I bought a two-piece Tencel dress all the way back from their first collection on Kickstarter, and I still wear it every summer.
Born in Paris and crafted using the expertise of the best ateliers, Sézane sells high-quality clothing at accessible price points. B Corp certified, Sézane's summer dresses are vintage-inspired and made with natural or recycled fabrics. They have brick-and-mortar stores around Europe and the States.
8. People Tree
A pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion, UK brand People Tree's easy to wear summer dresses are made with organic cotton or TENCEL. They often have good sales in their Outlet section, sometimes rivaling fast fashion prices.
Boho chic Canadian brand Tamga Designs' summer dress line features their signature colorful prints. Their fabrics are spun, woven, and printed with GOTS-certified dyes in Indonesia before being cut and sewn by workers in their ethical partner factory in Bali. Garments are shipped from Canada in a bio-degradable bag made from cassava starch.
Discover more Canadian designers making summer dresses with the post Top 7 Canada clothing brands and the master list of ethical & sustainable Canadian fashion brands.
10. Amour Vert
Amour Vert makes their sustainable clothing with the most ethical, traceable, and eco-friendly raw materials available. Their summer dresses are made in California with Washable Silk, organic cotton, and other sustainable fabrics. They have a resell marketplace called ReAmour where you can find preloved Amour Vert clothes at a discount.
Beloved by the fashion community, Sleeper is known for their elegant, multi-purpose sleepwear. Their summer dresses are versatile too, to be worn from a stroll in the park to after-hour drinks. Ethically made with the finest fabrics and sustainable textiles such as linen, silk, and viscose, each garment is sewn by expert seamstresses from Sleeper's Kyiv, Ukraine factory with zero-waste production. They ship from the US and sometimes directly from their Kyiv atelier.
Tonlé is a sustainable zero waste fashion brand that makes clothing, as well as accessories and homewares, from reclaimed materials other manufacturers consider waste. They strive for circularity and climate justice to mitigate the fashion industry’s devastating impact on the planet and value inclusivity and community. Tonlé works with an ethical Cambodia factory of around 25 employees. Orders ship from their Seattle, WA office. They have an Open Closest program where customers can buy or sell preloved Tonlé clothing.
Discover more zero waste fashion brands.
A California-based certified B Corporation that works with Fair Trade Certified factories, WVN makes beautiful eco-conscious clothing for women. Their colorful summer dresses are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and hand-made by artisans using traditional techniques and practices.
14. Apiece Apart
New York brand Apiece Apart works with ethical factories abroad using low-waste production processes. Every garment is cut-to-order, with little to no excess inventory at the end of each season. They craft every collection sustainably and responsibly, using organic, ethically-sourced, and biodegradable fabrics and natural fibers as often as possible. They design their clothes to have the longest lives possible while being easy to care for. Check out their sale section. If you're in the States, some Apiece Apart clothing can be rented from Rent the Runway.
15. Thought Clothing
UK-based fashion brand Thought Clothing makes easy-to-wear clothes that are sustainable and contemporary. They use fabrics and processes that are kind to the planet and to people. Their colorful summer dresses are made with organic cotton, hemp, Tencel, and other sustainable fabrics. Check out their sale section.
In 1991, Boden launched as a mail-order clothing business in the US. Over 30 years later, Boden is a global company with the same family values. Their gorgeous vacation-friendly dresses are made with machine-washable viscose, cotton, linen, and other sustainable fabrics. Check out their sale section. If you're in the States, some Boden pieces can be rented from Rent the Runway.
Summersalt began as a direct-to-consumer swimwear brand at accessible price points. They've since expanded to clothing, and their sustainable summer dresses will take you from the beach to brunch, made from Tencel, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. Based in the US, Summersalt manufactures in China and across Asia with factory partners who are committed to thoughtful practices for people and our planet.
18. Passion Lilie
Passion Lilie is a fair trade and sustainable clothing line that features classic, streamlined silhouettes in unique hand block printed and hand woven fabrics. Made with organic cotton, their summer dresses are timeless, effortlessly chic, and comfortable. Their clothes are designed in New Orleans and made ethically in India. Check out their sale section.
Hackwith Design House makes long-lasting and versatile clothing. Everything is made in-house in their Minnesota studio by a talented team of sewers. To reduce waste, many of their items are not made until ordered by customers. Their sale section often includes sustainable dresses.
VALANI is an ethical, sustainable, and vegan clothing line based in California. Their flirty, feminine summer dresses are made handmade in Chicago and a GOTS-certified facility in India by talented tailors. They use plant-based fabrics that are dyed with low-impact, non-toxic dyes and aren't blended with synthetics.
AMUR, an acronym for A Mindful Use of Resources, was founded on the idea that style doesn't have to come at a cost to the environment. This New York-based sustainable luxury fashion brand uses organic cotton, cellulose fibers, recycled materials, and other natural materials that are biodegradable for their feminine, tailored garments. If you're in the States, AMUR clothing can be rented from Rent the Runway.
Founded in 2007 by supermodel Liya Kebede, Lemlem is an artisan-driven brand of beautiful women's resort wear made entirely and responsibly in Africa, with a core mission of preserving the local art of weaving in Ethiopia and inspiring economic growth on the continent. Based in New York, Lemlem chooses natural fibers, certified suppliers, and low waste production methods.
Symbology merges artisanal fabric techniques with fashion forward designs to make fair trade fashion sexy. Their wrap dresses and other silhouettes for their summer dresses flatter all body shapes and offer inclusive sizing. Designed in the US, Symbology's collections are handcrafted by women artisans in developing countries using traditional fabric techniques like block printing, tie dye, and embroidery. Check out their sale section.
HarperSage's clothing is versatile, conscious-sourced, ethically made, and high quality. US-based, their work with a factory that is women-owned and run by a twin sister duo in Delhi, India. HarperSage's summer dresses are made with cotton, linen, and viscose.
25. The Cura Co.
The Cura Co. is a one-stop conscious lifestyle shop. They specialize in the artful, ethical, and mindful curation of fashion, beauty, home products, and programming. Their summer dresses are ethically made abroad with linen, bamboo cotton, and other natural fibers. The Cura Co. is based in Seattle, WA.
Here and There Collective is a California-based online retailer for beautiful home decor made ethically by artisans abroad. They since expanded into their own line of apparel of flowy summer dresses and tops, handmade in Guatemala by their master pattern maker and sewer, Irma. I've been Internet friends with Here and There's founder Stephanie for some time now, and she has great taste!
Founded in 2009, ace&jig is based in Brooklyn, NY, and Portland, OR. Their dresses are made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. The designers work with their partners in India to create yarn-dye woven textiles focusing on color, pattern, and texture. From these textiles, they develop seasonless collections of clothing, accessories, and home items.
LACAUSA, “the cause” in Spanish, is a California-based label founded in 2013. Their collection of ethically-made wardrobe essentials works for every season, and their contemporary take on bohemian dresses reflects California's laid-back vibe.
Founded in 2016, Sotela is an inclusive clothing company based out of Los Angeles that creates wardrobe staples that flatters your fluctuating body. The founder created the brand after experiencing bloating that caused her to dread fitting into her clothing every morning. Sotela's dresses are made with organic cotton and made by a small team of dressmakers in LA.
London-based D2C brand Kitri relies on pre-orders to gauge customer interest and avoid waste and overstock for their collections, which are produced in limited runs. They introduced recycled fabrics into their collections and pledged to use more sustainable fabrics such as viscose to reduce their footprint on the environment. All the factories they work with are certified by the Ethical Trading Initiative.
Check out more direct-to-consumer fashion brands for affordable luxury.