I don’t know about you, but I’m breathing an audible sigh of relief as spring weather arrives in earnest. At this time each year, I try to assess my warm weather wardrobe and decide what clothes to keep or donate (and sell, let’s be real). From there, I determine if there’s any staple that’s missing from my closet; then, the fun begins!
This year, I’m on the lookout for a dress. Since there are so many variations and cute trends this year, it can be challenging to pare down the selection into something meaningful. That’s where we come in: these dresses are all made responsibly (i.e., either made in the USA or in a factory overseas where workers are treated and paid fairly), vegan (duh), and use sustainable, environmentally-friendly fabrics. Given these criteria, they have a higher price point than, say, a dress from H&M. So if your wallet is on the lighter side, check out my post on how to purchase ethical wares on a budget. Now, let’s talk sundresses!
This dress features an irresistible sweetheart neckline and a below-the-knee hemline–perfect for those of us who want to show a little skin but not too much. Made of a tencel-spandex blend, this dress is super soft and breathable. Made in Los Angeles.
Doesn’t this dress just scream Cape Cod beach weekend? The vertical blue stripe pattern conveys a nautical vibe, and the fit-and-flare shape adds a touch of playfulness. Made of 100% cotton at a fair-trade women’s cooperative in Nepal.
All of Sotela’s dresses are designed for women by women. Rather than size items according to traditional numerical measures, the brand simply features three broad categories (size 1, 2, and 3) to accommodate women’s changing bodies. The Magnolia dress is 100% linen and made in Los Angeles. Those pockets!
This plaid number from Vaute, the world’s first vegan fashion label, has us digging out the strappy sandals from our closets. Cut and sewn in NYC’s garment district, the flirty open back and shoulders are perfect for sunny, temperate days. Throw on some leggings or tights for a night out.
This dress, made of 100% organic cotton, is perfect for an active spring or summer day. The soft and stretchy material makes this a great choice for running errands, walking the dog, or just lounging around the house. All Miakoda pieces are made in Brooklyn from organic and sustainable materials.
This dress is the perfect splurge item, especially if you’re in the market for something practical yet ethereal. Designed in Austin, Texas and made in the USA, this cotton chevron club dress is reversible, making it a versatile investment piece for your spring wardrobe.
Responsibly made in Suzhou, China, this cotton dress features a v-neck and shorter hem. Perfect for a last minute dinner date or a casual office outfit.
For those slightly cooler days when you still want to show some skin. Made in Colorado from a bamboo, spandex, and organic cotton blend, this dress offers a lot of movement while still offering a fitted shape. Comes in teal or black.
The subtle print and adjustable waist on this cotton wrap dress make it flattering for all body types. Passion Lillie works with artisans in Bangalore and Andhra Padesh and ensures they are paid a living wage and work in safe and healthy environments.
Everyone needs a maxi dress in their fashion arsenal. I’ve yet to jump on the bandwagon, but when I do, I’m most certainly going for this one by LVR. Made from a blend of organic cotton, modal, and spandex and produced in Los Angeles, I imagine this dress would be a beach day staple for me.
Which of these stunning, eco-friendly dresses is your favorite?
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Photo: Reformation; Mata Traders; Sotela; Vaute; Miakoda; Esby; Everlane; Bead and Reel (7 & 8); LVR