Summer is officially in full swing, dumplings! I don’t know about you, but when the temperature rises above 80°F, all I want to wear is a colorful, floaty dress that’s stunning but secretly as comfy as pajamas. In fact, I’ve found that investing in just a single statement summer dress at the beginning of the season, goes a long way in making me feel stylish for three months. The beauty of the summer dress is that it is so versatile: I wear mine to dressy dinners, as a post-beach coverup, to relaxed hangs with friends, and (back when I worked at an office) to the office! Here I bring you six sustainable dresses to consider for this season. All are ethically made, most are made of organic cotton, and I love the aesthetics and ethos of each brand.
Christy Dawn organic cotton Augusta Dress, $218
One of my most stylish friends introduced me to Christy Dawn via her signature ivory linen trench coat. Christy Dawn goes beyond “sustainable” to practice “regenerative” farming methods that replenish the land. They work closely with their makers, from cotton farmers in India to dressmakers in LA, to create the most natural and ethical clothing. They also use natural and non-toxic dyes and deadstock fabric. I also love that they design a lot of dresses with medium to high coverage, because sunburn is real and protecting your skin is super important.
Christy Dawn organic cotton Liana Dress, $268
The voluminous sleeves on this baby-doll dress is just fashion enough.
For the ultimate glamorous beach mood—Mara Hoffman
I’m not gonna lie—I bought a lot of Mara Hoffman in preparation for my Amalfi Coast trip in 2017, and it was the perfect choice aesthetically. And I still wear all of them! Mara Hoffman only uses GOTS-certified organic cotton or other eco-friendly materials. They also list exactly which factory each garment is made in, providing transparency and accountability. Mara Hoffman participates in a variety of programs to reduce its footprint, and has committed to stopping virgin plastic use in its packaging by 2022. They also encourage customers to wear more and wash less, reducing water use and pollution from their consumption cycle. When you’re done with a Mara Hoffman garment, you can send it back to them for responsible repair or recycling.
Mara Hoffman organic cotton Lolita dress, $325
This is the beauty of a Mara Hoffman dress—you can wear it to a dinner party or the beach—crazy, I know. The bold, vibrant print on this one just shouts summer goddess.
Mara Hoffman organic cotton Fila dress, $325
I love the off-the-shoulder silhouette of this dress. If you want more coverage, just put it over your shoulders!
For feeling like you’re starring in your own film, somewhere with cobblestones—Sézane
I bought a pair of organic cotton jeans from Sézane’s Paris store last year and it’s become one of my favorites. (In the U.S., they have a store in NYC.) Like the other brands, Sézane also uses organic cotton and eco-friendly materials. The Parisian brand is the only one, as far as I know, that also boasts “road transport” for many of their garments—I think it’s because shipping uses possibly the dirtiest “sludge” fuel in the world. They also use recycled packaging and all their stores are run by renewable energy. They also have a recycling program for your old garments.
Sezane organic cotton Bella dress, $260
I already have a broderie anglaise dress (by another French label, Marie Sixtine…clearly, it’s a thing) but this innocent yet glamorous creation is too beautiful not to notice. It just says “I’m fancy even when I’m casual.” Non?
Sezane viscose linen blend Celia dress, $195
Are you thinking about traipsing around cobblestone streets of Rome, or maybe even South America or Istanbul? This breezy number is what I would wear, with some statement gold jewelry.
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Photo: respective brands