Dress Thoughtfully For Summer
As sunshine gets warmer, and the days get longer, we’re dreaming of flowy dresses and long afternoons spent at the farmer’s market. While not every day can be as luxurious as a Saturday afternoon, we can still sport some of our favorite summer styles without sacrificing our values.
These 12 dresses are made by thoughtful brands that prioritize fair trade standards and practice sustainable manufacturing through the use of deadstock fabrics or organic cotton. Many brands also have give-back initiatives that help empower the workers who create their garments. These dresses feel good to wear because they are good.
Here are our favorite dresses this summer from some of our most dearly-loved fair trade and sustainable brands.
1. Tie-Front Midi Dress | Pact
Made using organic cotton (with a touch of elastane for stretch and ultimate rewearability), this simple midi dress is one we’ll wear for years to come. The tie-front and double-layered top add the perfect amount of detail to elevate the piece from a basic into a wardrobe classic. (Sizes XS–XL)
Shop | $60
2. Square Neck Midi Dress | Hackwith Design House
Combine a square neckline with a ruffled hem, and you have our hearts. This little black dress from Hackwith Design House is perfect for summer strolls and picnics in the park. Plus, it’s made-to-order in Minnesota by an in-house studio team of seamstresses. (Sizes US 0–24)
Shop | $225
3. Crosby Dress | LACAUSA
LACAUSA’s Crosby dress creates a complete look the moment you slip into it. With adjustable spaghetti straps and a dreamy floral print, this soft cotton piece can be layered well into next season. LACAUSA makes most of their clothing in Downtown Los Angeles using a low-waste design process. (Sizes XS–XL)
Shop | $154
4. Bonnie Dress | Sézane
We’re all about lightweight, breezy fabrics in the summer, and Sézane’s Bonnie dress provides the perfect balance of comfort and luxury. Featuring flared sleeves and a long line of buttons down the front, it’s also got a daring v-neckline we adore. Made from organic cotton and viscose in a fair factory in India, this is an heirloom-worthy piece. (Sizes US 6–18)
Shop | 170€
5. Georgia T-Shirt Dress | Boden
If you instinctually turn to bold prints and patterns, Boden has the dress of your dreams. This relaxed t-shirt dress is made from 100% cotton and features a contrasting boat neck for an extra note of playfulness. Whether you’re lounging at home or running afternoon errands, this comfortable dress checks all the boxes. (Sizes US 2–22)
Shop | $70
6. Sandia Midi Dress | Sotela
Sotela’s capsule-friendly staples are the complete package: made-to-order in California, many using deadstock fabrics, and are size inclusive. Designed to fit changing bodies, we especially love the easy linen Sandia midi dress that comes in five summery colors and 11 sizes. (Sizes US 0–30)
Shop | $169
7. Tencel Slip Dress | Back Beat Co.
A brand deeply inspired by California, Back Beat Co. creates easy, wearable street style garments. The brand considers everything carefully, from sourcing to shipping, by using recycled and sustainably-grown fabrics, and vets factories in California and India thoroughly for fair labor standards. This slip dress, made from super soft Tencel, instantly adds a vintage-inspired cool factor. (Sizes XS–XL)
Shop | $108
8. Nikita Dress | Reformation
Dress to impress yourself in this floral number from Reformation. Perfectly fitted up top with a smocked back and ruffled neckline, the dress flows into a sweet trumpet skirt at the bottom. Plus, it’s made in Los Angeles from viscose, a wood pulp-based fabric from sustainably managed forests. (Sizes 0–12 and 14–24)
Shop | $249
9. Vista Convertible Dress | United By Blue
If you’re looking to do more with less, this convertible dress from United By Blue will be your new go-to versatile piece. This elegant black dress is made with comfortable, soft organic cotton and has a tie at the waist that can be tied in the front or back to change up your look. (Sizes XS–XL)
Shop | $88
10. The Holly Hock Dress | The Perennial Closet
There’s nothing like an easy linen dress to slip on in the summer—and The Perennial Closet’s holly hock dress is one you’ll want to wear all season long. We love the soft yellow of this dress, which makes it a sweetly elevated piece to wear while running errands, or even to your next outdoor wedding. Plus, it has pockets. Need we say more? (Sizes XS–5XL)
Shop | $275
11. The Suki Dress | Two Days Off
Another perfect linen dress to slip into on a warm summer morning. The Suki Dress from Two Days Off is made from 100% linen deadstock in Los Angeles, where all of the brand’s clothing is made either to order or in small batches. To top it all off? The dress ships in plastic-free packaging. (Sizes XS–XXL)
Shop | $180
12. The Dawn Dress | Christy Dawn
If you’re looking for a sheer, romantic dress to wear on a moonlit stroll, The Dawn Dress has got you covered. With a charming floral print and a v-neck with a snap closure, it’s a dress for a special occasion—or any time you feel like adding a little loveliness to your day. (Sizes XS–XL)
Shop | $218
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