As we look out the window longingly for sunshine here in the UK, a little rain never deterred us from donning our summer dresses to sashay around the house day-dreaming of warm evenings on the Riviera, right? Living more sustainably means buying fewer pieces and opting for quality over quantity. In this post we’ll look at five fair trade and ethical dress brands producing styles ideal for Summer.
We’re dreaming of floaty dresses and long afternoons spent dining al fresco. Whilst we may not see the sunshine every day, we can still enjoy some of our favourite dresses without sacrificing our values.
These five fair trade and ethical dress brands are made by thoughtful creative teams that value fair trade standards and practice sustainable manufacturing. These items are ethically made, so you can heave peace of mind when investing in a summer dress that you love.
In the UK it’s estimated that £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfills each year– WRAP UK
Ethically Made Dress Brands:
A pioneer in sustainable fair trade fashion, People Tree have been around since 1991 when award-winning social entrepreneur Safia Minney founded the company. Safia’s vision has always been to offer innovative and affordable fashion that respects the people producing it and the planet. People Tree’s dresses are made with a capsule in mind, meaning that each piece is suited to a multi-tasking wardrobe.
The throw-on organic cotton Luella stripe dress is the ideal example, it can be worn after swimming or layered up with a tee for days darting around the city. People Tree’s dress collection is made using a range of sustainable fabric qualities such as TENCEL™ Lyocell, all items are verified by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO).
- Price Range: £50-£100
- Size Range: 8-16
- Shop: People Tree Website
East Sustainable Ethical Clothing
East celebrate artisanal craft and traditional techniques, producing small quantities of each style. They boast a range of dresses from strappy summer styles to floaty maxis. East dresses are made using a range of sustainable fabric bases, such as Lenzing™ EcoVero™ Viscose- which is derived from responsibly managed and renewable wood sources. Lenzing™ EcoVero™ production generates up to 50% lower emissions and water impact than regular viscose. As well as linen, organic cotton and silk. East we are proud to have eliminated single use plastic bags from all of their garments, sending every order with a reusable organic cotton bag.
When you place an order on the East website, they pack up your items in a FSC Paper Pouch or an FSC Card box, a method approved by The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- Price Range: £119-£149
- Size Range: 6-18
- Shop: East Website
Thought Clothing produce organic cotton, bamboo and hemp dresses. Styles range from printed tea dresses to wide leg jumpsuits. Thought source natural, sustainable yarns that use less water, fewer pesticides and strive to create less CO2. Plus they upcycle any leftover fabrics at source to reduce waste and create new products.
Thought boast that all garments are shipped instead of importing by air, which reduces their carbon footprint. They commit to using zero-plastic packaging, just 100% biodegradable garment bags.
- Price Range: £50-£120
- Size Range: 6-18 (limited styles are available in size 20UK)
- Shop: Thought Clothing Website
Beaumont Organic is a premium sustainable fashion brand with a distinctive aesthetic. Dresses come in minimal, paired-back relaxed shapes. Fabrics include GOTS certified organic cotton, as well as other sustainable and eco-fabrics such as linen, lyocell, tencel and non-mulesed wool. All garments are sustainably produced and ethically made in Europe.
Side note: If you’re not following Brand Director Hannah on Instagram you’re missing some serious interior design inspiration.
- Price Range: £100-£245
- Size Range: XS-L (Oversized styles come in dual sizing, ranging from 8-20UK)
- Shop: Beaumont Organic Website
Baukjen is a London-based womenswear brand with a focus on environmentally, ethically and socially conscious style for a sustainable future. Styles are made using sustainably sourced, biodegradable fabrics such as as organic cotton, linen, Tencel, lyocell, Ecovero, Econyl, Greencash, Newlife and recycled synthetics.
Baujken also offer a recycling service, using the pre-paid postage label you can send your old Baukjen clothes to be re-loved, repurposed, or recycled and they’ll send you a £20 voucher to spend on your next order*
- Price Range: £109-£169
- Size Range: 6-18 UK
- Shop: Baujken Website
Hopefully you enjoyed this mini round up of ethical dress brands. Although the price point may be off putting for many budgets, it’s important to remember that one of the keys to living more sustainably is to reduce the amount that you consume, invest and buy items you love and repair. Also, bear in mind that paying workers a fair living wage comes at a price, so the money you invest is creating a fairer system for all.