By Katy Caric
Ethical dresses for summer are must-haves in any woman’s closet. After all, the perfect summer frock is a marvellous thing. It’s easy to wear – you needn’t worry about matching tops and bottoms, or sometimes, even underwear – and easy to accessorise: hoop earrings, a great bag and sandals are all you need.
A summer dress is also versatile; casual enough for daytime, light and comfortable enough for the weather, and cute enough to make you feel beautiful, even when you can barely keep your head up for the heat.
But…how much are you willing to spend? On the one hand, these dresses can be worn year after year without looking dated. On the other hand, depending on where you live, you may only have a few months of weather good enough to allow you to rock your look, so you might not want to spend much on your summer wardrobe.
Here, I’ve rounded up some of the cutest ethical dresses for summer – and there’s something for you, no matter what your budget.
10+ Ethical Dresses for Summer For Any Budget
Easy, breezy, ethical, Holland Street. This dress is perfect for summer in so many ways. It’s ethically crafted in London and a part of Holland Street’s newest collection of dresses. The fabric is silk crepe de chine, the pattern has horizontal stripes that are perfectly engineered to flatter that summer figure. It might not be what you typically picture as a sundress, but it’s the perfect dress to take out in the sun.
Price: Around $325
All body sizes. All complexions. All ages. This dress doesn’t discriminate – it looks fab on anyone! It’s made of 100% polished cotton by Everlane, and comes in 4 different neutral hues, too. It’s the perfect garment for when it’s so damn hot, you just don’t want to wear anything that clings to your body in any way.
Made from pure linen by Reformation, this sustainable dress is a cute classic! It’s got spaghetti straps, a sassy slit, and a gorgeous kind of tie dye that evokes summer skies – but if you don’t like that pattern, there’s also a super cute, vintage 50’s style fruity print, as well as plain black and white. In our opinion, the hem sits at a flattering length for anyone at any age or height, too.
Price: Around $218
I love this ethical dress because it reminds me of a Vogue photoshoot, circa 1970. You can almost imagine yourself lounging on handmade rugs in an exotic place (I’m thinking: Morocco), smoking a hookah or something. The tangerine colour is gorgeous, and the off-the-shoulder diagonal cut just highlights the retro beauty of the left sleeve all the more.
Price: Around $300
This is such an easy dress to wear! Throw it on with nothing underneath when the heat’s unbearable, or toss a sweater over it when nights are chilly. Dress it up with heels, or dress it down with sandals. Created by American designer Tracy Reese from organic linen, it comes in a happy, citrusy-hued floral print.
Price: Around $375
LemLem was started when model-turned-designer Liya Kebede started chatting with weavers in her native Ethiopia about the decline of their craft. She founded LemLem as a way to preserve the weaving techniques, create opportunities for local artisans, and reintroduce the world to the beauty of Ethiopian cotton. We’re in love with all of her designs, especially this breezy cotton-blend gauze dress that’s woven with colorful stripes. Its comfortable elasticated neckline and loose fit suits any body type. Wear yours with mules and a basket bag while on vacation!
Price: Around $450
Organic fabrics, U.S. production with fair wage employees, soft pastel shades, airy floating style. What’s not to love about Loup Charmant? Of all the ethical dresses for summer here, this brand’s may be the most luxurious. My pick from their amazing selection is this fabulously frilled dress. Its flattering fit will be highlighted with the addition of some simple, sexy, slingback heels, and the right basket bag.
Price: Around $300
8. Tasha Dress
We love this dress for many reasons: it’s constructed from soft, eco-friendly modal, for one. Additionally, it can be dressed up or down: wear it with some sandals to work, or add some vegan heels, red lipstick and a gorgeous clutch to make it perfect for a big evening out.
This is a dress with a twist – literally! We love how the tie on this organic cotton/modal blend dress can hide a bit of a belly when you’ve been indulging in a bit too much gelato, and the pomegranate colour is flattering on most skin tones. The midi length looks great with wedges, sandals or sneakers. You decide!
Price: Around $375
Can’t decide whether you like florals or solid colours in a summer dress? The Rosehip model by Reformation comes in mix of 10 colours and textures! Choose from soft lavender, yellow, white floral – or maybe best of all, this elegant ballerina pink. We love the straight-cut bust line, midi length, delicate spaghetti straps….everything, really! In fact, of all the ethical dresses for summer, this may well be my own personal favourite.
Price: Around $250
11. Riley Dress
We’re loving the rose red colour pop of this Riley dress by People Tree! It’s ethically made from a cotton blend that’s lightweight and ultra soft. Its sweetheart neckline adds a bit of trendiness (thanks, Meghan Markle!) to an effortlessly cool day dress.
Price: Around $105
12. Jepara Jumpsuit
Ethically made in Bali by celeb favourite brand Eco Gypsy, this breezy cotton number just floats on the skin. It comes down mid calf, and what we love best about this? It looks like a long dress, but it’s actually got pants! So no embarrassing moments when there’s a big gust of wind…
Main image: Reformation. Second image: Eco Gypsy Bazaar Seseh dress. Get yours here.
Did you enjoy this post? Want to show your gratitude? Please support us on Patreon!