11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your WardrobeImage by Christy Dawn#sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
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10 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses Adding Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe

The SJ Team

You’re invited to the planet-friendly party of the century, and the sustainable dress code is simple: ethical and sustainable dresses!

There’s a world of fashion-forward ethical dress brands that promise all style and fewer faux pas behind that sweetheart neckline—with ethical heels to match.

Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.

The Best Sustainable Dresses On Our Responsible Runway

prAna’s selection of affordable sustainable dresses is sporty-inspired and functionally-fun.

Or if fancy is what you’re after, you’ll feel drop-dead gorgeous in the eco-friendly formal dresses by Reformation.

For every occasion in between, WVN’s wide selection will outfit you in only 100% GOTS-certified Organic cotton.

If you want to know how we pirouetted through the options, twirl to the bottom of the article.

The Full List Of Sustainable Women’s Dresses

1. prAna

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your WardrobeImages by prAna#sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by prAna

About prAna

Price Range: $89–$125

If sporty-spice had to pick a brand from this list, we’d bet this would be it.

prAna combines their expertise in sustainable outdoor clothing and style in creating their range of active-friendly dresses that are versatile enough for a summer BBQ kickball game.

Their range is varied, from lightweight travel mini dresses to sustainable winter dresses, like the oh-so-cozy looking South Rock Sweater Dress.

prAna’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


prAna’s lighter ethical summer dresses are made of eco-friendly materials like TENCEL™ lyocell or modal, hemp, recycled fabrics, and small percentages of spandex or elastane.

Warmer options are either made of 100% organic cotton, or a blend of that with merino ethical wool and recycled polyester.

As a bluesign® systems partner, most are tested for toxic chemicals.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Each prAna partner bears a Textile Exchange membership and opts for fair trade certified factories wherever possible (moving toward a 100% goal). You can filter for only their fair trade dresses.

Green business practices:

Founders of the Responsible Packaging Movement, prAna succeeded in their goal of eliminating all consumer plastic packaging waste.

Their new project is the OIA Climate Action Corp and a pledge to reduce emissions by 30%.

In 2016—2021, they recycled and repurposed 56,000 pounds of textiles through the Renewal Workshop.


prAna is adding plus-size options to their lineup of sustainable yoga clothes, but dresses currently only come in sizes XS-XL (US 1-14/16).

Community & charitable giving: 

prAna supports Outdoor Outreach, a program designed to help disenfranchised urban youth experience the great outdoors.

Their sponsored athletes get additional support for individual charitable endeavors.

2. Passion Lilie

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by Passion Lilie #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by Passion Lilie

About Passion Lilie

Price Range: $84–$118

New Orleans-based Passion Lilie is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and the Ethical Fashion Forum Fellowship 50.

Their designs blend 40s, 50s, and 60s class with the fashion inspiration found in ancient Indian artisanal techniques.

With long sleeves for winter, short skirts for summer, and elegant cuts—like the Diana sustainable cocktail dress—Passion Lilie has a dress for all style passions.

Passion Lilie’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Passion Lilie uses only organic materials in the form of 100% organic, non-GMO cotton.

Traditional techniques like block printing with sustainable dyes bestows them with their fun patterns.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

These fair trade cotton dresses are made in either World Fair Trade Organization-certified or family factories in India, specifically Bangalore, Jaipur, Tirupur, and Hyderabad.  

They provide disadvantaged workers with long-term, meaningful employment opportunities, fair wages, health care, and loans.

Green business practices: 

Manufacturing is almost completely non-mechanized, including hand ikat weaving and hand block printing.

The fabrics are hand washed and dried in the sun and leftover fabric scraps get reused for accessories and other handicrafts.


These affordable sustainable dresses run in sizes XS-XL.

Community & charitable giving: 

Passion Lilie empowers others to give by helping you organize a trunk show to donate to any charity of your choice.

3. Reformation

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by Reformation #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by Reformation

About Reformation

Price Range: $98–$648

Reformation’s eco-credentials are extensive, as is their dress selection—including more formal options like ethical evening dresses, prom dresses, and wedding dresses.

If you’re in need of a new little (sustainable) black dress, we’re loving the flirty look of the Ezra Cotton Knit Mini dress almost as much as we’re loving the fact that it’s 100% organic cotton.

Reformation’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Our favorite Reformation sustainable dresses are made with either TENCEL™ lyocell, linen fabric, organically-grown cotton, and REPREVE® or other recycled poly.

Less eco-friendly fabrics include viscose or rayon fabric.

Their sustainable wedding dresses largely feature either 100% silk or viscose.

For finishing, 56% of their dyeing partners are bluesign® or OEKO-TEX-certified.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

For most of these ethical and sustainable dresses, USA factories are responsible for the fair manufacturing. 

Ref actually owns 32 in LA and a handful of others in India, Turkey, and China. While not fair trade certified, their code of conduct is based on fair trade equivalent criteria. 

Green business practices: 

Part of the Circular Fashion System Commitment, their goal is recirculating 500,000 garments by 2025. That currently involves recycling 75% of textile scraps, too.

In addition to being Water Neutral and Climate Neutral, they sell climate credits through Native Energy on their site and incentivize others to switch to wind energy by offering store credit for doing so.

They use bio-based or recycled LDPE packaging, zero waste office supplies, wind power suppliers, and Green Business certified buildings.

For more on their carbon reducing practices, see their sustainability report.


Most fair trade dresses come in 0-12 or XS-XL sizes, but Ref also offers an extended size collection sizes 14-24.

Community & charitable giving: 

They incentivize their staff to get involved in the community, with a paid day off each month to volunteer, organizing company-wide volunteer days, and celebrating staff birthdays by donating a tree.

Additionally, they provide funds for team members facing hardship and donate to organizations like ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

4. Amour Vert

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by Amour Vert #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by Amour Vert

About Amour Vert

Price Range: $64–$348

Amour Vert is French for “green love” and if there’s anything we love, it’s green.

Their fashionable collection includes a wide selection of dresses in a variety of chic cuts. 

From bright floral gowns to simple, ethical cocktail dresses—like the versatile Castile Reverie Knit Dress—Amour Vert is out to help you dress for style and success.

Did we mention they’re one of the most attractive sustainable wedding guest dress brands?

Amour Vert’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


These eco-friendly women’s dresses utilize various combinations of sustainable fabrics, like organic cotton, silk, and a 100% upcycled polyester lining.

Naturally, this TENCEL clothing brand also utilizes FSC-certified TENCEL™ lyocell, modal, and ECOVERO™ for those who want a silky look but would rather stay away from their 100% silk options.

We’d avoid those made of regular viscose fabric, as we don’t know if it’s made in a closed-loop process.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

97% of all Amour Vert products are made at one of six factories within a few miles of their San Francisco offices.

Green business practices:

Garments are shipped in recycled or compostable materials, and unwanted ones can be passed on through ReAmour.


Eco dresses come in sizes XS-XL sizes.

Community & charitable giving: 

Through Tees = Trees, where they plant a tree through American Forests for every eco-friendly t-shirt purchased.

5. Mata Traders

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by Mata Traders #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by Mata Traders

About Mata Traders

Price Range: $82–$128

From the Hindi word “mother”, Mata Traders began with Maureen Dunn Fetscher’s love affair with India.

The vibrant colors of the fabrics capture this essence across their line of organic summer dresses and other women’s clothing.

Their style filters make it easy to shop the big selection, with options from sustainable maxi dresses to maternity friendly ones.

Mata Traders’ Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Almost all are made of 100% fully compostable cotton, but some feature minimal spandex or TENCEL™.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Mata Traders have been a member of the Fair Trade Federation for a decade.

They provide meaningful employment to mostly female artisans from marginalized and impoverished communities in India and Nepal. 

In addition to a fair wage, they receive health care, paid maternity leave, pensions, daycare services, on-staff social workers, and free classes on literacy, computer training, nutrition, and parenting.

Green business practices:

This gold-status Green America Certified Business helps their partner cooperatives reduce energy, to the point that one is 100% solar-powered.

The fair trade summer dresses are manufactured by hand, with weaving, block and screen printing, and embroidery.


Standard sizes run XS-XL, but a select range of eco-friendly plus-size dresses include 1X and 2X (US 24).

Community & charitable giving: 

Empowering female artisans empowers communities. One embroiderer tells how the co-op gave her the courage to organize a protest that ultimately resulted in water access for her village.

6. Christy Dawn

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by Christy Dawn #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by Christy Dawn

About Christy Dawn

Price Range: $198–$498

Christy Dawn embodies breezy Bohemian styles to modestly flaunt your feminine wiles.

A variety of free-spirited flowy skirt, floral patterns, and solid colors are on offer.

Because they’re a zero waste fashion brand, you know everything is waste-free, using either recycled or natural materials.

Christy Dawn’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


For Christy Dawn’s sustainable summer  dresses are crafted using either deadstock fabric or organic/regenerative cotton dyed with plant-based dyes.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

For cotton summer dresses from the USA, theirs are made in LA. 

While they can’t control the deadstock fabric they source, they do ensure ethical manufacturing for everything beyond, including the wages they pay that are 3x higher than average.

They co-created a regenerative agriculture initiative in India (that supplies their organic cotton).

Green business practices:

You can further support this regenerative Farm-to-Closet project by buying your own regenerative cotton plot. 

At the end of harvest, your plot’s yields will be paid to you in the form of store credit—meaning you can basically grow your own sustainable cotton dresses!


These sustainable sundresses run XS to XL.

Community & charitable giving: 

This ethical brand gets involved with different community fundraisers and grassroots programs.


11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by ABLE #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by ABLE

About ABLE

Price Range: $95–$165

ABLE isn’t just about making fashion forward pieces; they’re about “moving fashion forward”.

Whether you’re seeking a casual slow fashion dress or ethical party dresses, their impressive selection is likely to have something to suit.

You’ll find every cut and color, including A-line, midi, relaxed-fit swing, maxi, and body con dresses. 

The Melinda sustainable mini dress is made of 100% recycled materials and looks cute to (ethical) boot—which ABLE also offers to complete your outfit.

ABLE’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


ABLE’s best sustainable dresses are those made with purely organic cotton or recycled polyester.

Many feature viscose and because we aren’t certain how it’s processed, we suggest avoiding it if possible.

Supply chain & labor practices:

ABLE dresses are made in India, China, or Mexico.

Originally founded to support former sex workers with gainful employment, female empowerment is at the core of their ethical practices.

In addition to being one of the first sustainable fashion brands to publicly announce their lowest wages, ABLE employees have access to 100% paid healthcare, ownership in the company, flexible schedule, maternity coverage, and even infertility and adoption assistance.

Green business practices:

ABLE minimizes impact by offering lifetime repairs for their sustainable flats and other shoes, using recycled metal in their sustainable jewelry, and turning denim scraps into housing insulation.

Packaging consists of FSC-certified boxes and cloth dust bags.


ABLE’s sizes run XXS-3X.

Each product description specifies designs that are friendly for curves, tummies, baby bumps, or breastfeeding.

Through the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team, they strive for inclusivity and racial equality.

They also know lives and sizes change, so their Size Swap service will exchange any item for a size that better suits.

8. HarperSage

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by HarperSage #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by HarperSage

About HarperSage

Price Range: $78–$258

HarperSage’s fun and flirty floral-dress designs are some of our favorite ethical sundresses.

With a variety of hem and sleeve lengths, you’ll also find some warmer options to mirror the change of seasons.

HarperSage’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Each eco-friendly dress is made of either (in order of our eco-friendly fabrics preferences) 100% cotton, a linen/viscose blend, or straight viscose.

They also use variable percentages of deadstock fabrics, depending on availability of trimming sourced from markets near their factory and those left behind by other brands.

Supply chain & labor practices:

These gorgeous dresses are made in woman-owned SEDEX partner factories in Delhi, India where they source materials.

They vet partners for ethical manufacturing practices by visiting in person.

Green business practices:

HarperSage manufactures its midi dresses, sustainable jumpsuits, and more in small batches to prevent waste.

Digitally printed patterns ensure only the exact amount of ink and water needed is used.


HarperSage and their manufacturing partners are woman-owned and operated.

XS-XL sizes are available, with custom sizing available upon request.

Community & charitable giving:

They partner with nonprofits on products and special buy-one-give-one initiatives that raise funds for and awareness of human trafficking.

9. Apiece Apart

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by Apiece Apart #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by Apiece Apart

About Apiece Apart

Price Range: $295–$465

Apiece Apart stands several pieces apart from many others with well-made garments designed to become “part of your story” and wardrobe for years to come.

Their eco-friendly dresses strike a unique balance between elegance and eco-conscious style.

Apiece Apart’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


The majority are made from 100% organic cotton, though some feature additional linen, modal, lyocell, silk, and viscose (which is not produced in a closed-loop manufacturing process).

Any buttons are made of corozo nuts, not plastic.

Supply chain & labor practices:

These sustainable fashion dresses are made in India where their organic cotton is sourced.

Including the rest of their garments, China, Peru, Turkey, and the US join the supply chain, in which they are striving for complete traceability. 

Green business practices:

Between cut-to-order manufacturing practices, compostable shipping bags, and timeless designs, they embody slow fashion.


This female-founded sustainable brand offers XS-2XL sizes.

10. Thought

11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Images by Thought #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle
Images by Thought

About Thought

Price Range: $50–$110

When it comes to eco-friendly dresses, UK brand Thought makes shopping easy with filters for style and fabric.

Good thing, too, because they offer a wide variety, from simple shift dresses to elegant maxi dresses like the Quinten Organic Chambray Dress.

They’re also some of the most affordable ethical dresses that also won’t cost the planet.

Thought’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Each sustainable party dress takes one of three natural fabrics (hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton) and sometimes blends it with minimal elastane and/or rayon made from recycled wood pulp.

An OEKO-TEX certification ensures azo-free, non-toxic dyes and manufacturing chemicals.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Most fabric is sourced from China, where it is also manufactured in a factory that upholds their Ethical Trading Initiative-compliant code of conduct based on fair trade labor practices.

Green business practices:

Thought’s mantra is, “Wear me, love me, mend me, pass me on.”

Through this slow fashion mentality, a localized supply chain, and a strict environmental policy regarding energy use and chemical discharge, they’re helping clean up the fashion industry.


You’ll find sustainable dresses in UK sizes 6-20 (US 2-14).

Community & charitable giving: 

Thought is a founding member of Common Objective, an impact initiative that champions ethical fashion production by incentivizing it with financial returns.

They also donate sample clothing and surplus stock to several UK nonprofits such as Traid, Smart Works, and In Kind Direct.

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Why Buy Ethically-Made Dresses?

The problems of fast fashion are numerous: pollution, disregard for human rights, and waste.

In America, 10.5 million tons of textiles hit the landfill annually, while only 15% get recycled.

Comparing different types of clothing, dresses have one of the poorest lifespans. Think about it: How many times have you worn a particular dress versus other garments in your closet? 

Dresses are often designed for specific occasions then tossed aside, never to be worn again except for an occasional burst of nostalgia or when there’s a resurgence of 90s fashion.

Let’s start giving our dresses a more fulfilling life by buying fewer of them and buying those that don’t harm the environment or the people that make them.

How We Found These Sustainable & Ethical Dress Brands

In figuring out where to buy sustainable dresses, how did we determine which brands are the real deal and which are blowing smoke up your skirt?

Same as we did with sustainable suits: we said yes to the best sustainable dress (and no to the mess) by referring to our sustainable and ethical fashion criteria.


Sustainable materials are any low impact fabrics, from raw production to end-of-life. 

For that reason, natural fabric dresses (AKA those made of organic cotton, hemp fabric, and linen which is the principal fabric in linen wedding guest dresses) should be your first choice. If they’re 100% natural fibers, they’re compostable, too.

Silk is natural, but unless it’s peace silk, there may be ethical concerns.

You can still get that flattering drape with semi-synthetic silk substitutes like closed-loop fabrics from the TENCEL lineup (lyocell fabric, modal fabric, and EcoVero) and Cupro fabric.

Lastly, we consider recycled synthetic materials made of things like deadstock or plastic waste. These may not be biodegradable, but they do put material already in existence to a second use.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Certified fair trade dresses, USA manufacturing, and small controlled supply chains are just some ways companies can show they care about treating workers fairly.

Third party certifications (like B-Corp) really help to provide reassurance that they’re not just greenwashing—though they sometimes don’t completely skirt by greenwashing themselves.

That’s why we also look for brand transparency, so we can see where and how the clothes were made, and if the workers get fair pay and safe working conditions. 

Green business practices:

We look for any sustainable practices that reduce their carbon footprint (and carbon offset what they can’t), as well as product recycling programs, low waste packaging, and slow, sustainable manufacturing.


We look for sustainable plus-size clothing options that promote diversity and a healthy body image. 

Fashion cultivates a lot of negativity in this realm, so we want to see companies that don’t exclude body types or sizes.

Community & charitable giving:

We curtsy brands that give back through charitable endeavors or cultivating an empowered, involved community of wearers.

Final Thoughts On Ethical & Sustainable Dresses

Every time you don a dress, you’re modelling the world you want to live in.

These sustainable and ethical dresses will not only help you look good, but feel good—and isn’t that the secret to beauty?

But before you cat-walk away in a head-turning number, remember using what you have, borrowing, renting, or thrifting online or at a local thrift store is always more sustainable.

If you know someone looking for sustainable formal dresses for an upcoming gala, share this article to help support the sustainable clothing brands changing fashion for the better.

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11 Ethical & Sustainable Dresses To Add Fair Trade Flare To Your Wardrobe Image by prAna #sustainabledresses #sustainablesummerdresses #ethicaldresses #sustainablefashiondresses #affordableethicaldresses #sustainableethicaldresses #sustainablejungle

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