Best Sustainable Dresses in 2022

Clothing and fashion are part of a multi-trillion-dollar industry that captivates creativity and shapes our culture. It has become an integral part of human existence and our demands on this industry continue to increase as more people have access to fashion.

Sales of clothing are increasing year on year and being thrown away at record speed. Research has shown that items are kept for 50% less time than in the year 2000.

It is estimated that the clothing industry creates higher greenhouse gas emissions than all global flights and commercial shipping combined. That totals around 10% of human-created emissions.

woman in red dress near green leaves

What does sustainable fashion really mean?

Many brands say they practice sustainability, but what does it really mean to do it Sustainability in fashion equals the following:

  • Dedication to treating workers ethically
  • Minimizing impact on the environment through careful consideration of the materials being used
  • Committing to climate change pledges

In recent years, consumers have begun to look at clothing manufacturing processes and realize how unsustainable this is. There is more demand now than ever for a sustainable model in the clothing industry, as fast fashion is becoming more popular. Let’s look at some brands that are paving the way for a fully sustainable fashion future with eco-friendly dresses.

1. Guardi

As Guardi states, sustainability is a given at their company. Their garments are all made of recycled and sustainable materials or reused deadstock fabrics.

They do their best to construct all of their garments in a way that lasts long. Guardi creates limited quantities of their clothing to be less wasteful.

Their factory is located in Europe and is family-run. That allows them to give their employees flexible hours and fair wages.

2. Toad & Co

A down-to-earth brand that embodies the free spirit of Californian life. There is a real focus on supporting their staff to create a happy, safe working environment, as well as implementing every sustainable practice possible.

Each dress is listed with the eco-credentials, and how the use of specific materials contributes to their sustainability pledges. Organic is not just a buzzword when it comes to cotton.

It uses less energy and water resources than traditional cotton and is free from toxic chemicals and pesticides. Toad and Co use recycled synthetics and have committed to only using materials that are made of 100% recycled products by 2025.

Although Toad & Co represents carefree living, they are dedicated to achieving the best eco-credentials by being BlueSign certified. The company undergoes a complete investigation into the sustainability standards of the clothing they make to gain certification.

3. Rare & Fair

A boutique store that kicks fast fashion to the curb, by creating high-quality, handmade clothing that has a unique touch. This extends to the materials they source, which is similarly small-scale, allowing them to empower their workers and focus on sustainable practices.

To craft their elegant dresses, they avoid unsustainable synthetics and use only natural fibers like certified organic cotton and silk. Their silk producers are traceable and trusted, working through a natural, zero-waste system that is highly sustainable.

4. Mata Traders

The word Mata originates from the Hindi word for mother. The company uses the word in its name to honor the feminine creative power in us all.

The brand centers around ensuring fair trade practices through a women’s cooperative in India. Its focus is on maintaining strong professional relationships with their manufacturers and implementing ethical systems for payment.

These practices allow their partner producers to have the time, financial stability, and energy to make eco-conscious decisions. Among those decisions include, investing in solar, recycling materials, and using non-toxic dyes for fabric.

Mata Traders’ dresses are made from a range of natural, renewable materials such as cotton or Tencel. The manufacturing is focused on screen printing or hand embroidery, rather than machines. This brand highlights that the key to sustainability is to create a business model that fairly supports all those within it, from the CEO to those creating the garments.

5. WVN

WVN is a California-based company that is dedicated to finding the balance between providing beautiful pieces of fashion and avoiding negative impacts on the environment.
The organic cotton used in their dresses is organic-certified.

That means the raw product is only the highest quality, the dyes must be environmentally safe, and the manufacturing processes are sustainable. Techniques such as block printing, a traditional process that honors slow fashion, are used to empower workers and create one-of-a-kind pieces that will last.

Sustainability and ethical work standards are at the forefront of WVN. They work to take care of the earth, empower women, and create long-lasting clothing that will delight for years to come.

6. prAna

There is no environmental stone that is left unturned at prAna. They focus on mitigating the effects of climate change with a commitment to reducing their emissions. The company uses natural fibers like organic cotton, hemp, and tree fibers for their dresses.

They also make use of responsible, zero plastic packaging techniques. There is a dedication by prAna to ensure their clothing does not add to landfill waste through a circular system where they repair, recycle, and upcycle returned clothing. There is full transparency with their material supply chains and worker’s rights, which furthers their dedication to leading the way into a sustainable future.

7. People Tree

People Tree is an innovative brand that combines its focus on fashion with environmental protection. There is a comprehensive environmental policy shared online that recognizes their commitment to using natural, organic materials.

Sustainable processes are implemented through traditional manufacturing methods like embroidering by hand and reducing their reliance on polluting machinery. A key element of ensuring a brand's sustainability is traceability.

People Tree provides complete transparency with its product sourcing, creation, and packaging. The materials used to make each dress are clearly outlined, which allows the customer to make environmentally conscious choices.

8. Threads4Thought

Threads4Thought believes that consumers hold the power and will be the ones to encourage a change that makes sustainable fashion the norm. Natural and sustainable materials are used within their garments like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Lenzing. If you're unfamiliar with Lenzing, it's material made from natural tree fibers.

Threads4Thought has an excellent feature that allows you to look at each dress and see evidence that these products have positive impacts on the environment. This evidence includes prevented emissions, carbon-offsetting amounts, and a specific outline of the renewable energy used in manufacturing. Profits from this brand are shared with charities within the community, which is another sustainable practice as it creates a circular, supportive economy.

9. Passion Lilie

Passion Lilie creates natural and fashionable dresses that are made using fair trade practices with locally sourced materials to reduce emissions. Sustainable dyes are a keen focus for the company.

They source their plant and vegetable dyes while using techniques found in India to create vibrant products that do not negatively impact the environment. These dyes are Azo-free, which is a chemical that creates toxic compounds.

10. Thought

Beginning in Australia, Thought started with an aim to utilize natural materials to create clothing that will keep us and the planet cool. Their dresses are created using Tencel, which is a natural plant fiber, bamboo, hemp and organic cotton.

Materials are sourced locally and responsibly, and Thought have an in-depth document online which outlines their sustainability promises. There is a focus on sharing their knowledge and experience with others, to encourage more brands to follow in their sustainable footsteps.

11. Reformation

Reformation started as a company selling vintage fashion. They've quickly developed into a sustainability-focused brand that keeps things local and ethical, by manufacturing in the US. They repurpose vintage items, recycle stock fabric, and source materials that have as little environmental impact as possible.

Products are created with sustainability in mind. They document this by reporting their impact each year and providing breakdowns of the carbon footprint of each garment. Reformation also produces in small quantities resulting in less wasteful and more exclusive clothing.

12. Encircled

This Canadian brand is one of the few companies that have a B Corp Certification, which means they have been assessed to the highest standards of environmental and social impact. The fabrics used to make their products are also OEXO-TEX certified, meaning that they contain no chemicals that are harmful to humans or the environment.

Encircled utilizes high-quality, natural fabrics made from plant materials like Model, Tencel, Cotton and Bamboo, that will not release microplastics. It also keeps transport to a minimum with their studio being close to where they manufacture.

13. Christy Dawn

Sustainability does not appear to be enough for Christy Dawn. In fact, they are dedicated to making a positive environmental impact and creating a cohesive, supportive community that can continue to grow.

Dresses are made using repurposed fabric, which is the excess or waste material from other fashion brands. They also have an organic cotton line that aims to provide customers with ethical, lasting fashion. Christy Dawn strives to take care of its workers and build a better future for everyone in its team.

14. Tonlé

Zero waste dresses that are designed with purpose are what Tonle is all about. They use every scrap of fabric as well as making products from reclaimed material, combining two sustainable practices.

A big step the fashion industry needs to make towards promoting sustainability is inclusivity and the end of non-ethical treatment of workers, often in poor economic situations. Tonle is educating and sharing skills among everyone they work with, from farm to shop, all to ensure that this industry can develop more sustainable practices.

15. Two Days Off

If you are looking for a woman-owned, independent fashion brand that is committed to being carbon neutral, then Two Days Off might be just for you. They are one of only twenty-eight Climate Neutral Certified fashion brands and were able to offset all their emissions in 2021.

Materials are sourced locally in the US and they focus on natural materials like cotton, hemp, and wool. These materials are better for the environment in terms of growing, being long-lasting, and biodegrading. Two Days Off is also proud to provide plastic-free and recyclable packaging.

16. Outerknown

An important lesson shared by Outerknown is that 100% sustainability is impossible, as brands should be consistently innovating, learning, and discovering new ways to make their practices more ethical. They refer to this as relentless sustainability.

A range of their dresses is made from organic cotton and polyester. Many are also created from recycled water bottles and are printed with eco-friendly dyes that lead to lower emissions and water use. Other products utilize similar sustainable methods by collecting old fishing nets from the ocean and using this to create fabric for their products.

17. 337 Brand

377 Brand is a relaxed, casual leisure-wear brand with t-shirt dresses that are made from certified organic cotton and bamboo-based rayon. They have skipped the idea of wasteful seasonal clothing, and only offer purposeful, specific products to limit throwaway fashion and support their sustainability goals. 337 Brand also donates a portion of their profits to One Tree Planted so with every order they are helping to combat deforestation.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.