A search for an ethical dress

Maiya 'Heulwen' DressInspired by Retro Chick’s new blog We Want All The Dresses, I decided to have a look for some gorgeous styles for a post of my own. Of course, there’s just so much out there that it’s tricky to know where to start, so I set myself a criteria: the dresses have to be ethical and fashionable. Not just “it’s quite pretty… for a dress made out of hemp”, more like “wow, that’s gorgeous! Oh, and it’s ethical too?”

Of course, I started with small companies and pretty vintage styled frocks. Heyday have some gorgeous dress styles, some of which are made from end of line designer fabrics, like the stunning Elizabeth dress. As well as using fabric leftovers that other parts of the fashion industry were discarding, Heyday is also passionate about keeping traditional skills alive so they only use small manufacturers in the UK (where they are based now), and New Zealand (where they started).

Lowie Red Knitted Tea DressMaiya make beautiful dresses (see right) and coats from organic, fair trade and sustainable fabrics. Their styles are simple and classic, and the fabrics are gorgeous. If you prefer something rather more modern in style, Antiform‘s comfortable yet fashionable dresses are made from reclaimed fabric and have a fantastic 80s edge to them. If you don’t quite know what your style is yet, then eco fashion giant People Tree is probably the brand for you. They have a varied range which includes vintage style frocks, modern casual dresses and even bodycon party pieces.

Lowie’s red knitted tea dress (pictured left) is not only beautiful, but it’s also made from super soft yet washable merino wool. It’s somewhat out of my price range, at a whopping 235, but is such a gorgeous combination of classic style and effortless wearability that it’s definitely made it to my lust list. Their lovely silk spot prom dress is in the sale though and therefore somewhat more affordable at 98. Think I’ll keep the site bookmarked in case of a sudden windfall!

Ruby RocksRuby Rocks (pictured right) have a fantastic selection of fairly made and fair trade dresses available on Fashion Conscious, which is the site where I also found Fair + True’s shoulder cut dress and Skunkfunk’s Abarzuza Trench Dress. However, my favourite find was the range of dresses available from Nancy Dee. From the 30s look of the Toni dress, through the 70s vibe of Dorothy to their classic jersey LBD, there must be something to suits every occasion here. In addition, all of their clothing is designed and made in Britain using sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics. What was that I was saying about narrowing down my options by looking for an ethical dress? Looks like I might be here for a while yet!

Images via Maiya, Lowie and Ruby Rocks.

4 thoughts on “A search for an ethical dress

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  1. Of course, the other thing about ethical fashion is that it comes at a price. Which, of course, is fair, but for those used to cheap fashion, me included, the prices can look eye-watering.

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