18 Ethical and Sustainable Summer Dresses

It’s time to break out the cute summer dresses! With the warm weather here, you can’t go wrong with a classic sundress.

There’s only one problem: Most summer dresses made in the fast fashion industry aren’t sustainable. They’re made using unethical practices and produce a ton of textile waste.

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable

Several of the links below are affiliate links for more information please see my disclosure policy.

One of the most sustainable things you can do is wear what you already have, so that no new materials or resources are wasted in creating the dress. I really do encourage you to look in your own closet first and see what you have or host a clothing swap with friends!

However, if you’re in the market for a cute new dress, then I’ve got you covered. Here are several ethical and sustainable summer dresses you’ll want to wear all summer long.

christy dawn:

Christy Dawn creates some ultra-swoon worthy dresses. Seriously, and her summer collection is no exception.

These dresses look like they stepped straight out of a fairytale with their pretty florals, soft colors and flowy skirts. I can totally picture myself wearing these dresses and just chilling in a beautiful meadow, hands down.

What I love most about Christy Dawn dresses is the fact they’re made using only deadstock materials. In other words, the residual fabrics left over from major fashion houses.

They literally take textile waste other fashion brands create and repurpose it into something beautiful. If that’s not amazing, I’m not sure what is.

 My top picks are The Delphine Dress and The Rosemary Dress

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable

balzac paris: 

If you’re looking for chic, trendy, French-inspired dresses, look no further. Balzac Paris has you covered. 

All the dresses are made thoughtfully using sustainable materials like cotton or Tencel. Tencel is made from a cellulose fiber conceived from Eucalyptus pulp. It’s a completely biodegradable material, which is awesome.

Also, some dresses are even made from textile scraps from other popular outfits in their collection. This saves tons of textiles from entering landfills (where they’d just sit and waste away for no reason). 

They also occasionally use modal and elastane in their dresses. Modal is produced from renewable cellulosic plants such as beech trees, bamboo and pine trees, making it a biodegradable fabric. Elastane is basically similar to spandex, so it’s not biodegradable, but Balzac Paris makes sure to use minimal amounts in their dresses, if any at all.

Most of their dresses are made completely from Tencel or cotton, which is really great.

I really love how their dresses can be worn so effortlessly throughout summer. There’s something for everyone because there are both long and short dresses to choose from.

There’s also tons of fun colors, patterns and textures on these dresses. I’m a sucker for florals, but they have plenty of solid colored dresses too, which can transition nicely from day to night.

My top picks are the Amia Dress and this Eliane Dress

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable


Want to buy a dress from a sustainable brand that caters to women of all shapes and sizes? Fauxgerty is the place to shop!

I really love how diverse and body positive their models are. It helps make online shopping easier when you know how a dress will look on different body types.

Most of Fauxgerty’s dresses are very flowy and perfect for twirling and frolicking about. You’re bound to look cute this summer in any of them because there’s something for everyone.

Not only does Fauxgerty have some incredibly cute dresses, they also have some incredible ethics too. 

All the materials they use are sustainable, from their certified organic cotton to their deadstock vintage. Deadstock vintage is basically rescued leftover fabric, otherwise destined for a landfill, which they’ve used to create beautiful pieces with vibrant colors and patterns.

Also, Fauxgerty uses faux suede and an eco-friendly leather alternative to make their clothes. The faux suede is made using the same sustainable fabric that car brands like Tesla use to create durable, comfy seats. The leather alternative is PVC-free and uses post-consumer recycled content that won’t peel or crack.

I also really love the fact Fauxgerty partnered up with Jess With Less to create The Jess Set! If you don’t follow Jess on Instagram, you’re seriously missing out – because she's always dishing out amazing sustainable fashion advice.

My top picks are The Edie dress and The Fiona dress.

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable

amour vert: 

Amour Vert has some really cute, unique and chic dress options to get you through the summer. 

They have everything from wrap dresses, to midi dresses to babydoll dresses. There are so many different cuts, styles, colors and patterns to choose from its essentially sustainable dress heaven. 

They use a bunch of eco-friendly materials to make their dresses too, such as organic cotton, modal, Tencel, Linen and OEKO-TEX certified Mulberry silk. Their silk being OEKO-TEX certified means it meets rigorous testing for harmful substances ensuring that the fabric is nontoxic and safe to use against skin, which is amazing. Not many brands do that!

Many of their dresses are a blend of modal and organic cotton, but there are some dresses made from one solid material, if you’d prefer. Each dress is certainly unique though, and there’s no limit to the ways you can style them.

My top picks are the Coral Wrap Dress (The PERFECT LBD!) and Hanne Silk Maxi.

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable


Reformation probably has some of the prettiest, classiest dresses available, if you ask me. I cannot get over how flattering the cut and style of their dresses are. Their patterns are also swoon worthy.

Every time I see a Reformation dress, I’m tempted to get it. So tempted. But that wouldn’t exactly be ethical in and of itself, right? It’s best to avoid over consumption, even when it’s supporting a sustainable brand! 

I’m in love with their dresses that have a sweetheart neckline, florals, or slits. Reformation has a way of making dresses that are the perfect balance of cute and sexy rolled into one.

You can filter your search and shop by color, size, print, occasion, length and price. It totally makes navigating the sight ten times easier.

Perhaps the best part about Reformation is the fact they use eco-friendly fabrics that don’t harm the environment. They use materials like Viscose, Tencel, organic cotton, recycled cotton, and linen.

Viscose, aka rayon, is a man-made cellulosic fiber made from wood pulp, making it biodegradable. Reformation is extremely committed to ensuring all their forest-based products come from sustainably managed forests. To prove this, Reformation works with the non-profit group Canopy to help drive positive change for all their forest products.

Occasionally, they will also use deadstock materials in their outfits as well, though most dresses are made from new (albeit sustainable) fabrics.

As an overall brand, Reformation is just a great shop to support. They offer so many cool things like getting a $100 Reformation credit if you switch to wind power, and climate credits, aka carbon offsets. They’re also super transparent about their sustainability practices, which is so important.

My top picks are this Fern Dress and this Nikita Dress.

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable


If you prefer your dresses looking casual and cool, Everlane is the brand for you. They make a lot of laid-back looking pieces, perfect for lounging around with your friends on a sunny day.

In the summer, you never want to be boggled down by heavy fabrics, and Everlane gets that. They make their dresses using lightweight, sustainable materials that won’t make you sweat, such as cotton, linen and triacetate.

Triacetate is made from wood fibers called cellulose, making it biodegradable, just like cotton. I love the fact Everlane doesn’t mix materials on their dresses either – it's very straight forward.

There aren’t too many complex patterns with Everlane, so you can definitely get away with accentuating any of their pieces with fun accessories. 

My top picks are this Cotton Weave Picnic Dress and this Japanese GoWeave Short-Sleeve Mini Wrap Dress

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable


If you’re looking for some dresses with unique and abstract patterns, look no further. Thought has the dress for you!

There are so many fun patterns to choose from, it’s almost like you’re wearing art. Not to mention there are so many different cuts and styles available.

Their dresses are made from organic cotton, bamboo, Tencel, modal, and hemp. Hemp and bamboo are fast growing plants that are incredibly versatile, making them easily renewable.

Another thing to love about Thought? All their dyes are Azo-free, which happens to be a harmful carcinogen, mind you. And the finishes they use are gentle on the environment.

Similar to Reformation, you can apply filters while you shop to make finding something even easier. You can shop by price, print type, color, length, sleeve length, style, size, or even fabric! How convenient, right?

My top picks are this Emily-Mary Tencel Midi Dress and this Emmeline Bamboo Jersey Wrap Dress.

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable

oh seven days:

For the absolute perfect blend of feminine and rustic, you need to check out Oh Seven Days. They create some very pretty pieces, all made from reclaimed fabric. 

Similar to how Christy Dawn dresses are made, Oh Seven Days sources their materials from ‘runoff’ fabric rolls. Lots of textile factories often have unused fabric that’s doomed for the landfill, thanks to miscalculated consumptions.

Oh Seven Days seeks to correct this problem: Being based in Istanbul, one of the textile manufacturing capitals of the world, they have access to a bunch of these factories. This means they can easily save them from the landfill and create some really beautiful dresses from them!

Another amazing thing Oh Seven Days does is it will take back your old garments and recycle them. So, when you finish wearing the pretty sundress you get from them, or it’s no longer wearable, it won’t have to end up in the landfill.

My top picks are this Sunday Peasant Dress and the Sophie Dress.

18 ethical and sustainable dresses you'll be wearing all summer long from www.goingzerowaste.com #summerwardrobe #dresses #summer #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sustainable

thred up:

Thred Up is amazing if you’re looking for affordable dresses without harming the environment. They’re essentially the world’s largest online thrift store.

You can find tons of lightly worn items there for cheap. They have dresses from so many well-known brands too, like Forever 21, H&M, and Anne Taylor. 

It’s a great option for those who love conventional brands but want to help the environment at the same time. By purchasing secondhand, you’re keeping the item out of a landfill and saving a buck. 

I love how you can filter your search so much on ThredUp – you can choose to shop by size, brand, color, price, material, condition, style, skirt length, occasion or even neckline. It really helps you find the perfect match for you!

Guest Post: Ariana Palmieri is the founder of Greenify-Me.com, a blog dedicated to zero waste living and sustainability. Her work has been featured on MindBodyGreen, Green Matters, The Penny Hoarder and several other publications. Get her free e-book "10 Ways to Reduce Trash" by signing up to her newsletter and learn how to reduce your waste today.

8 FREE Zero Waste Swaps

Sustainability gets a bad rep for being expensive and only accessible to the “elite” or at least upper-middle class. And, I’m not saying that some of the things promoted by sustainability experts aren’t because eating a local, organic whole-foods diet can be spendy and so can things like electric cars and solar panels.

8 Free Zero Waste Swaps from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ecofriendly #gogreen #sustainableliving #frugal #savemoney #reducewaste #simpleliving

Some of the links below are affiliate links for more information please see my disclosure policy.

Zero waste living at its core though is depression era ultimate frugal living. It’s the simple idea of wasting nothing and using everything we have over and over again. At it’s core it’s about buying less, using less, consuming less.

I’ve rounded up 8 free-ish zero waste swaps. I say “ish” because nothing in life is truly free. For several of these things, it requires you to have bought something in the past, but I think there’s a high probability you own these items!

1. buy less:

I think this is pretty self-explanatory - simply buy less.

You will see it repeated throughout the blog over and over again because it’s one of the best things you can do. It is day one in the Zero Waste Challenge which if you’re looking to reduce your waste and don’t know where to start, that’s where!

It’s also my top tip for anyone starting out on a low-waste / sustainable lifestyle check out my Beginners Guide to Going Zero Waste.

And, if you’re just looking for some inspo, here’s 10 Things I Don’t Buy Anymore.


2. water:

Did you know tap water is actually more regulated than bottled water? Yup. It’s true! With few exceptions, most of the water in the US is clean, drinkable, and there’s no need for bottled water.

Bottled water is regulated by the FDA where tap water is regulated by the EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act which has much stricter standards than the FDA.

The EPA requires that each city distributes a Consumer Confidence Report every year that shows the quality of the city’s water supply.

Now, if you’re a bottled water company, tests aren’t done as frequently and they don’t have to share them with the general public. Which has led to numerous outbreaks of e coli in bottled water.

If you'd like your water to taste a bit better, check out these charcoal sticks. I have a great blog post on how I filter my water without using plastic.

If you need something a little more heavy duty, the Berkey Filter is the best on the market. If I were to get a water filter, this is absolutely the one I would get. I do tend to check on Craigslist to see if one becomes available.

8 Free Zero Waste Swaps from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ecofriendly #gogreen #sustainableliving #frugal #savemoney #reducewaste #simpleliving

3. host a clothing swap:

Instead of rushing out to buy something new, host a clothing swap with your friends. Let me know if you’d like a full blog post on this!

This is such a fun event to throw with friends and I think it’s a GREAT mixer idea for sororities and college campuses in general. Check out all of my tips for reducing waste in college.

4. jars on jars:

Many of the items at the grocery store come in glass jars. Instead of going out and buying new glass jars, upcycle the jars you already have.

5.trade more buy less:

I did a whole post on the sharing economy and how important it is. You can read more here: 5 Ways to Join the Sharing Economy.

8 Free Zero Waste Swaps from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ecofriendly #gogreen #sustainableliving #frugal #savemoney #reducewaste #simpleliving

6. ditch the unnecessary:

Do you truly need everything you buy? After I went zero waste I just stopped buying plastic wrap and aluminum foil and haven't looked back. I also stopped lining my cupcake tins.

Full disclosure: my husband put a set of silicone cupcake liners for in my stocking for Christmas, but I use them to make homemade peanut butter cups instead. I really love using the silicone cupcake liners in the freezer. Hello, mini vegan cheesecakes.

7. paper products:

Ditching paper products was one of the best money saving decisions I've made.

I find that most people have a set of rags or kitchen towels so lock away the paper towels and break out those towels. I have a great blog post on Ditching Paper Towels to help you make that transition.

While I wouldn’t consider these free swaps, if you’re looking to save money and ditch paper products switch to handkerchiefs instead of tissues and get a bidet attachment for your toilet!

8. make your food at home:

Instead getting a bunch of takeout, make your food at home. Pack a lunch, make breakfast, and brew your own coffee and tea. I find that cooking at home automatically eliminates a lot of waste. I’ve rounded up a few of my popular blog posts on the topic to help get you started!


There’s also a few bonus ideas I thought of, but to get those, you’ll have to watch the video.

How to Incorporate Adaptogens in Your Morning Lattes

If you’ve seen my Instagram stories then you’ve definitely seen me pour a matcha latte once, twice, or a dozen times. When I make my matcha lattes, I always include dashes, pinches, and scoops of different powders like Hecate called Adaptogens to which I get a bunch of DMs saying - adapta-what?

So, I figured it’s time to write a blog post! The best piece of blogging advice I’ve ever received is, “If you have to answer a question more than once, you need to write a post about it.”

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

Here we are, and I am so excited to have Further Food on board. Further Food has sponsored this post all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

I've been using Further Food for several months - you've probably seen me tag them on my IG stories! They were kind enough to offer a discount code! GOINGZEROWASTE for 15% off.

I’ve been taking adaptogens and collagen for a little over a year now. Since I work and blog full time, I’m always looking for easy ways to infuse and adjust my current routines to take full advantage of them like getting a set of pedals under my desk (writing while cycling!) or elevating my current tea routine.

This, of course, saves me a TON of time, and also makes changes easier to implement since they’re piggybacking off of existing habits.

personal health:

As many of you know, I started going zero waste due to health reasons. My hormones were completely out of whack so I started trying to avoid endocrine disruptors like plastic, conventional beauty, and cleaning products.

It took several years for me to feel like I had a handle on balancing my hormones, and feel like I am always learning new things. I really try to listen to my body and support it - journaling has been huge for me in identifying problems and patterns!

At the end of 2017, my inflammation got really out of hand. I’ve been very sensitive to inflammation even as a kid and arthritis is a major problem in my family. Throw in my skin troubles, and I think we’ve pretty much hit the personal health highlights.

I slowly started introducing some supplements and then started eliminating certain foods from my diet to pinpoint triggers.

Caffeine was a major trigger which led me to cutting out coffee and then eventually all caffeine. I have slowly introduced some caffeine back into my diet, but I only do caffeine in the form of tea.

RELATED: How I Quit Coffee

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

I introduced collagen, b12 complex, omega-3s, CBD-oil, and use turmeric in everything I cook.

I have to say my homemade golden milk icing I used to decorate Christmas cookies is still one of my favorites!

I still struggle to find a lot of these supplements without plastic packaging and was so happy to hear that Further Food, while still packaged in plastic, uses 100% post-consumer recycled plastic #2 which is actually my favorite of all the plastics.

Yes, I do have a list ranking all of the plastics #HotOrNot, I talked about it in this post.

I like Plastic #2 because it’s considered the safest and has a great domestic recycling market which means it will actually be recycled as long as it’s clean!

Using the recycled plastic reduces the carbon footprint by 78%, drastically improves the carbon footprint for travel due to it being lighter than glass, it consumes 90% less energy, and it’s a pure plastic (not a mix!) so it can be recycled again and again.

Further Food is a woman-owned and operated company right here in San Francisco, and a portion of each sale goes to chronic illness and healthy eating programs. You know how much I love companies that give back.

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

about adaptogens:

Adaptogens AKA adaptogenic herbs aren’t a new fancy thing. They’ve been used for centuries in both Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions in the forms of supplements, tinctures, and teas.

These herbs help the body resist or adapt to stressors whether they’re physical, chemical, or biological. Adaptogens work with the endocrine system to tweak hormone production and the physiological responses to stress.

There are several adaptogens I use regularly:

  • Ashwaganda is best known for helping to reduce stress and anxiety. (source)

  • Maca gives a natural energy boost and helps to regulate estrogen. Which is great if you produce too much estrogen naturally - like ME. (source)

  • Reishi helps boost your immune system (source)

  • Cordyceps keeps blood sugar levels in check and helps to fight inflammation. (source)

  • Chaga is rich in essential vitamins and minerals like the b12 complex, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium (source)

I can really feel the energy boost from maca and recommend only taking a small amount in the beginning like a 1/4 of a teaspoon to see how it affects you.

I bought most of these adaptogens in plastic tubs, but was able to find a few at a special herb shop in bulk! I only use a teeny-tiny bit of each so thankfully they last a super long time.

I mix my adaptogens along with collagen and CBD into my morning tea lattes, but one of my favorite products Further Food offers is their pre-made Mindful Matcha and Turmeric Tonic mixes both of which are vegan! They come in big tubs (they are transitioning their entire line to recycled plastic so some are made from recycled plastic and some aren’t yet) and they already have the adaptogens mixed in.

This is honestly my favorite way to make an iced latte because I don’t need to dirty up my blender. I just put a scoop in a mason jar and add water, ice, nut milk and shake it really good. Voila, no extra dishes plus I'm saving a bunch of water. ;)

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

about collagen:

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It makes up 90% of connective tissue, bone mass, and 70% of our skin, but our body's natural collagen production declines as we age

Most people that adhere to a typical western diet aren’t getting enough collagen through their meals. Collagen is not vegan, and most of the vegan collagens on the market are collagen boosters rather than collagen itself.

Further Food goes to great lengths to make sure the collagen is sourced sustainably. I prefer to use the Premium Marine Collagen Peptides because fish has a lower carbon footprint compared to beef.

The collagen is strictly a byproduct of the fishing industry. No fish are caught specifically for collagen. Further Food only uses the fish skin (very rich in collagen) which often goes to waste.

On top of that, they still see to it that the fish skins only come from sustainable sources with ethical fishing practices and make sure that the entire fish has been used.

Collagen is special because it contains glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline three amino acids that you won't find (in any meaningful amount) in any other foods. These amino acids help with muscle growth and joint and skin health.

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

But, there are a NUMBER of reasons you might want to consider taking collagen:

  • Improves gut health
  • Reduces joint stiffness
  • Repairs muscle and prevents injury
  • Reduces wrinkles and increases skin elasticity
  • Thicker hair and stronger nails
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Improves thyroid health
  • Prevents and can reverse arthritis

I personally, take collagen to help with my my skin, to improve my gut and joint health. I can definitely see a difference in my face, nails, and hair after consistently taking collagen.

I got a manicure this January, just a polish, and got a bunch of dms asking why I chose to get acrylic nails… I didn’t… I just painted them. That’s how good this stuff is, people thought my real nails were acrylics because they’re so strong.

Collagen doesn’t work overnight though, you need about six consistent months of taking it.

You can learn more about the benefits of collagen

You can brew any tea that you like, but if I’m not doing a matcha latte then I like to do a black tea.

my morning tea latte recipe:


    1. 12 oz cup of Black Tea
    1. 8 oz of nut milk (I like coconut or cashew)
    1. 1 scoop of Further Food Marine Collagen Peptides
    1. 1 teaspoon of Ashwaganda
    1. 1/2 teaspoon of reishi
    1. 1/4 teaspoon of Maca
    1. 1 dropper of CBD
    1. Dash of cinnamon


  1. Put the first seven ingredients in a 32 oz wide mouth mason jar.
  2. Use a blender wand on it’s lowest setting (in the mason jar) and blend for 30 seconds to a minute, everything will get nice and frothy!
  3. Pour into a 27 oz thermos
  4. Complete with a dash of cinnamon on top!

Making tea is one of my favorite aspects of my morning routine. I use the time to slowly process the upcoming day and check in with my body.

Do you have a morning routine you like to follow?

A huge shout out and thank you to Further Food for sponsoring this post, if you’re interested in trying any of their products you can get 15% off with the code GOINGZEROWASTE!

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine