Sustainable and ethical loungewear favourites

This time of the year is definitely the time to be lounging around. Christmas is long gone but it’s still ages until spring will arrive, and it’s freezing outside so you might as well just stay in with hot drinks, blankets and great movies. And of course great loungewear.

There’s so much nice stuff out there in terms of high quality loungewear that makes you feel comfy whilst looking good/stylish/sexy and even though I struggle to throw out old sweats that definitely have seen their best days, making some ethical and sustainable additions wouldn’t hurt.

So I’ve put together a conscious edit with gorgeous loungewear wish list items – hope you like them!

Top left: Gorgeous hand block printed T-shirt and shorts by Eight Hour Studio, made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Their loungewear comes from traditional Indian woodblock printing methods, natural fibres and production based on fair trade labour practices.

Top right: Long ‘drape’ nightie by Noctu, made from 100& organic jersey cotton that’s GOTS and Fairtrade certified.

Bottom left: Perfect for lounging around, not too loose, not too tight. Ethically made from 100% organic cotton by Organic Crew in Melbourne, Australia.

Bottom right: Lounge/sleep shirt by Underprotection, made from bamboo satin so has got that silky feel and is stronger than cotton. It’s made in a New Dehli based factory certified by Fair Wear Foundation.

 

 

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Five steps towards clean and ethical beauty

Many of us are most often very conscious of what we put inside our bodies by eating healthily but also looking at whether our food has been grown/produced locally and whether it’s an organic product free from chemicals. But what we chose to put on our bodies, on our skin, doesn’t alway get the same attention and thought.

When looking at key things I want to change and improve in 2017, it’s definitely to be more conscious of what I put on my skin and how these products are made. I’ve never been one to excessively use beauty products and haven’t spent much time figuring out what I ought to be using. But there was a Body Shop in the town where I grew up in the north of Sweden and my mum often used to take me and my sister so I got introduced to their ethics at an early age. And it has stayed with me to the extent that I’ve never really bought any beauty products from anywhere else. Until L’Oréal bought them. They still do loads of good, but their ethos didn’t feel as genuine anymore and I’ve started looking elsewhere for smaller brands with stronger credentials.

Below are five things I try to look for to be a more conscious beauty shopper.

 

Natural ingredients. Chemicals, fillers and artificial colours can irritate the skin, and since our skin is our largest organ we really should treat it better. Toxic synthetic chemicals are included in most mainstream brands’ products and even though we often don’t know what they’ll do to us longer term or if they actually do us any harm, taking the risk seems unnecessary. Imelda Burke, founder of London natural beauty shop Content Beauty & Wellbeing, includes useful insight and helpful tips on ingredients to look for in her recent book The Nature of Beauty – definitely worth a read.

Earth-friendly. When ingredients are farmed and produced organically, we can be ensured the earth hasn’t suffered as it would from synthetic products. The chemicals from these products end up in the air and in our waters, through the manufacturing process as well as down the drain in our homes after we’ve had a shower using a synthetic shower gel for example. This is particularly a problem when it comes to products using microbeads, small pieces of plastic found in things like scrubs and toothpaste, as they enter the food chain when ending up in the ocean and get eaten by fish, but many countries, such as the UK are now banning these products. To help avoid plastics, steer clear of ingredients such as polythylene, polypropylene and polymethylmethacrylate. Instead, look for products including natural ‘scrub’ ingredients like the cobnut scrub from Mitchell and Peach in the picture above.

Less is more. Beauty ads tell us we need an abundance of products but this obviously isn’t true. What we need are some key products that keep us clean and moisturised, and perhaps a few extra for an added glow, but that’s essentially it. They don’t last forever (check the product’s label to see how many months it’ll last from you opening it) so sticking to a smaller number (of appropriate sizes) means you can finish them in time, rather than having to waste them because you had too many and haven’t had time to use them all before they expired. And, even though it may seem obvious, staying healthy by eating your 5-a-day and going for walks in the fresh air, will keep your natural beauty game on point, which subsequently means you won’t feel as though you need loads of products to stay looking fresh.

Sustainable packaging. Following on from the above point, where less products also mean less waste, when you do need to buy products, look for those in sustainable and recyclable packaging, such as glass bottles and soap wrapped up in paper. To avoid any waste you can also explore creating your own beauty products with things you’ve already got at home such as oils, honey and vinegar (a quick search online will give you loads of recipes and tutorials).

Ethical labour. Where was the product made? Who made it? Have they been paid fairly? What does the supply chain look like? Ask questions to help you make more conscious purchases – knowing where and how a product has been made makes it that much better. My current handwash favourite is from The Soap Co.* where products are produced from natural ingredients and packaged in recycled and recyclable packaging. But their ethics don’t stop there. The Soap Co. is also a social enterprise that provides training and employment for people who are visually impaired, have disabilities or are otherwise disadvantaged.

 

 

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How to be a more conscious consumer in 2017

Even though the ‘new year, new me’ mantra is a bit of a cliché I can’t help but feeling there’s new energy and motivation at the beginning of a new year. Most of us have had a nice relaxing break over Christmas, and you’ve toasted a happy new year with your friends.

I don’t change my life around on the 1st of January and I normally don’t set myself new year’s resolutions but more often than not I will have some sort of idea of what I want to achieve in the new year. In the last few years this idea has mainly reflected the kind of person I want to be, what I want to spend my time doing, and what kind of citizen I want to be in this world. And this has led me to living a more sustainable, conscious and minimalist lifestyle, which in turn has led me to feeling more content as well as more determined of how I want to lead my life. And it led me to start writing this blog – to have an outlet for my research and thoughts, and to hopefully inspire others to make more conscious decisions.

If you’re thinking that 2017 might be the year to start being a bit more conscious with what you buy/eat/do but not sure where to start, then the below may send you in the right direction.

 

Declutter

Start the year with a bit of a stock take and a clear out of things you don’t want anymore or haven’t used in ages. You can donate, recycle or throw away (if they can’t be fixed or re-used), and it might take a while but start by clearing out one thing per day or a few things each week. Eventually you’ll be left with things you love and things that are useful, and you’ll be on the path towards minimalism heaven.

Buy less but better

Once you have decluttered it’ll then be easier to be more conscious of the things you buy. Instead of getting stressed about buying the latest of everything, take a step back and look at what you’ve got already and what you actually need. And when you do buy something, take the time to find things that you really want, that are beautiful, and that will last for a long time. Maybe spend a bit more on each product than you normally would, but buying less and of better quality means you’ll save money in the long run.

Don’t buy new things

Looking after your things, and fixing them when they break is one way of decreasing the amount of new things you need to buy. And even when you do buy things, they don’t always have to be brand new. Vintage shops and local charity shops are good places to start, or you could attend a clothes swapping event, or even organise one yourself with colleagues or friends. Swapping clothes with friends or giving them clothes you don’t want anymore is the best way to clear out your wardrobe as donations sometimes end up wasted and textile recycling isn’t quite as developed as we would like. Essentially we need to buy less as we can’t just rely on recycling.

Ask who made it

Being more conscious of where things are made, and by whom, is key to be able to make more ethical choices. Ask questions. Has it been made locally? Who made it? Were they paid properly? When it comes to fashion, join Fashion Revolution and ask Who Made My Clothes?

Ask what it’s made of

Look for certified organic cotton when buying clothes, or check whether your beauty products have been approved by the Soil Association. In the textile industry there’s loads of exciting new developments with new types of more sustainable fabric, and skincare is going for a more natural look, so check labels and read on the back of bottles to be better informed. This is something I’m excited about for 2017 – learning more about what things are made of, especially the products we put straight on to our skin, so I guess that’s a new year’s resolution for me.

Take little steps

Changing your life and all your habits over night is never going to happen, and it probably shouldn’t. It’s healthy to take your time to adjust and to figure out what kind of lifestyle you want, as you’re then more likely to stick to it for longer. But set yourself some goals/motivational pointers, like, no new clothing purchases for three months, or to only buy ethical birthday presents this year, or to do Meatless Mondays.

 

Take your time. Don’t stress about it and don’t compare yourself to others. And don’t pressure yourself to do things you don’t want or get rid of things you love. Finding your own way of being more conscious is key so do let it take the time it takes. Maybe spend a few cold winter evenings reading up on minimalism, or do some research into ethical brands and start there. The more you know the easier it’ll be and you’ll feel more empowered, even if you’re just taking little steps at a time.

 

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Top conscious travelling tips for long-haul flights

Over the holidays I was lucky enough to visit the beauty that is New Zealand – an incredible destination for anyone wanting to be amazed by natural beauty. To be able to see such greatness, covering anything from beaches to glaciers, from mud pools to turquoise gorges cutting through mountains, was an absolute treat and it truly reaffirmed the beauty of our planet.

Unfortunately, I live on the other side of the world so New Zealand is a far-reached destination that requires an awful lot of flying, which isn’t doing any good for my carbon footprint. And going on such long flights isn’t very good for your body either. You are exposed to loud noises that could damage your hearing, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) risks are higher, and due to low cabin humidity you can easily get dehydrated.

Here’s a conscious edit to keep you a bit more comfortable on your next flight, whilst also sticking to your more sustainable and natural routines.

  • Wearing something comfy is key for me – the seat is uncomfortable as it is so being stuck in non-comfy clothing doesn’t help. On this trip I wore Boody leggings and top. Their comfy and long-lasting clothing is made from bamboo and they work with certified companies ensuring the process is as sustainable and chemical-free as possible.
  • Staying hydrated is important so make sure you bring extra water with you – to avoid having to buy and waste plastic bottles, bring your own reusable bottle and top it up at a drinking water point when you get to the airport (past security). Avoid caffeine and alcohol on the flight as both will dehydrate you further.
  • If there is a vegetarian food option then book this in advance to minimise the meat intake.
  • Pack light as more fuel is needed the heavier the plane is (and having to carry less stuff whilst on holiday is always a positive).
  • As you get dehydrated, so does your skin. Bringing smaller bottles of skincare products in your hand luggage that you can re-apply during the flight will save you. And this is also the perfect time to make use of all those samples you keep forgetting about at the bottom of some drawer. My favourite travel buddy was the Sodashi face mist that I applied whenever I felt dry and tired. Same with the REN lip balm and hand cream. (See full bag in photo above)
  • Offsetting your flight is a way to potentially make you feel less guilty for increasing your carbon footprint by travelling across the globe. Many airlines will have a scheme set up that you can tap into and there are also new initiatives such as carbotax.org that allows you to pay a voluntary ‘carbon tax’ to help offset your climate impact whilst protecting threatened forests.

Because of the fact that I live in a different country to my family and because of my love of travelling and exploring new parts of the world, I do need to fly every now and then. But considering taking the train more often, and going on weekend breaks closer to home, is something we should all be doing more of. And of course, when we do need to catch a flight there are various additional things we should be conscious of, like using public transport when getting to and from the airport, staying in eco-conscious accommodation, sticking to vegetarian and/or local food whilst at our destination etc etc.

What do you do to stay conscious when travelling? And do you have any tips for enduring long-haul flights? I’d love to hear them!

 

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A 5-day consumption journey from Black Friday to Giving Tuesday

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When considering conscious consumption one can easily be overwhelmed by the fact that consumption itself doesn’t always come across neither conscious nor sustainable. The lead up to Christmas makes this even more obvious and the fairly recent introduction of the Black Friday concept kicks this off with a loud and intense bang at the end of November. On the day after Thanksgiving, instead of being thankful for what we’ve got, we’re encouraged to go out and spend our cash and buy buy buy.

After a weekend of shopping we’re then hit by Cyber Monday where, if we haven’t quite spent enough cash, we should head online for further deals and further spending, and it’s hard to see this tradition as anything but a campaign encouraging mindless and excessive buying of things we don’t necessarily need. But as many of us struggle to afford buying new things unless they’re on sale, this could be a good chance to get your hands on those items you’ve had your eyes on. And with the holidays coming up, with some good forward-planning, it’s a great opportunity to buy gifts for friends and family with a reduced budget. There’s also a movement to turn Black Friday into Green Friday, encouraging consumers to look for greener options and in that way make more conscious decisions.

But, essentially, the whole weekend screams SHOPPING. And it’s not easy making conscious Black Friday consumption decisions since a lot of smaller ethical companies can’t compete with the prices, and instead, it’s the big (tax-avoiding) corporates that are able to push the Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns.

We’re seeing Black Friday fatigue though with big supermarkets like Asda cancelling campaigns and outdoor retailer REI closing their stores, encouraging customers to go and enjoy the outdoors instead. Patagonia this year announced that all of their Black Friday sales would be donated to organisations working to save our planet – it worked and they’ll be donating $10m following record-breaking sales.

For those that are completely fed up with the phenomenon, there’s the backlash campaign Buy Nothing Day that encourages us to ‘shop less and live more’. But if we feel compelled to grab some bargains, to survive the weekend in an at least semi-conscious fashion, we should start it off by taking stock to avoid making any unnecessary purchases. As suggested by Chuck Palahniuk in the above quote, we should ask ourselves if we definitely need this item, whether we can find a greener version, and if it’ll last.

We will, ultimately, land at Giving Tuesday, giving us an opportunity to reflect/take a stand/give back and I’ve enjoyed seeing, over the last couple of years, how this has developed into a great tradition of charities not just asking for money but for giving thanks and giving time. From the consumers’ perspective, it shouldn’t be used as an offset day to make up for all the bad consumption decisions we’ve made over the weekend but a chance to truly engage in the spirit of giving. There’s potential of making this 5-day consumption rollercoaster into a money-saving weekend of conscious giving and some of the initiatives mentioned here are leading the way. I still see Black Friday as the darkest side of consumption but with brighter and greener initiatives there’s hope and I’m already intrigued to see what the 2017 edition has in store!

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Sustainable and ethical fashion + Autumn

Just like that it hits you. Autumn. Often with freezing temperatures over night and/or cold winds that instantly remind you what it was like being cold to the bone. But autumn also means gorgeous colours in parks and forests as well as yummy Sunday lunches in cosy pubs after crisp walks amongst fallen leaves. And it means that it’s time to put aside summer gear in favour of clothing and accessories that will keep you warm to ensure you can enjoy the outside and the above mentioned activities.

Below is a conscious edit with some of my current favourites that would ensure cosiness, as well as style.

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Top left: This recycled cashmere jumper by Eileen Fisher is made from factory leftovers that have been spun into cashmere (yarn meets the Global Recycle Standard). Eileen Fisher is also the largest women’s fashion company to certify as a B Corp, monitoring its impact on people and the planet, and the company has launched environmental initiatives such as Green Eileen and Remade in the USA.

Top right: When autumn arrives but you still want to be able to wear some of your smarter skirts for work or parties, tights are your only way out. But with two billion pairs of tights produced each year, often only worn once before they break, we end up with an awful amount of poorly made and cheap non-biodegradable waste. Tights are also made from nylon yarn, created from an environmentally harmful petroleum-based manufacturing process, so really, we probably should try to avoid them. But there’s hope. Swedish Stockings are produced from recycled yarn and their factories use environmentally friendly dyes, post-dyeing water treatment, and solar power.

Bottom left: A good pair of boots is essential for autumn and these from Matt & Nat are perfect, and made from vegan leather (PU).

Bottom right: Another key piece for autumn is the cosy scarf to keep you warm – this one is from Cosi Cashmere, with materials sourced from sustainable producers, handwoven in Nepal and Tibet by locally based artisans.

 

 

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A conscious edit at London Design Fair

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For anyone with an interest in new design, London Design Festival is a real treat. The largest collection of international design under one roof during the festival is London Design Fair, so I set out to explore new trends with the hope of finding a decent conscious edit. And I wasn’t disappointed. Actually, rather, impressed.

With many of the exhibitors being either Scandinavian or Asian there was a lot of stylish minimalism going on. Additionally, a strong focus on craftsmanship with a large section dedicated to the British Crafts Council. A wide selection of beautifully handmade products, with particular favourites being Elliot Ceramics‘ simple designs and stylish clay mixes.

I enjoyed the mix of old and new with long-time established companies like Karl Andersson & Söner, a family business founded in 1898, as well as the newer ones, like Forest + Found, a sustainable craft and design partnership.

Many exhibitors had an interesting story to tell in terms of their reasons for being and their passions, and even more designers were pushing their sustainability credentials.

An interest in, and a passion for, natural materials was widespread, and many are using innovative techniques and eco-conscious materials to create products that considers our planet. Stationery brand Before Breakfast presented notebooks made from FSC-certified paper, printed using soy based inks, and hand-sewn in the UK. And textile designer Carmen Machado specialises in woven fabrics for outdoor seating, created from stranded fishing gear that she collects from beaches in the UK and Puerto Rico. The stylish chairs shown in the picture above are by Bend, creator of products that are made to last, through timeless design and from locally sourced materials. Conscious thinking was also applied to some of the set design with Etsy.com‘s booth being built with materials that were sourced locally and that would be recycled or donated locally.

There wasn’t just a green focus in terms of materials but also in terms of displaying greenery, encouraging greener living through surrounding yourself with plants. The mix of plant stands and shelving units displaying plants was excellent.

Overall, the Fair showcased some great designs and the commitment to natural and sustainable products was a particular highlight. The products mentioned here are only a very small selection – do check out the website for loads more!

 

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8 pieces of sustainable and ethical swimwear

We’re at the very end of July now and I for one am trying to soak up as much sunshine as I can on the weekends. If you’re lucky enough to be going on holiday somewhere warm you’re also probably considering swimwear purchases, which isn’t always the easiest. And quite often a bit of a struggle from a sustainable perspective as they’re usually trend sensitive and too often of bad quality, which may mean they won’t last you longer than one holiday/summer. Swimwear is also mainly developed from synthetic fibres that are bad for the environment.

But when looking a bit further than the high street, the world of swimwear is actually a rather interesting and exciting one. There are loads of innovative brands doing innovative things, developing swimwear from all sorts of materials that are way more environmentally friendly.

This conscious edit includes a few highlights, showing that you can look amazing on the beach whilst also being mindful of the planet.

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Top left: Bikini by Amara, a brand manufacturing its fabric in a green energy facility, creating bikinis with quality and sustainability in mind. The fabric is made of recycled post-consumer materials, and the packaging is biodegradable, recyclable or reusable.

Top right: A reversible swimsuit by MYMARINI, made of 80% PA (Polyamid) and 20% EA (Elasthan) certified by the Öko-Tex Standard 100, free from toxins. The fabric is manufactured in Italy where an innovative chemical-physical waste water treatment plant ensures a minimum impact on the environment. They use methane gas for the production, the water used is treated to remove most pollutants, and the thermal energy emitted by the machines and equipment is reused to reduce CO2 and emissions.

Bottom right: Bikini by Elle Evans, created from recycled lycra and locally produced in Melbourne, Australia. Their swimwear is designed to end up with minimum fabric waste and they also use post-consumer waste fabrics that would otherwise go to landfill, discarded by bigger companies. They sew instructive washing labels into each piece to help reduce unnecessary energy consumption through washing and drying.

Bottom left: Gorgeous swimsuit with lace up back detail by In Your Arms in their signature knit fabric. They create high quality, timeless pieces, using recyclable materials and biodegradable packaging, and the ethically made knit is a fast drying lightweight knitted fabric unique to the brand.

 

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Top left: Bikini by Hot As Hell, with a top that can be a front tie halter, a wrap top, and a bandeau all in one, helping you to style it however you want, which also hopefully means you’ll be able to use it longer as you won’t get bored too quickly. HAH uses eco-friendly digital and sublimation printing techniques that are computerised and require 95% less water than traditional screen and rotary printing. HAH has also partnered with their manufacturer to co-launch Extended Fabric Life, an innovative, eco-friendly, performance fabric that’s durable and resistant to chlorine.

Top right: Marble cut-out swimsuit by Auria, designed and developed in London, made of recycled fabrics from discarded fishing nets and other waste.

Bottom right: A classic style to last, bikini by Anekdot. Made from water resistant polyester / fabric with 4-way stretch technology from Speedo’s production leftovers, end-of-line jersey lining bought in London from Woolcrest Textiles, and elastic trimmings bought in London from a closing down factory (the product transparency on the website is excellent with detailed sourcing descriptions for each product).

Bottom left: Swimsuit by Underprotection, made from soft recycled polyester, which is one of the sustainable fabrics they use. To keep their production ethical they collaborate with a small factory in India, and obtained the Fair Wear Foundation young designer license in 2013.

 

 

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The Arts and Crafts movement 2.0

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“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Wisdom by designer William Morris that was as true during his lifetime and the Arts and Crafts movement as it is today.

As I’ve been getting more and more interested in the green and sustainable movement I’ve increasingly been finding similarities with what I know about the Arts and Crafts movement that took place over a century ago. And a recent visit to William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London had me even more convinced of history repeating itself. It was also a great day out and I truly recommend a visit to the museum and garden (as seen in photo)!

The Arts and Crafts movement began in Britain around 1880 and was born of ideals and grew out of a concern for the effects of industrialisation. The effects on design, on traditional skills, and on people. One of the most influential figures was William Morris who hated how Victorian industrialisation had led to overcrowded towns and cities, slum housing, epidemic disease and environmental pollution.

Morris thought beauty was a basic human need and wanted to bring art into everyday life. He fought for social equality and a return to craftsmanship, and against the wasting of natural resources. He wanted to improve manufacturing in Britain, place value on quality, and turn the home into a work of art.

 

“How can I ask working-men passing up and down these hideous streets day to day to care about beauty?”

– William Morris

 

Morris’ condemnation of excess and wastefulness, and his belief in social reform, education and environmental sustainability, is what I can hear and read from today’s sustainability champions. And some of the most interesting thoughts are around making conscious consumption accessible to more than just the already converted middle class.

After decades of mass production, globalisation, consumption, fast fashion, and worsening conditions for workers we are again seeing a movement for quality, minimalism and ethics. Only this time it’s called ‘slow fashion’ or ‘eco trends’ or ‘green living’ or ‘conscious consumption’. Whatever we call it, we are channeling Morris and his friends, appreciating quality over quantity. And we can only hope it’s more than just a trend.

Even though the Arts and Crafts movement spread to America and Europe, and eventually to Japan, this time we can hopefully use globalisation to our advantage. By learning from others, finding useful information and tips online, sharing values across continents, and encouraging others to make conscious choices. With Morris’ mantra of picking things that are truly beautiful or necessary in the back of our minds, at all times.

 

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10 sustainable and conscious summer dresses

It’s that time of the year when we get really excited about shopping beautiful clothes for beautiful days. But it’s also that time of the year when we’re trying to balance our outfits between being summery and airy for hot summer days, whilst still being appropriate for work.

Dresses tend to be particularly difficult and many struggle with finding something that fits all occasions, which means we end up buying more dresses than we probably need. When it comes to summer dresses we also tend to buy those that are on trend that summer, and often they’re bought to be worn once – at a wedding for example with many stating that if they’ve been seen wearing a dress at a wedding once they can’t then wear it again.

None of this is very sustainable. And it’s a shame because a lot of summer dresses are gorgeous, made out of beautiful fabrics and prints, so we should be making more of them and not forgetting about them at the back of our wardrobes at the end of the season.

Steering away from obvious trends is one solution to avoid not quite feeling the dress by next summer. Try choosing more classic designs that are less likely to go out of style. And choose dresses that you can style with other clothes in your wardrobe so that you can turn them into a nice work outfit or something you can wear all year ’round (with extra tights and layers if you live in a cold country!).

This conscious edit of sustainable summer dresses takes all of this into account, showing a few current favourites together with tips on how to ensure they’re not just worn once. Let me know in the comments if you’ve got any other favourites and how you’re styling them all year ’round!

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I love stripes. And they work all year ’round. This Vege Threads jersey dress is made out of 100% (GOTS certified) organic cotton, it’s knitted and dyed in Australia and the colour is Australian Certified Organic Standard – it works equally well on its own in the summer as it does with boots and an oversized knit in winter.

 

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A silk dress by Everlane that works for just about any occasion with just a slight change of accessories: stylish loafers for work;  nude high heels and a statement necklace for a wedding; and camel/gold sandals for a garden party.

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Worn on its own with sandals, this APOM dress, locally designed and made in Australia, works great as a fun but dressy summer dress – and if you add dark tights and heels it can pass for work as well as a cocktail party in winter.

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Love this simple, wearable design by Amour Vert – made from 100% organic cotton. Their products are manufactured in America and made from sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics.

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Made out of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton jersey, this dress by Danish label Tricotage, works equally well loose with sandals on a hot summer’s day as it does with a belt and high heels for work.

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Versatile style by eco brand Jan ‘N June (am enjoying their ECO-ID feature on the website). As styled in the picture for any party. With flats for work in the summer. With boots and tights for work in the winter. 

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I will put my hand up and say that this isn’t quite one to wear outside of the summer season (and probably not at work either!) – but it’s too gorgeous to not include here. And it’s a classic design, classic colour, and works for any summer party/gathering so is one to wear for many summers to come. And it’s by sustainable brand Reformation, made out of lightweight linen from surplus fabric. Simply stunning.

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Excellent print that works equally well with sandals in the summer as it does with tights and a cardigan in the winter. The dress is from the Mata Traders collection that uses sustainably farmed cotton, with traditional block printing, dying and hand embroidery techniques applied. Additionally, the Mata Traders work with organisations that educate, employ, and empower women in India.

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Simple but fun design by Riyka – label that uses reclaimed / organic / British made fabrics as well as GOTS certified organic cotton. For summer parties with sandals, for work with trendy brogues, and for winter parties with party tights and party heels.

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Gorgeous print by US label Upstate that cultivates shibori and other hand dye techniques. A shirt dress like this works all year ’round for any occasion with a change of shoes – sandals for a summer party / flats for work / (black tights and) high heels for a winter party / white trainers for a lunch out with friends.

 

 

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