21 Oct

The Ultimate Guide to More Ethical and Sustainable Dresses

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Either for work or play, dresses are a timeless classic that will (hopefully) live in your closet for a long time. Yet, many well-known brands aren’t doing enough for people, the planet, or animals—here’s our ultimate guide to more ethically-minded dresses sorted by region.

The change of a dress

Dresses are fun and easy to throw on for day or night. A dress can make you feel sensual, flirty, or comfy in a pinch. They come in many shapes, sizes, and fabrics—like silk, cotton, cupro, or linen—with a range of features and styles. But, if you’re reading this, you must also care about the journey of a dress before it lands in your hands—that’s where we come in.

At Good On You, our mission is to help you understand how brands impact the issues you care about. In line with this ethos, we’ve created a special list of dresses of all kinds of fabrics and lengths, divided into regions so you can shop locally and more consciously. First up in our top picks, we’ve got a gorgeous tiered dress from autark (AU) that can be worn at any occasion. Following suit (pun-intended), we’ve added some beauties from Europe including a stunning green midi from BASTET NOIR (Macedonia). And finally, make sure to check out some upcycled minis from I was a Sari (India) that are revolutionising the upcycling industry.

With that, happy reading.

Oceania

Afends

Rated: Good
A woman in a dress by Afends.

Tori Organic Denim Dress – Ships internationally from Australia

Offers

someone in black shirt and bucket hat, with jacket by Afends.

Afends – Menswear

Up to 60% off, for a limited time only. From pants to tees and sweats, featuring a slew of new prints. Exclusive 10% off Mens Sale with code GOODEXTRA10.   (Ends: 28 FEB)

Checkout code: GOODEXTRA10
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someone in fitted dress and black jacket by Afends.

Afends – Womenswear

Up to 60% off, for a limited time only - including dresses, basics & more. Exclusive 10% off Womens Sale with code GOODEXTRA10.   (Ends: 28 FEB)

Checkout code: GOODEXTRA10
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Button it up in the Tori Denim Dress. This dress offers a button-up design, mini-length, and long-sleeves. Born in Byron Bay, Afends is a responsible brand leading the way in hemp fashion. Drawing inspiration from the environment, streetwear, and surf culture, Afends’ mission is to create more sustainable clothing through innovation, action, and positive change. Find pieces in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Afends.

All the Wild Roses

Rated: Good
A woman in a gingham printed dress by All the Wild Roses.

Alexa Indigo Gingham Dress – Ships internationally from Australia

Made from upcycled cotton, the Alexa Indigo Gingham Dress is a vintage-inspired design with a timeless gingham print. All the Wild Roses offers free-spirited fashion for the dreamers and change-makers. This Australian brand uses up to 50% deadstock fabric to create high quality and long-lasting products. Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop All the Wild Roses.

autark

Rated: Good
A woman in a tiered dress by autark.

Tier Dress – Ships internationally from Australia

autark is an Australian clothing label that features a modern take on slow fashion. The Tier Dress embodies the brand’s ethos, celebrating the beauty in imperfection. Created from 100% GOTS organic cotton poplin, it features a tiered style perfect for evening or daytime. The label uses a high proportion of lower-impact materials including Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton, and manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint. Garments are available in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop autark.

Elk

Rated: Good
A woman in a stripped dress by ELK

Ond Dress – Ships internationally from Australia

A pioneer of independent Australian design, Elk was founded in Melbourne in 2004. The Ond Dress is a go-to dress in a classic “Elk” shape made from viscose and organic cotton. Elk creates new collections twice a year that are informed by a design ethos where simplicity and sustainability meet innovation. Find most items in AU sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop Elk.

Luna + Sun

Rated: Good
A salmon coloured maternity dress by Luna + Sun

The Ramani Dress in Salmon – Ships internationally from Australia

Perfect for warmer weather, the Ramani Dress in linen features a lovely pink colour and puff sleeves. Luna + Sun is an Australian, cruelty-free fashion line creating gorgeous feminine designs. Its factory is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, and its products are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. Find the clothes in AU sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop Luna + Sun.

Z. The Label

Rated: Good
A woman in a rust coloured maxi dress by Z. The Label.

That perfect dress for warm, desert air. This gorgeous maxi dress is a wardrobe essential made from 100% Oeko Tex certified luxe linen. Z. The Label creates handmade clothing using preferred fibres, offering versatile, breastfeeding-friendly garments. Find the clothes in AU sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Z. The Label.

Europe

BASTET NOIR

Rated: Good
A sleek black dress by BASTET NOIR.

The Robyn Dress – Ships internationally from Macedonia

Offers

Two people wearing a beige and a dark blue Bastet Noir Boss Babes two-piece suit set.

BASTET NOIR – The Boss Babes Collection

Tailor-made two and three piece suits and cocktail dresses, crafted in impeccable sartorial fits. Exclusive 20% off The Boss Babes Collection with code SUITUPBN20. (Ends: 3 FEB)

Checkout code: SUITUPBN20
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The Robyn Dress is here to make all your wildest dreams come true from the comfort of your own home. Made from a lightweight linen material that’s both breathable and structured, this exquisite piece features a square neckline, waist belt, and a sexy side slit that will most definitely make a statement. The brand offers custom-made clothing manufactured by women in Macedonia, ensuring that every purchase contributes to the welfare and education of these women and their children. Find most items in sizes 36-42, or in custom sizing.

See the rating.

Shop BASTET NOIR.

Dedicated

Rated: Great
A woman in a short black dress by DEDICATDED.

Wrap Dress Kungshamn in Black – Ships internationally from Sweden

For a shorter look, check out the Kungshamn wrap dress by Dedicated made from 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell. This is a classic wrap dress with wide, draped short sleeves. It features a V-neck and yoke with gatherings at the front for a feminine look. Thanks to Dedicated, you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics to dress in style. Find the clothes in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dedicated.

Shop Dedicated @ Earthkind.

Jyoti – Fair Works

Rated: Good
A beautiful midi dress by JYOTI Fairworks

Renu Dress – Ships internationally from Germany

For those living in Europe, you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on the beautiful 100% GOTS cotton products created by Jyoti. Truly embodying more ethical fashion practices, this German company provides employment for people from marginalised or disadvantaged groups in India. The Renu Dress is just as special as the brand itself, featuring a free-fall style and full of slip comfort. Sizes available are S-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Jyoti.

LANIUS

Rated: Good
A woman wearing a gorgeous check dress by LANIUS.

Vegan Check Dress – Ships internationally from Germany

Offers

people in blue coat and puffer by Lanius.

LANIUS – Site-wide (EU)

Discover styles from the current winter collection with up to 40% discount. Your new favourite piece is waiting for you. Up to 40% off (EU). (Ends: 9 FEB)

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The classic check pattern in a different way—this classic dress features a flexible fit, welt pockets, a continuous button placket, and bise at the back. The German brand uses lower-impact materials, like GOTS certified cotton. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. LANIUS’ clothes are available in EU sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop LANIUS.

Shop LANIUS @ Curate.

Mila.Vert

Rated: Great
A maxi textured knit dress by Mila.Vert.

Knitted Long Sleeved Round Neck Dress – Ships internationally from Slovenia

Offers

Mila.Vert – Site-wide

Following a made-to-order and zero-stock model, Mila.Vert's designs are made just for you, saving precious material and energy resources along the way. Exclusive 10% off with code MILAGOOD10. (Ends: 7 FEB)

Checkout code: MILAGOOD10
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The perfect fall dress by Mila.Vert. This knitted long sleeved round neck dress is light and airy, providing a luxuriously comfortable feel all year round. Mila.Vert offers timeless, minimal, and chic clothing, adding sophisticated details that give the garments a modern feel. The Slovenia-based brand wants to make desirable clothing, avoiding the ethical and environmental issues that the fashion industry represents. Find the garments in sizes XS-XL, or make a custom fit order free of charge.

See the rating.

Shop Mila.Vert.

Nina Rein

Rated: Good
A woman wearing a more ethical dress by Nina Rein.

Kiara Dress – Ships internationally from Germany

Nina Rein is a German brand that creates more sustainable business clothing in Europe under fair conditions. The brand’s aesthetic is clean, feminine, and colourful, and each piece includes little details everyone loves. This vegan dress is that and more, featuring an asymmetric and clean design. Find most items in sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop Nina Rein.

SKFK

Rated: Great
A woman wearing a blue ethical dress by SKFK.

Nausika Dress – Ships internationally from Spain

Spanish brand SKFK creates women’s clothing collections with a timeless, comfortable, and functional style. The Nausika Dress is no exception, levelling off straight above the knee and studded with an incredible block print. It can truly be worn for any occasion. The brand uses GOTS and Fairtrade certified cotton. It also has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles and ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain. Find pieces in EU sizes 34-46.

See the rating.

Shop SKFK.

Shop SKFK @ Veneka.

The UK

Baukjen

Rated: Good
A woman wearing an ethical black maxi dress by BAUKJEN.

The Benet Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Enveloping the body from its chic turtleneck collar right down to the bottom of its pencil-style skirt, Benet is a dress that feels sensual and smooth to the touch. It’s crafted from a forest-friendly LENZING™ ECOVERO™ jersey. The brand uses some lower-impact materials, which helps limit the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production. Find the range in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Baukjen.

Beaumont Organic

Rated: Good
A woman in a flowy maxi dress by Beaumont Organic.

Regina Organic Cotton Dress in Sand – Ships internationally from the UK

Made from 100% organic cotton, the Regina Dress will make you feel like a conscious queen. It features a multi-tiered maxi skirt, voluminous sleeves, and tie details at the back. Beaumont Organic is a UK-based slow fashion brand that blends simple style with responsible production practices. Founded by Hannah Beaumont-Laurencia, the brand also has its own charitable foundation which supports people in Fiji. Find the range in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Beaumont Organic.

Birdsong

Rated: Good
A woman in a green reclaimed dress by Birdsong.

The Green Reclaimed Slip Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Ah, we all love a good slip dress. A body skimming, silky slip dress, this lovely features adjustable straps that can be styled in a variety of ways. Birdsong is a boutique label producing gorgeous womenswear. Its clothes are handmade in London by knitters and seamstresses earning above the London living wage. Birdsong’s products are inclusively sized from 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Birdsong.

Shop Birdsong @ SlowCo.

COSSAC

Rated: Good
A woman in a reversible gray knit dress by COSSAC.

Reversible Knit Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Did someone say reversible? This knit dress is, yes, reversible, featuring a midi-length and can be worn back-to-front, giving you two pieces. COSSAC is a British brand that believes in creating timeless, feminine, and versatile apparel more sustainably. They promote the minimalistic concept of capsule wardrobes, offering contemporary classics intended to be worn and cherished beyond seasonal trends. Find most of the range in sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop COSSAC.

Shop COSSAC @ Earthkind.

Ninety Percent

Rated: Good
A woman in a sleek sustainable dress by Ninety Percent.

This dress is sure to impress. Made from 100% organic cotton, the Lupin is part dress, part trench, making it truly versatile from casual to smart and day to night. Ninety Percent is a British label that offers everyday essentials, sharing 90% of distributed profits between five charitable causes and those who make their collections happen. Find collections in UK sizes 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ninety Percent.

People Tree

Rated: Great
A woman wearing a green knit dress by People Tree.

Corey Rib Midi Dress in Khaki – Ships internationally from the UK

Eco-fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a seriously responsible brand and one of our favourites. The Corey Rib Midi Dress is an easy-to-wear dress made from 95% GOTS and Fairtrade certified organic cotton, with 5% elastane for comfort and movement. The brand uses lower-impact materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International – Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct. Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop People Tree UK.

Shop People Tree EU.

Shop People Tree @ Wearwell.

North America

Altar

Rated: Good
A woman wearing a black dress by ALTAR.

Ivy Dress in Black – Ships internationally from the US

Altar is a US-based boutique that specialises in alternative and custom fashion, apothecary, and gifts. The Ivy Dress is our favourite pinafore style for fitting many shapes and sizes. The brand celebrates independent manufacturers and artists from across North America, with a focus on the stories that are woven into their work. Its clothing brand, Altar Houseline, is proudly made in America using deadstock materials and serves size gradations from size S-6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Altar.

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great
A woman wearing a maxi floral dress by Christy Dawn.

The Bodie Dress – Ships internationally from the US

The Bodie Dress is your everyday option for comfort, ease, and a vintage feel. This gorgeous fabric makes a bold, yet elegant statement, with a pattern of ruby red blooms against a black backdrop. Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women’s clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand rates “Great”, making it a fabulous option for your wardrobe. Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

See the rating.

Shop Christy Dawn.

Kotn

Rated: Good
A woman wearing a maxi knitted dress by KOTN.

Knitted Turtleneck Dress – Ships internationally from Canada

Cosy has never been this chic. This knitted turtleneck dress features an easy, full-length silhouette that streamlines dressing for colder weather. Certified B Corp Kotn is based in Canada and works with local NGOs on the ground at the Nile Delta to provide every child in their farming communities with quality education, and to help close the gap of low literacy rates amongst communities. With every purchase, not only will you adorn a beautifully made garment, but also help fund school infrastructure, materials, and salaries for teachers. Find Kotn in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Kotn.

Mara Hoffman

Rated: Good
A woman wearing a colourful dress by Mara Hoffman.

Sloan Dress – Ships internationally from the US

Stunning and conscious, Sloan is a sleeveless column dress that is fitted through the bodice and waist, with a pencil-skirt cropped at mid-calf. With a focus on mindful and conscious practices, Mara Hoffman uses lower-impact materials including GOTS certified cotton, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester, and even has a range of Oeko-Tex STeP certified products. Items come in sizes XS-3XL, and the brand also has a gorgeous extended sizes collection, so you can be sure to find a new wardrobe addition no matter the bod you rock.

See the rating.

Shop Mara Hoffman @ Farfetch.

Shop Mara Hoffman Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Mara Hoffman.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Good
A woman wearing a flowy maxi dress by TAMGA Designs.

Terra Maxi Dress – Ships internationally from Canada

An instant daydream, the Terra Maxi Dress is an elevated cut for all your soirees and noteworthy occasions. TAMGA Designs is out to prove how colourful and exciting responsible fashion can be. TAMGA offers a range of tops, skirts, dresses, and accessories made from 100% Micro TENCEL™ and LENZING™ ECOVERO.™ You can find the full range of this Canadian brand in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop TAMGA Designs.

Vitamin A

Rated: Good
A brown conscious dress by Vitamin A.

Strapless West Dress – Ships internationally from the US

Just in—Vitamin A’s strapless dress is a must-have staple. Super soft and consciously made, this side-slit strapless dress perfectly hugs your curves. Made locally in California, Vitamin A’s collections of swimwear and loungewear use a high proportion of lower-impact materials, including recycled nylon. The brand also uses a waterless process to print its designs with, reducing its chemical and water usage. Find the pieces in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Vitamin A.

Shop Vitamin A @ Curate.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good
A woman wearing a sleek black dress by Whimsy + Row.

Camille Dress in Black – Ships internationally from the US

Offers

two people in dresses by Whimsy + Row.

Whimsy + Row – Galentine’s Gift Shop

Love is in the air! What’ll you be wearing this Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re planning something fancy or want to keep it low key, Whimsy's got you covered. 14% off Galentine's Gift Shop with code BEMINE14.   (Ends: 15 FEB)

Checkout code: BEMINE14
Shop now
person lounging in black dress by Whimsy + Row.

Whimsy + Row – Warehouse Sale

With even more reductions, check out your favorites at Whimsy+Row's Warehouse Sale, including overstock, damages and samples. 30%-80% off Warehouse Sale.   (Ends: 5 FEB)

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If you’re looking for the perfect evening dress, look no further. The Camille Dress is crafted from TENCEL™ and cupro, and features a gorgeous cowl bodice. Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and sustainable practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern, sustainable woman. Find most products in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Asia

Dorsu

Rated: Great
A woman in a singlet dress by DORSU.

Singlet Dress in Navy – Ships internationally from Cambodia

Made from a soft and stretchy cotton jersey to create a fit that hangs off the body, Dorsu’s Singlet Dress is an easy-wear from day to night. Based in Cambodia, Dorsu creates everyday basics and key signature favourites that form the core of any conscious wardrobe. You can find the full range in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dorsu.

Shop Dorsu @ Wearwell.

I was a Sari

Rated: Good
A woman in a rust coloured ethical dress.

I was a Sari is an Indian brand bringing traditional styles into the modern age. Used saris and deadstock fabrics become vibrant products that are sold worldwide.

Find pieces in sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop I was a Sari.

Maatie

Rated: Good
A woman in a salmon coloured dress by Maatie.

Maatie is an Indian brand that tries to go back in time while going forward. The brand specialises in block printing, bringing traditional techniques to design with an ethical mind.

Find pieces in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Maatie.

OhSevenDays

Rated: Good
A red wrap dress by OhSevenDays.

Bishop Dress – Ships internationally from Turkey

OhSevenDays was started by Australian-Canadian Megan Mummery to promote slow fashion and the “power of circularity”. Based in Istanbul, the brand reclaims end-of-roll fabrics from the city’s garment factories and creates sharp, everyday womenswear that’s as wearable as it is ethical. This striking red wrap dress is sure to become a closet staple. It’s made from 100% cupro and features a midi length. OhSevenDays’ garments are available in sizes XS-XL or custom sizing.

See the rating.

Shop OhSevenDays.

Shop OhSevenDays @ SlowCo.

The R Collective

Rated: Great
A woman wearing a colour blocked dress by The R Collective.

Aberdeen Mini Dress – Ships internationally from Hong Kong

Don’t you just love a good mini? The Aberdeen is colour-blocked in nude, rust, ivory, and yellow, bringing different rescued luxury silk tones to life. The R Collective’s womenswear collections are made by reusing rescued excess materials from leading luxury brands and reputable manufacturers. The brand uses a high-proportion of lower-impact materials, which limits the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production. It also ensures the payment of a living wage in its supply chain. The garments are offered in two sizes: XS-S and M-L.

See the rating.

Shop The R Collective.

That’s it, lovelies. We hope this guide provided some insight on how to look good, without needing to sacrifice your morals in the process.

Editor's note

Feature image via Mara Hoffman, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands.

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