A person wearing a white tie front crop top and straw hat by Whimsy + Row.
06 Jun
A person wearing a white tie front crop top and straw hat by Whimsy + Row.

Stay Cool With These 17 Sustainable Summer Essentials

Summer is just around the corner for those of us in the northern hemisphere, and now that we can safely leave our layers at home, we have the chance to rock some cool sustainable summer essentials that look and feel great to our next BBQ picnic or beach party.

Embrace a sustainable summer

Gone are the days of only being able to find boxy and bland ethical summer clothes—unless that’s your style, we don’t judge. But with everything from flowy dresses by Christy Dawn (US) and Baukjen (UK) to classic denim shorts by MUD Jeans (Netherlands) to a stylish straw hat by Kampos (Switzerland) from these ethical brands below, there’s something for everyone (and every fashion sense) so you can match your outfit to your values this sunny season, and many in the future.

Tees and tops

Colorful Standard

Rated: Good

Classic Organic Tee – Ships internationally from Denmark

Colorful Standard is a Danish clothing brand that makes organic fashion essentials for men and women. The brand doesn’t care much for seasons or trends, instead, it creates timeless and long-lasting products to avoid the downward spiral that is over-consumption. Find most items in sizes XS to 2 XL.

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Shop Colorful Standard.

No Nasties

Rated: Great

Flora Half Sleeve Shirt – Ships internationally from the US

No need to be on a white-sand beach to wear this organic tropical shirt! Another leader when it comes to ethical fashion, No Nasties makes simple and stylish clothing from Fairtrade organic cotton in India where it is actively working to grow the ethical consumer market. Find styles in sizes 2XS-3XL.

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Shop No Nasties.

Shop No Nasties @ Made Trade.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good
WOMA

Valentina Top – Ships internationally from the US

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. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources. The brand’s Valentina wrap top is made of linen and can be worn tied in front or back.Find most products in XS-XL.

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Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Dresses and rompers

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great

The Dawn Dress Extended – Ships internationally from the US

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women’s clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The brand rates ‘Great’, making it a fabulous boho option for your wardrobe. Breeze through summer events in this gorgeous floral number that is bra-friendly and available in extended sizing. Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

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Shop Christy Dawn.

People Tree

Rated: Great

Jerrika Pinafore Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Pinafore dresses are a wadrobe staple and we love this white organic cotton one from People Tree. Sustainable fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a seriously ethical brand and one of our favourites. The brand uses eco-friendly materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International – Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct. Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

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Shop People Tree UK.

Shop People Tree EU.

Baukjen

Rated: Good

Calista Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

If you like your summer dresses on the shorter side then make a beeline for this dress. Baukjen is a London-based womenswear brand, with a focus on environmental, ethical, and sustainable style. Its clothes are designed for you, designed for good. The brand uses some eco-friendly materials, which helps limit the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production. Find the range in sizes XS-L.

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Shop Baukjen.

Shorts

MUD Jeans

Rated: Great

Marilyn Shorts – Ships internationally from the Netherlands

If you’re looking for a classic pair of denim shorts, then this is it. Dutch denim brand MUD Jeans is all about sustainability. Not only does it offer a repair service, but it also provides a rental service where you can lease a pair of jeans for up to a year. MUD Jeans uses a combination of GOTS certified organic cotton and post-consumer recycled cotton. MUD Jeans are available in a range of sizes, usually from W25 L30-W33 L32 for women and W28 L34-W36 L34 for men.

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Shop MUD Jeans @ Labell-D.

ISTO.

Rated: Good

Corduroy Shorts – Ships internationally from Portugal

Offers

A white organic cotton t-shirt by ISTO.

ISTO. – 3-Pack Classic T-Shirts

ISTO. is bringing you the best organic cotton t-shirts you've ever worn for a great price. €6 off 3-pack classic t-shirts. (Ends: 25 OCT)

Shop now

Portuguese brand ISTO.’s mandate is simple: create clothes to transcend the seasons and work as staple items in your wardrobe all year round. It has one single collection and pursues quality over quantity to try and make its items permanently available. It uses organic and natural materials, and is incredibly transparent in showing you the true cost of your clothes when you go to purchase a piece for your wardrobe. These corduroy shorts are made with organic cotton, and have an intentionally oversized fit for a more relaxed look. The range is available in XS-XL.

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Shop ISTO..

Vitamin A

Rated: Good

Thalia Shorts – Ships internationally from the US

Made locally in California, Vitamin A’s collections of swimwear and loungewear use a high proportion of eco-friendly 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.

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Shop Vitamin A.

Shop Vitamin A @ Curate.

Warm weather shoes

Nomadic State of Mind

Rated: Good

Mountain Momma – Ships internationally from the US

Nomadic State of Mind hand-crafts vegan sandals made of rope, up-cycled sailcloth, hemp, and recycled plastic bottles. The brand also provides jobs for workers from disadvantaged communities in Nicaragua. These sandals are made from recycled plastic rope, which gives them a greater resistance to wear and tear, as well as a better comfort for your feet than traditional rope. Find the collection in sizes 34 to 41.

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Shop Nomadic State of Mind.

Good Guys

Rated: Good

Juno Vegan Buckled Slide On – Ships internationally from France

The Juno in Brown is the perfect classic pair of slide-on for this summer. Good Guys creates cruelty-free shoes for women and men, founded and designed by Marion Hanania in Paris. Through Good Guys, Hanania aims to create the perfect cruelty-free, made in Europe closet, where no animal product is involved, and the production guarantees fair trade working conditions. Find most shoes in EU sizes 36 to 46.

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Shop Good Guys.

Shop Good Guys @ Immaculate Vegan.

Shop Good Guys @ thegreenlabels.

Etiko

Rated: Great

Natural Rubber Thongs – Ships internationally from Australia

Etiko is an Australian designer of organic, eco-friendly, and fair trade clothing and shoes. The brand constantly sets the bar for upholding and campaigning the human rights of people working in traditionally exploitative industry supply chains. Find the clothes in AU sizes 8-20, and the shoes in UK sizes 3-13.

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Shop Etiko.

Womsh

Rated: Good

Wave White Sands Sneakers – Ships internationally from Italy

Fashion and sustainability can go together and Womsh is the footwear brand that proves it. Its sneakers are entirely designed and manufactured in Italy. These gorgeous vegan classic white sneakers are made with appleskin and recyclable rubber, so you can walk the talk in your sustainable shoes with just about any outfit.

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Shop Womsh.

Shop Womsh @ COMOVITA.

Nisolo

Rated: Good
A pair of brown woven sustainable mules by Nisolo.

Ama Woven Mule – Ships within the US

If you prefer the look of a mule, these woven leather ones are super versatile and come in a range of natural hues to complement any outfit. Nisolo is an American brand that prioritises living wages throughout its supply chains while also working to combat climate change. Available in EU sizes 35-42.

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Shop Nisolo @ Made Trade.

Shop Nisolo.

Accessories

KAYU

Rated: Good
A person holding a straw tote bag by KAYU.

Radicchio Scarf Tote – Ships internationally from the US

A classic straw tote featuring removable scarf wrapped handles with a charming radicchio print. It’s the perfect tote to carry your summer farmer’s market haul.

Kayu is an American brand that creates gorgeous, handcrafted boho sustainable bags for the modern free spirit. Each bag is crafted by women in the Philippines, who weave and embroider the bags by hand. Most of these women are mothers, and making Kayu bags allows them to earn a living as well as look after their children. Aside from looking out for its people, Kayu is also dedicated to preserving our planet. Its bags and hats are made from natural straw that has been harvested, stripped, and dyed by hand. This kind of straw fades with time, eventually biodegrading and returning to the earth. The brand does use leather in some designs.

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Shop KAYU.

Shop KAYU Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Kampos

Rated: Good

Bao Hat – Ships internationally from Italy

Kampos is an Italian luxury brand that believes in creating a world with integrity and conscience now and for future generations. The brand aims to raise awareness of over-fishing and marine pollution and offers consumers unique pieces that are made of recycled plastic bottles, fishing nets and sustainable and organic fabrics. Find most products in sizes XS to 2XL.

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Shop Kampos.

Raven + Lily

Rated: Good

Alem Towel – Ships internationally from the US

Raven + Lily supports local female artisans to create handmade jewellery, bags, and homewares. This US brand's products are eco-friendly and empower communities through fair wages, healthcare, and education.

See the rating.

Shop Raven + Lily.

Shop Raven + Lily @ Cerqular.

Looking for sustainable swimwear for the summer? Head over our Ultimate Guide to Ethical Swimwear

Editor's note

Feature image via Whimsy + Row, 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. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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