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Dress up! Discover 10 ethical brands for formal occasions

Dress up! Discover 10 ethical brands for formal occasions

Sustainable gowns, formal dresses and evening wear from Singapore and beyond

Looking for evening wear, formal or festive dresses in Singapore, but prefer to shop ethically? We’re glad to share that sustainable fashion isn’t just about summer dresses and natural textures (although we do love a bit of that!) Whether you’re on the hunt for a birthday frock or bridesmaid dress, or a versatile occasion gown you can wear for years to come, take your pick from the following responsible fashion companies that ship to Singapore. Most importantly? Each of them — from sustainable brands to rental platforms — prioritise ethics and aesthetics. 

Hide The Label slow fashion sustainable brand recycled polyester ecovera

Hide the Label

Hide The Label is a slow fashion brand that’s all about bold, vibrant prints and timeless, feminine silhouettes. The brand ethos centres around consciously designed, quality-made, trans-seasonal styles made from sustainable materials to give you a wardrobe that has longevity and ‘wearability’. The brand sources plant-derived fibres such as Lenzing EcoVero, as well as reclaimed fibres such as recycled polyester from post-consumer products, to conserve material resources. For their vivid prints, they choose to digitally print with compressed gas to colour the designs with very minimal water use. Their beautiful wrap styles make the perfect sustainable party dresses.

Editor’s picks:

Rosa Wrap Maxi Dress in Cut Out Floral Print, $220

Azalea Dress in Pink Leaf Print, $154

Thalia Midi Dress in Pink Stripe Print, $34

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nye party dress 2020 lily & lou festive wear sustainable

Lily & Lou

Born to give women the power to design their own wardrobe, Lily & Lou encompasses slow fashion and stylish designs that you’ll keep coming back to for years to come. They produce garments from quality eco-friendly fabrics, with timeless silhouettes. Their goal is to highlight environmental issues to their customers and empower them to care for the planet in style. Lily & Lou uses fabrics with a lower environmental impact, such as Tencel, organic cotton and dead stock. They have also digitised many aspects of their production and design stages, so they are able to reduce textile and other types of waste. 

Editor’s picks:

Janella Jumpsuit in Beige, $249

Rebecca Dress in Blue, $259

Miyuki Dress in Black, $299

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reformation sustainable fashion brand slip dress party

Reformation

The ultimate cool-girl sustainable brand, Reformation has set out to produce high-quality products with a vintage trendy flair and their environmental impact in mind. Reformation’s design mission is to make effortless silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure. They take inspiration from vintage garments for their designs, as they initially started out to use deadstock vintage fabrics and even some vintage clothing. Now, they source all kinds of beautiful and sustainable fabrics to bring those designs to life quickly. They have been 100% carbon-neutral since 2015, and are transparent about their workers and what conditions they work under in their LA factory.

Editor’s picks:

Sigmund Dress, $350

Nyla Dress, $250

Gavin Dress, $305

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rentadella rental fashion circular gowns dresses evening wear party cocktail dress

Rentadella

Who says you need to buy your holiday looks? And who said you can only have one? Try renting your party outfits from Rentadella, a Singapore based fashion rental platform. They offer posh dresses and accessories from luxury brands at a fraction of the price to rent for special occasions. This means you can save money and closet space, while still looking like a showstopper. The rental service uses a pay-per-use model, and rentals typically last from four to eight days. You can schedule a package up to four months in advance, or place your order at least 4 hours before you need it.

Editor’s picks:

Margaux Glitter Jumpsuit by For Love & Lemons, $79 rental, $330 retail

Marisol Dress by Nicola Finetti, $159 rental, $690 retail

Perla Dress by Rat & Boa, $79 rental, $330 retail

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peer rental platform just borrowed sustainable fashion

Just Borrowed

What if you have loads of party dresses you’ve worn a few times or just want something new for a staycay? Enjoy this community-based platform, where you can rent out and borrow garments from fellow users. Just Borrowed lets you share your wardrobe, get your party outfits without the commitment, all while saving moolah and closet space. It’s also a more circular model of business, where we can keep our loved clothes in circulation for longer, and also experiment with styles we don’t have in our wardrobes without owning anything. Launching soon!

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style theory subscription fashion rental party evening wear workwear party dress luxury bags designer apparel

Style Theory

Style Theory is a subscription-based circular fashion platform where you can get access to your very own infinite wardrobe with designer clothing and bags. Explore plans from $59 a month for a box of 3 items to unlimited boxes for $179 a month, and also consider purchasing second-hand pieces to give them a second life. Unlock a whole new way to express your individual sense of style with endless options to choose – sans the associated impacts of environmental waste. Get a taste of a more sustainable form of engaging with fashion, without compromising on style. Sport some designer kicks or a unique dress without having to worry about finding space for them in your closet long term.

Editor’s picks:

Santiago Dress by Style Mafia, $52 preloved

Dionysus GG Supreme Mini Bag Black by Gucci, $2350 preloved, rental prices depend on plan.

Light Up Long Sleeve Top by Keepsake, $120 preloved

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su by hand slow fashion label sustainable fabrics ethical production elegant dress

Su By Hand

Su by Hand is a sustainable luxury label that celebrates the beauty of artisanal fashion and all things natural. As a slow-fashion label, they create each piece with attention to quality and comfort in premium fabrication. From plant dyes to artisanal craft, all styles are available on a small-batch or made-to-order basis only. Their focus is on premium natural fibres such as silk, cotton and Tencel. Their style is timeless yet abstract, featuring many asymmetrical and flowing designs which remind you of patterns and shapes in nature. Explore their understated but luxurious styles that can take you from one event to another. 

Editor’s picks:

Eliza Dress, $420

Susanna Dress, $449

Marylene Wrap Top, $280

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See Also
The Sustainable Fashion Forum credits

symbology fashion brand wrap dress bold prints sustainable brand boho style

Symbology

Symbology is an ethical luxury fashion label that fuses artisan textiles with fashion-forward designs to create inspired handmade apparel. Fairtrade made sexy and fashion-forward, you can discover custom-designed fabrics and garment styles to create truly unique pieces. They celebrate cultural art forms that tell a story of empowerment for both its maker and wearer. With bold colours, striking prints and figure-flattering silhouettes, you’ll definitely find something that calls to you. These sustainable party dresses will give you a reason to get ready, get on your zoom call or go to that socially distanced party. 

Editor’s picks:

Leopard Maxi Wrap Dress in Blush + Black, US$198

Blooming Floral One Shoulder Dress in Coral + Gold, US$140

Flapper Chic Tassel Dress in Black + Sapphire, US$198

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esse slow fashion asia sustainable brand sophisticated timeless designs formal wear

Esse

Believing in quality over quantity, Esse produces elevated basics at prices that are fair, not inflated. A responsible fashion house that values transparency, they’re dedicated to working directly with manufacturers in Vietnam and Thailand, where their collections are produced. Esse is committed to making clothes with a smaller environmental impact in countries that support fair wages, gender equality and no child labour. The brand makes its garments with longevity and purpose in mind, and are known for their minimal and sophisticated designs.

Editor’s picks:

Dress with Neck Sash, $159

Cheongsam Jumpsuit, $165

Spaghetti Top with Elastic Waistband, $89

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whispers & anarchy slow fashion label made in bali, sustainable party flowy dress

Whispers & Anarchy

Believing that clothes can be beautiful and fairly made every step of the way, Whispers & Anarchy is a label born in Spain, designed in Singapore and made in Bali. Their designs bring together a love for travel together with the founder’s Spanish heritage and South-East Asian lifestyle. Expect voluminous and feminine silhouettes, with pretty ruffles in beautiful colours. They make every product by hand and reduce their impact on the planet by having a zero-plastics policy. The brand only uses natural fabrics as they are kinder to the skin and are biodegradable such as BCI certified cotton and rayon voile. All their dresses are soft to touch, and great for parties and wandering on the beach.

Editor’s picks:

Halter Neck Maxi Dress in Navy, $185

Trapeze Midi Dress in Blood Red, $175

Ruffles Maxi Dress in White, $165

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