There always comes a time of year that we can’t wait to unwind and relax, whether it’s on a beach, by the pool, at a staycation or just in your cozy home. More than anything, it’s crucial to take a proper break from work, school or everyday life in general to reset and rejuvenate. As the hot days roll in, nothing is more comfortable than wearing lightweight, natural fabrics like linen, organic cotton and hemp. They’re breathable, have sweat-wicking and anti-bacterial properties and feel great on the skin too. It’s also a great time to try out pieces you don’t get to wear on a regular day: strappy sandals, printed kaftans and stylish summer dresses.
So what better way to lift our spirits than with some fun sustainable resortwear pieces that can still be worn after the summer is over? Explore this curation of ethical labels, offering options from eyewear to footwear, and everything in between. P.S. they’re all emerging brands, so you can support small businesses while enjoying your ‘sustainable hot girl summer’!
Baliza creates bright, vibrant and summer-ready collections inspired by exotic destinations and celebrating heritage craft. Their designs, from breezy dresses and kaftans to cover-ups, are all made from herbal-dyed organic cotton and come in one-size to fit UK6 to 16. The brand produces with artisans trained at Ladli, a vocational training centre in Jaipur which is supported by a charity called I-India. The centre also provides shelter, training and education to disadvantaged adults and children living on the streets.
KAFTAN designs sustainable resortwear and summer clothing which fuses East and West sensibilities. Taking inspiration from living together with nature (which isn’t hard to do given their base in Bali!) they use plant-based fabrics throughout their collections. They also source all of their materials locally within Indonesia wherever possible to reduce their carbon footprint and support local small businesses. The brand makes their clothes with factories and artisans based in West Java and Bali who work with natural fibres, certified eco-friendly inks and plant-based dyes.
3. Maisha Concept
Maisha Concept is a Singapore-based sustainable fashion brand that creates vibrant, heritage-rich clothing honouring traditional skills and craftsmanship. Their name derives from the Swahili word for “giving life”. Each sell-out collection is handcrafted and block printed by local artisans (most recently, in India, which nods to the designers mixed Kenyan/Indian heritage). Big advocates of transparency, the brand takes you right into the heart of how their clothes are made, continually sharing stories and behind the scenes footage on social media.
4. Ubu Swimwear
UBU Swimwear is an inclusive swimwear brand that caters to sizes UK6 to UK22. This Singapore-based label makes functional, fashionable bikinis and one-pieces that fit right, look fantastic and are kind to the environment (their material is made from pre-and post-consumer waste!) What’s more, they’re reversible so you get multiple looks in one, plus their quality fabric will last you for years. They work with a small, family-run business in Bali which produces their swimwear in small batches.
Truth&All makes sunglasses for men and women that are 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable. How you may ask? They’re produced using a material called biodegradable acetate; a mix of cotton, wood and a plasticiser of vegetable origin instead of plastic! With multiple classic silhouettes to choose from—from cat eye to wayfarer—there’s a pair for any aesthetic. What’s more, the brand also offers a return and reward program, where they take in your old eyewear and rework them into other acetate products.
6. One Puram
One Puram creates sustainable and stylish women’s clothing with thoughtful design details, like wrap details on trousers and flattering necklines. Their pieces are the epitome of summer style and can be easily dressed up or down for any occasion. The Bali-based brand sources most of their material—from their fabric to their packaging—locally within Indonesia and has used breathable Tencel to create its first debut collection.
7. The Bright Campaign
The Bright Campaign carries a curated selection of useful, durable, functional and (most importantly!) cheerful lifestyle products that are ethically sourced. Their beach bags, pouches, and cooler bags are all practical and come in an array of fun and colourful prints. What’s more, they plant a tree for every item purchased.
A sustainable fashion label based between India and Singapore, Sui’s light and breezy pieces always feature nature-inspired prints and embroidery (read about the founder’s inspiration here!) While they own their own factories, they also work with ethical NGO’s and establishments, joining hands with underprivileged and small but mighty communities to source for their designs. Their ultimate goal is to create women’s clothing that is well-loved yet has a kinder, regenerative impact on people and planet.
9. Step of Grace
Based in Indonesia, Step of Grace is a planet and budget-friendly option for those who want to purchase more responsibly. With all of its designs handmade in Indonesia, they use natural materials as much as possible, such as pure linen, organic cotton, bamboo fibres and natural blends. What’s more, they source all fabrics locally and use repurposed seashells for their buttons. Their artisanal leather sandals are also a big hit.
10. Babecave Swim
Babecave Swim makes swimsuits designed to make you feel confident, unique, and carefree. They carefully craft their range of one-pieces and bikinis to flatter and hug every curve; they’re all about body confidence and celebrating your shape! A brand with a slow fashion ethos, they focus on creating in small quantities and limited batches to reduce waste.
11. Muni Muni
What sustainable resortwear outfit is complete without shoes? Filipino brand Muni Muni specialises in handcrafted sandals and accessories made from Abaca rope. They source sustainable fibres from local farmers in the Philippines. Then, local artisan communities hand-weave the shoes, resulting in understated chic pieces that celebrate both Filipino talent and craftsmanship.
Thought sustainable fashion is all beige? Stain’s designs will make you think again. Featuring bright colours and funky patterns, the brand works with artisans and small businesses in Indonesia to create their vibrant designs using methods such as screen and woodblock printing and batik making. They use all-natural materials like linen, cotton, and silk, ideal for when you need to feel cool as a cucumber. What’s more, they put transparency at the forefront and highlight the process and makers behind their collections.
13. August Society
Say hello to multi-use swimwear for the whole family. August Society makes all of its designs from rPET and plastic waste; the fabric is still durable and premium. Keeping sustainability in mind, they design their swimwear to be reversible and ideal for mixing and matching. What’s more, you can even use their swimwear as workout gear!