Florals…for spring? There's no surprise there. But the floral dress, your forever and seasonless staple, has had quite a restyle. The new wave approach (think eco-dyes, all-women craftsmen, manufacturing transparency) has energized the classic floral tea dress this season with varying quirks—a kimono, oversize crochet embroidery, tulle organic cotton—and reignited our love for the blooming print.
But how to wear it now? With all the ease and attitude of a T-shirt, rainbow tights, or look-at-me crystal geodes! This pretty go-with-the-flow classic has staying power and is unbelievably kind to the environment too. Here's mbg's guide to the best floral dresses to shop now.
ASOS Eco Edit
Internet behemoth ASOS has a fantastic "green room," which houses a wide range of ethically conscious brands. From the best of British and hand-crafted jewelry to upcycled vintage, shopping sustainable fashion has never been easier. We love this dusty green maxi floral dress made in collaboration as part of a project with Kenyan label SOKO, whose design initiatives incorporate drawings by local primary schoolchildren and turn them into covetable prints. ASOS Made In Kenya Cold Shoulder Maxi Dress In Ditsy Floral ($103)
Green is the new black, people, and producing ethical fashion is becoming more of a priority for brands across the board from luxury to more mainstream. Fair-trade company Free People is one of those brands that recognizes how important sustainable fashion is to their consumers, meaning it’s much easier for us to shop in a socially responsible and environmentally friendly way. Case in point: this effortlessly timeless Victorian-inspired mini dress featuring a beautiful floral embroidery and crochet trim. Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini ($168)
Reformation consistently wins mbg's sustainability-loving hearts and minds with its dreamy recycled-fabric dresses. Plus, for every item the eco-conscious brand sells, you get to see its ecological impact: everything from how many gallons of water and pounds of CO2 went into the production of the garment, to how that number compares with the industry standard. So when you're exposing your lovely shoulders in this off-the-shoulder gem with a sweetheart neckline and ruffle edged sleeve, your conscience will be satiated too! Truly, a mind-body shopping experience. Reformation Tropica Dress ($248)
U.K.-based Seasalt is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Sophie and Neil Chadwick. Print designer Sophie makes a point to only manufacture locally—using artisanal craftsmen to make the brand's fabrics—and remain true to the heritage of Cornwall, the seaside town the company is based in (and where the founders live). The days of lumpy, itchy, hempy pieces of the past are long gone—now ethical and stylish are actually synonymous with each other. Seasalt 100% Organic Cotton Chapelle Dress ($82)
Mango's latest "conscious collection," marks a positive step forward for fast-fashion retailers, who are increasingly becoming more responsible for, and aware of, the environmental footprint their industry leaves behind. Mango Committed is part of the brand's Take Action project, a long-term plan to create a business model based on a sustainability criteria and more environmentally friendly processes. Mango Floral Print Flowy Dress ($59.99)
Blush and Ruby
Blush and Ruby sells their gorgeous wares under the ethical apparel site Symbology. With a company-wide Code of Conduct to only partner with brands whose products are handcrafted by women artisans AND who use traditional art techniques, you know you're getting something truly unique! Blush and Ruby Poppy Flower Kimono Maxi Wrap ($168)
honest by. CALLA
Hugo Boss' former art director, Bruno Pieters, has put his money where his mouth is with Honest By, "the world's first 100% transparent company." Honest By shows people where materials come from, how much they cost, who made the product, where it was made and—crucially—how much money everybody earns along the supply chain, including Pieters himself. Vegan brand Calla's organic cotton printed satin dress combines luxury and modernism in a relaxed, easy-to-wear look: Where else have you seen tulle and floral prints layered in such a charming, and dare we say, sexy way? honest by. CALLA Sleeveless Printed Shirt Dress ($166)