15 Sustainable Little Black Dresses For Every Occasion


image: Whimsy & Row

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A little black dress is truly a staple piece every woman should have in her wardrobe. It is probably one of the most versatile clothing items you can own, as it is easy to dress up and dress down. 

Paired with simple sandals, it is a great casual dress that you can wear for picnics, shopping or walking in the city. When you add a few accessories and put high heels or booties on, it becomes the ideal dress for going out at night and for most special occasions.   

Since you always look good in a little black dress, it is THE dress you choose whenever you do not know what to wear to a more formal event. It is classic, yet chic and timeless! 

However, it is often cheaply made by fast fashion brands using synthetic materials. But thankfully, we can choose a more eco-friendly version to minimize its environmental impact.

If you are on the hunt for a staple piece for your wardrobe, one of these 15 sustainable little black dresses will be perfect for you!  


The little black dress was introduced to the world in 1926 when Vogue published a drawing of a simple black dress designed by Coco Chanel. Before that, women only wore black when mourning, but in the late 1920s, the Parisian designer changed everything.  

Thanks to its simplicity and affordable price, the little black dress became very popular in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. Women of all classes could finally wear an elegant yet practical outfit without breaking the bank. 

It became a uniform for many women at the time, and above all, one of the most influential garments in fashion history. After the Second World War, designer Christian Dior updated the little black dress and gave it a sexier look, which truly changed women’s fashion. 

Hollywood stars quickly adopted the little black dress, the most famous one being Audrey Hepburn who paired it with a pearl necklace in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961. Since then, the little black dress has remained one of women’s favorite fashion pieces. 


A sustainable little black dress is made with high-quality, eco-friendly fabrics. It is built to last, and you should be able to enjoy it for years without it wearing down.  

Also, an eco-friendly little black dress is not produced in a sweatshop, so stay away from fast fashion brands. Workers should be paid fair wages, and work in a safe and healthy environment. 

A dress made by a certified B Corporation or a Fair Trade brand is always a good option!  


Sustainable little black dresses are usually made with organic cottonlinen or recycled polyester. Some lovely dresses are also produced from Tencelhemp, reclaimed cotton and deadstock fabrics. All of these are great, eco-friendly fabrics! 

In general, avoid synthetic fabrics that are non-recycled, and prefer organic and biodegradable materials. And try to choose fabrics that are OEKO-TEX certified, meaning that they are free of harmful substances and safe to wear. 

Plus, it is even better if the fabric is dyed using low-impact, non-toxic dyes (look for the GOTS and Bluesign® certifications). 


1) Sleeveless Tee Black Organic Cotton Dress by Eleven44

Materials: Organic Cotton

Price: $74

Slow-fashion brand Eleven44 focuses on minimalist comfort basics for your capsule wardrobe. This comfortable yet sassy LBD is made from certified organic cotton jersey.

The design is meant to be oversized for an easy, relaxed fit, but if you want a more fitted look, choose a size down.

Eleven44 works with several small family-run businesses in Bali to manufacture their clothing brand. They source certified organic cotton dyed using low-impact reactive dyes, which are GOTS-certified.

Shop Sleeveless Tee Black Organic Cotton Dress

2) Box Pleat dress (in black) by Maggie's Organics

Materials: Organic Cotton

Price: on sale for $39

The Box Pleat dress crafted by American brand Maggie's Organics is designed in solid black, but you can also choose to have it in a black floral print that gives it an even more feminine touch.

Very flattering, the dress has a fit-and-flare style and it can be worn forward or backward. It also features two functional pockets, allowing you to bring your phone and other small essentials wherever you go. 

This Box Pleat dress is made in Peru, using GOTS-certified organic cotton. Maggie's Organics is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and the World Fair Trade Organization, and it regularly donates its products to charities.

Shop Box Pleat Dress

3) Fit & Flare Shorty midi dress (in black) by Pact

Materials: Organic Cotton

Price: $70

This Fit & Flare Shorty midi dress created by Pact has a classic and timeless style, yet it is very flattering and beautifully made. Fitted at the top and flared at the waist, it has a midi length, but you can also choose a longer version of this dress. 

Pact’s little black dress features two hidden side pockets as well as a built-in, wireless shelf bra that makes it very comfortable and easy to wear.

The dress is made of GOTS-certified organic cotton in a Fair Trade certified factory in India. Producing this dress requires 47 gallons less water than a similar dress made of conventional cotton, which is huge! 

code: SustainablyChic20 for 20% off

Shop Fit and Flare Midi Dress

4) Lotus dress (in black) by Tonlé

Materials: Reclaimed Cotton Fabric

Price: $84

The Lotus dress sold by Tonlé is a great piece to own to be able to combine comfort and style. Available in black, it has a tulip shape, a V-neckline, and a wrap-around tie closure, making it easily adjustable to your body. 

Paired with a few accessories, Tonlé’s dress can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on your needs. It is made from reclaimed cotton jersey from t-shirt offcuts, and it is sold in sizes XS up to 3XL. 

The brand sources its fabrics from remnant markets where fashion manufacturers bring discarded offcuts and deadstock fabrics. Striving for zero waste, Tonlé produces clothing, accessories and home goods from reclaimed materials only. 

Shop Lotus Dress

5) Priti cross back dress by People Tree

Materials: Organic Cotton 

Price: $93

This Priti cross-back dress sold by People Tree is a great piece for any woman who wants her clothes to be as versatile as possible. It has a midi length, and it can be worn day or night. 

This little black dress features side splits as well as a lovely cross-over back detail.

It is made of Fairtrade & GOTS-certified organic cotton by People Tree’s fair trade partner Assisi.

Assisi is an Indian social enterprise that creates beautiful handmade garments using traditional handcrafting techniques.  

People Tree dyes its clothing using GOTS-certified and AZO-free dyes, and it was the first fashion brand to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organization product label. 

Shop Priti Cross Back Dress

6) Ines bubble sleeve dress from Made Trade

Materials: Organic Cotton 

Price: $100

The Ines bubble sleeve dress created by the small fair trade brand Mata Traders is sold on Made Trade’s website. It is made of organic cotton jersey, a soft and breathable fabric that you can wear for all your daily activities. 

This little black dress finishes just above the knee, and it features cute puffy sleeves and practical hidden pockets.

It is handcrafted at a fair trade women’s cooperative in India. 

The brand Mata Traders specializes in making beautiful dresses, jewelry and accessories using traditional techniques such as block printing and embroidery. Every order on Made Trade’s website is 100% carbon-neutral, so you can feel good about purchasing this little black dress! 

Shop Ines Bubble Sleeve Dress

7) City stretch crepe shift dress (in black) by Universal Standard

Materials: Recycled Polyester

Price: $108

This City stretch crepe shift dress created by Universal Standard is a cool addition to any capsule wardrobe. Great to wear at work or for all your daily activities, it has a straight fit and it finishes just above the knee. 

Universal Standard’s dress has bracelet-length sleeves, which are ideal for spring days or cooler summer nights.

Made from recycled polyester, it also features a V-neckline and practical, deep pockets on the sides. 

The brand is extremely size-inclusive: this dress is available in sizes 4XS up to 4XL! Universal Standard also regularly donates its clothes to organizations that support women returning to the workforce, like Dress For Success. 

Shop City Stretch Crepe Shift Dress

8) Zelda A-Line Dress

Materials: Cotton, Modal

Price: on sale for $88

This black Zelda A-line dress created by Able is not only comfortable and flattering, but it is also versatile and practical. It has side pockets that allow you to carry your phone without needing a handbag, and you will not have to wear a special bra thanks to its square neckline.  Able’s dress is tight-fitting at the top, and it flows into a beautiful A-line skirt that stops at the knee. Made in India using Supima cotton and modal, this sleeveless dress is designed to fit and flatter your body. 

The Zelda dress comes with a lifetime guarantee, and the brand allows you to try it for a week completely for free before buying it. 

Shop Zelda A-Line Dress

9) Black maternity and nursing dress by Petit From Poa

Materials: Tencel Modal

Price: $129

If you are expecting a baby, this little black dress is an essential staple to have in your wardrobe! Petit From Poa designed its beautiful black maternity and nursing dress so that you can feel chic and stylish while being comfy as your bump grows. 

It has an A-line cut, which is very flattering for pregnant women, and its crossover V-neckline pulls aside for convenient nursing access.

This dress is extremely versatile and adaptable to all your evolving needs!  

Petit From Poa’s maternity dress is made from a blend of TENCEL modal fibers, which is the most sustainable type of modal. Very soft, these fibers have earned the USDA BioPreferred® designation.  

Shop Maternity and Nursing Dress

10) Organic Cotton Ponte Zip-Up Dress by Eileen Fisher

Materials: Organic Cotton, Polyester, Polyurethane

Price: $178

The Ponte zip-up dress sold by Eileen Fisher is a classic sleeveless little black dress that is perfect for wearing to the office, but you can also easily dress it up for going out. 

Available in sizes XXS to 3X, it is tighter at the top and wider at the hem.

It stops above the knee and features hidden side pockets and a short front zipper. This dress is made in Indonesia using organic cotton, polyester and polyurethane. 

Eileen Fisher is a certified B-Corporation, and it colors its clothes with Bluesign® certified dyes, meaning that they are free of hazardous chemicals and they help save water and energy.

Shop Organic Cotton Ponte Zip-Up Dress

11) Joni dress in black linen by Whimsy & Row

Materials: Linen

Price: $192

The Joni dress sold by Whimsy & Row is a mini dress that you can easily wear with sneakers for a more laid-back style, or with nice sandals or booties whenever you want to look more elegant and chic. 

It features a stretchy smocked bodice and cool puffy sleeves. This little black dress is made of 100% linen, which absorbs moisture and is naturally antibacterial, making it a great fabric to wear in the summer or on a warm spring day. 

The website discloses how much water, energy and waste are saved and how many carbon emissions are avoided when you buy this dress instead of a non-sustainable version. How cool is that?!

Shop Joni Dress

12) Diana Organic Cotton Ballet Neckline dress by Fox Holt

Materials: Organic Cotton, Recycled Elastane

Price: $195

This little black dress sold by the brand Santicler on Fox Holt’s website is a classic piece that you can wear all day feeling comfortable and elegant at the same time.

Paired with a few accessories, it becomes the perfect dress for a date or a night out with friends! 

The Diana dress features a flattering scooped neckline and a fitted silhouette that stops right below the knee. This style is timeless and versatile, making it a great find for any woman wanting to build a capsule wardrobe. 

Santicler’s dress is made of GOTS-certified organic cotton and recycled elastane. It is produced in small batches in a family-owned factory in Romania. 

Shop The Diana Dress

13) Louison dress (in black) by Sézane

Materials: Organic Cotton, Viscose

Price: $195

Sézane crafts its luxurious Louison dress with exceptional quality so that women can wear it forever. Its beautiful, perfectly-cut style will make you feel very feminine and chic! 

It is a lovely embroidered mini-dress that features a high collar, short sleeves and a slit in the back closed by a button. The main fabric is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, while the lining of the dress is produced with viscose. 

Made in Bulgaria, this little black dress is OEKO-TEX certified, so it is free of harmful chemicals. Sézane is B Corp certified, and the brand founded DEMAIN, a program supporting charities that promote equal opportunities and access to education for children all around the world. 

Shop Louison Dress

14) Adelina cotton eyelet midi dress (in black) by Amour Vert

Materials: Cotton, Recycled Polyester

Price: $228

Amour Vert designed the Adelina cotton eyelet midi dress with an A-line silhouette, adjustable straps and an invisible zipper in the back. Its elegant detachable tie waist offers a very flattering fit. 

The bodice is made of cotton while the beautiful lining of the dress is made with 100% recycled polyester. You will love how easy it is to dress it up and dress it down! 

Amour Vert produces its clothes in California and always makes them in limited quantities to eliminate any excess waste. To minimize its impact, the brand sends its products in protective bags made from compostable and recycled materials, all printed with soy-based inks. 

Shop Adelina Cotton Eyelet Midi Dress

15) Evolve slip dress (in black) by Encircled

Materials: Lenzing Modal

Price: $268

The Evolve slip dress made by Encircled is the ideal piece for minimalists or simply women who want to have a well-curated capsule wardrobe. It is so versatile that it can be worn in eight different ways! 

You can adjust the sleeve length with a hidden snap so you can have short sleeves, cap sleeves or no sleeves at all.

You can also wear the dress off either shoulder or choose to have a boat neck or a cowl neck. 

This midi dress is made of modal and it is certified OEKO-TEX Standard 100, meaning that it is free of harmful substances. Encircled is a certified B Corporation that produces its products in Canada. 

Shop Evolve Slip Dress

About the Author:

Eva Astoul is a French freelance writer, specializing in content related to sustainability, simple living, and a growth-focused healthy lifestyle.

She runs her own blog, Green With Less, to inspire people to live a more minimalist and sustainable life.



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