Image credit: Christy Dawn
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If there’s one piece of clothing we still can’t get enough of, it’s the nap dress.
The nap dress is comfortable to sleep in, but it’s also suitable for running errands, and often stylish enough for a casual date night.
Think about the nap dress as a nightgown/dress hybrid that is perfectly acceptable to show off in public. They come in many different styles and fabrics but are mostly loose-fitting and breezy, making you feel casual and elegant in your own home.
Let’s say that the nap dress is greatly suited for those days that you want the coziness of your bed while still looking put together. It’s also perfect for those that love the idea of being ever-ready for a nap but don’t necessarily ever take them.
What to look for in an ethical and sustainable nap dress
Natural fibers: We recommend you favor comfortable, non-itchy fabrics like cotton, hemp, merino wool, and alpaca, as they are better for the environment and better for you. A tidbit worth mentioning is that natural fibers don’t allow odors to cling like synthetics do, making them perfect for you to wear multiple days without having to wash the garment. Just hang your dress up at the end of the day and pop it back on the next morning. If your partner or roommates have something to say about it, they’re probably just cranky and need a nap.
Semi-synthetics: If you’re looking for easy-care, soft and silky plant-based fibers, check out nap dresses made out of Tencel, a plant-derived fiber that is produced without the toxic chemicals of traditional man made cellulosic fibers rayon/viscose.
Fair labor and transparency: Look for brands that prioritize transparency and list where their items are made. Are they clear about the workers who sewed the garment?? The gold standard is Fair Trade, but SA8000 is good, too.
Packaging: There are numerous brands that offer plastic-free packaging. Double-check that they wrap your item in either reusable, 100% recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
If you’re ready to elevate your at-home aesthetic, here are our favorite nap dresses.
Christy Dawn’s designs are known for being made out of deadstock fabric leftover from major fashion houses and would otherwise end up in a landfill. In partnership with Oshadi Collective, it has introduced its Organic Cotton Collection — perfect for a quick shut-eye on the couch. Each piece is made with organic cotton and colored using natural or organic dyes. In 2019, Christy Dawn also worked with Oshadi Collective to plant cotton seeds on a regenerative farm in Southern India. Since May, customers can check out how those seeds grew into a collection of dresses. All of Christy Dawn’s designs are ethically made in Los Angeles by a team of talented seamstresses who are paid a living wage and health benefits. Christy Dawn’s Elodie Dress comes with an adjustable waist tie in the back for easy comfort.
A sustainable fashion pioneer, People Tree has been partnering with Fair Trade producers, garment workers, artisans, and farmers in the developing world to produce ethical and eco-fashion collections since 1991. Its Darika Stripe Dress comes in a soft and comfortable 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.
Amour Vert (which means ‘green love’ in French) creates clothing made from low-impact fabrics like organic cotton, TENCEL, OEKO-TEX-certified silk, ethical wool, and more. Most of its products are made transparently in California in limited quantities to reduce waste. Its Kelia Dream Rib Dress is made out of a silky-smooth Tencel modal fiber that is perfect for lounging.
Thought’s pieces are made from natural, sustainable yarns that use less water, fewer pesticides, and create less CO2, such as bamboo rayon, hemp, Tencel, and organic cotton. It also upcycles its leftover fabric at the source to reduce waste and create new products. Its Camilo Dress is made out of organic cotton and is stretchy and comfortable.
Founded in 2014, Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand that designs modern and easy elegant clothing out of locally sourced, upcycled, and low-impact materials and dyes. All of its clothing is made within a few miles from its office, meaning it can visit its factories weekly to ensure fair wages. Whimsy + Row recycles every scrap of material in its production process into clothing, bandanas, and scrunchies. Its mailers are made from 50% post-consumer waste and designed for you to reuse, while its boxes contain 95% post-consumer content and are manufactured in the US. Whimsy + Row’s Mila Dress is a buttery-soft bodycon made out of modal.
Founded in 2015, Kotn creates beautiful basics from its own authentic Egyptian cotton, which is fine, soft, and breathable. Its Longsleeve Dress is made out of a slim-fitting, stretchy micro-rib cotton. Kotn works with cotton farming families in Egypt as a way to rebuild the industry from the inside. Since its start, Kotn has built and operated seven new schools in rural areas of Egypt without access to education.
Tradlands, which got its start focusing exclusively on button-downs, is a high-quality women’s essentials brand inspired by classic menswear. The brand’s Augusta Floral Dress is made out of 100% cotton. Its pieces are comfortable yet timeless, with an emphasis on fit, detail, and quality. Tradlands uses sustainably produced materials and minimizes waste as much as it possibly can. It also values the welfare of its craftsmen and women all over the world.
Founded in 2013, Hackwith Design House creates versatile and sustainable clothing. Everything is made in America at its in-house Minnesota studio. The brand’s Gathered Midi Dress has a drape, loose-fit design that hits below the knee for comfort. To reduce waste, the majority of its items are not made until ordered by you.
Emerson Fry creates clothing using organic cotton, hemp, linen and Tencel with low-impact and plant-based dyes. Its designs are made either in limited production runs or made-to-order. Emerson Fry’s Cozy Midi Dress is made out of Tencel and organic cotton french terry, and it’s one of EcoCult’s founder, Alden Wicker, loungewear favorites!
Kowtow’s collections are made from organic, renewable, and biodegradable fibers. Its collections take about 18 months from design to delivery, supporting fair wages, workers’ rights and gender equality. Kowtow’s Sculptured Dress is made from 100% Fairtrade organic cotton poplin and crafted with a stylish, curved sleeve design.
Founded in 2006, bassike designs luxury, everyday pieces with ethically sourced fabric and responsibly sourced materials. Its zero-waste, GOTS-certified organic cotton jersey is locally produced in a solar-powered garment factory in Australia. The brand has achieved to use 97% of its purchased jersey fabric to make its garments. Its remainder is donated to local mechanics for rags or held for future production. To minimize waste, bassike also donates its past-season samples to an Australian company that turns them into cleaning rags or donates its excess fashion fabric to a local university for students to use. The brand’s packaging is 100% recyclable and biodegradable, made from recycled paper and cardboard. bassike offers an oversized fit shirt dress made from Italian organic cotton that is comfortable yet functional with two side pockets.
Faith-driven Gracemade creates timeless and modest designs in Los Angeles from deadstock and natural materials. Its Tabatha Dress is a stylish, reversible dress that goes from being a v-neck to a flattering boatneck when flipped around. This dress is made out of 100% Tencel.
Two Days Off is a lifestyle brand that creates easy, everyday designs that are cut and sewn in small batches in Los Angeles. It locally sources its deadstock fabrics in LA and its virgin linen textiles for its core collection from suppliers in North America. The brand’s Mizue dress is a comfy-chic turtleneck dress made from Lenzing’s EcoVero viscose. All of its products ship plastic-free. Its packaging is reusable and 100% recyclable, and biodegradable.
Inspired by the freedom of living with less, OZMA’s designs are built for longevity, ease of wear, and adaptability. It uses Silk Noil (raw silk), Silk Noil Jersey (for a more vintage feel), linen, organic cotton, and hemp for its designs. The Amari Dress is perfect for winter snuggles; it’s made out of 60% baby alpaca and 40% merino wool.
Nicholas K creates timeless designs that are made in a socially and environmentally responsible way. It chooses natural and renewable materials over synthetic alternatives. The brand does not use fur and uses eco-friendly, low-impact certified dyes. The Finn Dress is made out of a cotton flannel plaid that can be worn open or buckled at the front for a fitted look.