This post was sponsored by Passion Lilie and contains affiliate links.
Sustainable Patterned Clothing
Try as I might, I can never begin a spring patterns post without first quoting Miranda Priestley in The Devil Wears Prada: “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.”
The quote is funny precisely because it gets at a universal truth: designers and consumers alike cannot resist festive prints and patterns as we slowly climb our way out of the darkness of winter. We want to dress like the blooming meadows and stroll to brunch in vintage polka dots.
In spring, we cosplay lightheartedness and joy.
Here in New Haven, we’re seeing hints of spring in early-budding flowers and lengthening days. Winter is still with us, but we’re starting to feel like baring a bit more skin and wearing brighter tones.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it feels like fashion in general is moving out of neutral minimalism to a brighter, more chaotic maximalism. I could have called it years ago; fashion is always cyclical.
But I am almost certain that the pandemic’s isolation and dreariness have made more people realize how nice it can be to stand out and to play with clothing. I’m happy for this turn-of-events, because I’ve always appreciated color. This season, I have an opportunity to reclaim what I love. And there are so many options for ethical and sustainable patterned clothing.
Spotlight: Passion Lilie
Passion Lilie’s spring collection is an expression of joy and inclusion, embodied through an exuberant diversity of patterns, colors, and styles. The collection includes cotton jersey and woven separates, dresses, and a few menswear pieces. Most items are available in sizes XS-2X.
The Sunshine Plaid Skirt is made with soft woven cotton, patterned in a patchwork of chambray, cream, gray, and yellow stripes. I love this piece because it’s an easy way to incorporate the quilt and patchwork trend in a more subtle, more timeless way.
Passion Lilie prioritizes ethical labor and traditional artisanship, with many items hand block-printed or woven using an ikat technique. In addition to being a member of the Fair Trade Federation, they use dyes that are organic, derived from plants, and free of toxic azo compounds. Passion Lilie is woman-owned and based in New Orleans, with most production taking place in Bangalore, Tirupur, and Hyderabad, India. You can learn more about production here.
Other Ethical and Sustainable Brands That Specialize in Prints & Patterns
A fair trade, woman-owned brand, Mata Traders releases seasonal collections of dresses, skirts, and other separates in beautiful block-printed patterns. Plus sizes available.
An ethical brand that focuses on eco-friendly textiles, Tamga Designs carries flowy dresses and separates in striking colors and prints.
A fair trade, zero waste brand, Tonle offers a full collection of clothing made with factory deadstock and overstock. Patterns are created using screenprinting, block-printing, and weaving techniques.
Fair trade with an emphasis on inclusive sizing, Symbology offers feminine silhouettes in soft, luxurious fabrics printed using block-printing techniques.
Ethically produced with eco-friendly fabrics, Thought offers an expansive line of clothing in a variety of patterns, prints, and color stories.
A high-end option, Mara Hoffman is committed to ethics and sustainability, and her clothing is as fun and bright as a sunny day.
Lisa Says Gah
With a focus on small designers and ethical production, Lisa Says Gah curates a collection of loud and vibrant dresses, separates, and accessories.
With a focus on ethics and sustainability, many of Kindom’s garments are upcycled or made with deadstock fabric.
Rothy’s uses recycled polyester and low-waste 3-D knitting processes to produce their line of bright and patterned shoes.
Secondhand Options: Check out Thredup and Etsy for vintage and secondhand. Search by specific print or color.
Related: Where to Find Ethical Spring Dresses
Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.
Monday 8th of March 2021
Great write-up! Enjoyed looking at the beautiful spring pieces from these brands
Wednesday 10th of March 2021
It really gets me in the mood for warmer days!