Breezy, Sustainable Linen Clothes, Bedding, and More

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Cool choices for hot days and nights

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Linen — that lovely, featherweight, fabric that comes from flax plants and was beloved by everyone from Cleopatra to, well, me — has a lot going for it. It feels wonderful and lasts for ages. It’s also one of the most sustainable fabrics on the planet. Under ideal conditions, as in northwestern Europe, flax plants need only rainwater to thrive and don’t require fertilizers or pesticides, and nearly the entire plant gets used. Seventy percent or more of the world’s flax is grown in the European Union.

Leonardo Dicaprio, in the role of Jay Gatsby in the 2013 Warner Bros. film adaptation of the book, wears a pale pink striped linen suit while staring pensively in the middle of a grand room.
The Great Gatsby (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2013) proves that linen suits all occasions.
(Warner Bros. / Cinematic / Alamy Stock Photo)

Linen also just feels wonderful. It doesn't cling to the body, and provides a relaxed feel and silhouette. The fiber is breathable, hypoallergenic, and antibacterial, so it won’t hold onto funky odors. While these qualities make it the perfect fabric for hot days, linen — like silk and wool — has natural insulating properties that help keep you cool when it’s warm out, and warm when it’s cool out. Items made from quality linen can last for many years when cared for properly (more below), and linen clothes and bedding will only get softer with time. 

The dreamy textile has only one real potential downfall, summarized neatly by our own editorial director, Leslie Garrett: “I love it. But I don’t love ironing.” As for me, I say go ahead and embrace the naturally crinkly look of linen. The world’s not perfect and our shirts needn’t be either. Then again, if you find ironing soothing, then by all means: enjoy! 

Happy spring and happy shopping! 

– Elizabeth Weinstein, Marketplace Editor

Laid-Back Linen for Spring and Summer

A woman with her hair pulled back wears a white, sleeveless linen blouse with a knot tied in front of the stomach and grey linen pants. She has her hands tucked in the pockets.

Timeless Linen Styles

I wore Eileen Fisher linens during a nine-month-long backpacking trip across the world in 2018; last summer, I wore one of the same shirts to a fancy dinner in Montauk. Doesn’t that say it all? Other Bluedotters have also been wearing Eileen Fisher for years. One said she’d wear anything the company sells. The company uses a “circular by design” philosophy — designing “with the future in mind” — sustainable fabrics, fair working conditions, and high-quality manufacturing to ensure a long life. 

A relaxed-looking man smiles, wearing a pair of khaki trousers and a cream-colored linen button-up shirt from Tommy Bahama.

Island Vibes for All

It’s easy to relax in Tommy Bahama’s beloved linen clothing when you know that the brand has been doing good work to improve fabric sourcing, reduce waste, save water, and streamline packaging. In fact, they makes clothes that are so wearable, comfortable, and flattering, it’s almost impossible not to like them. When we decided to check out the company's sustainability programs, we were pleasantly surprised.

Everything in Linen

If you’d like to dress your home, as well as yourself, in linen, look to Made Trade for gorgeous bedding, pillows, table linens, apparel, and more. We love the thoughtful, attractive assortment of goods in Made Trade’s ethical online marketplace. This family-run business sells wares for home and closet from brands that use sustainable materials and employ good labor practices. Save 10% off your order with code BLUEDOT10.

Breezy Separates

Brooklyn-based Neu Nomads prioritizes sustainability across all aspects of sourcing and production. Look for linen suiting, dresses, shorts, shirts, and a few amazing final-sale scores. Started by two women and fashion industry veterans, the brand brings an “ethics first” approach and commitment to traceability. They go deep on every angle, from sourcing sustainable materials to their good labor practices and recyclable, biodegradable packaging. And, we love their clothing, especially the separates.

A man in a navy linen sports jacket and matching shorts with a cream-colored tee shirt under his blazer.

A Linen Capsule Collection

Apparel company Everlane has garnered a quiet reputation for timeless, well-made, affordable staples, and has made a name for itself with a model of “radical transparency.” The brand shares production costs for all items as well as many materials and manufacturing details. Their linen collections for men and women, like their other clothes, defy trends in favor of comfort and clean lines.

A red-headed woman shown from the knees up wears a matching beige linen shorts and vest, with a green checkered linen kerchief around her neck, and smiles at the camera. She stands in front of a brown photo background and wears linen clothes made to order from Lithuanian brand Menique.

Clothes Made to Order

Lithuanian brand Menique proves that high style and low waste can co-exist. The company’s beautiful linen clothes for women are all made, cut, and sewn to order. They also design comfortable, colorful, garments for the whole family using organic merino wool, including life-proof merino base layers, athletic and loungewear, and undergarments. We love their anti-fast-fashion stance. Save 10% with code BLUEDOTLIVING.

A bed with clay-colored Coyuchi bedspread and pillows and cream-colored sheets in a room with a minimalist room with a potted tree, small wooden side table, and shiplap panelling on the walls.

Organic Linen Bedding

Coyuchi has a reputation for relaxed, California-cool bedding. Even from among its own collections, nothing meets the brief quite like the casual luxury of their organic, Belgian-grown bed linens. Bluedot’s publisher Victoria Riskin is a big fan of the brand. She has tried, loved, and gifted many Coyuchi items, from bedding and baby blankets to towels and robes. The verdict: “Winner, winner!” Like Bluedot, Coyuchi is a member of 1% for the Planet.

 

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Elizabeth Weinstein
Elizabeth Weinstein
Elizabeth Weinstein, Bluedot’s Marketplace Editor, lives in Manhattan with her husband; papillon Finley; and cats SanDeE* and Modell. When she’s not asking the folks at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom to try on their most sustainable sneakers in a size 9½, she can be found at the Union Square Greenmarket or gardening on her rooftop terrace.
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