4 Royalty-Approved Ways to Wear Flat Sandals This Summer

We love Mother Earth and fashion. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, which is why for Earth Day, 100% of the products featured in editorial stories published today will be eco-friendly.


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It's tempting to frantically find a fast-fashion version of whatever Meghan Markle or other royals are wearing—yes, we're guilty too—but emulating their style doesn't have to come at the expense of the environment. In honor of Earth Day, every single royal-inspired item I chose below boasts one or more sustainable elements (think recycled, renewable, and/or biodegradable materials, or reduced water usage and waste in the production cycle).

Another element of sustainability is working toward achieving a circular fashion system. The industry's current linear model is "take, make, dispose, [which results in] 73% of the world’s clothing eventually ending in landfills or being incinerated," per the Global Fashion Agenda, a Copenhagen-based nonprofit that aims to make sustainability fashionable and provide direction to industry leaders. Simple solutions to this massive problem include reselling or donating your clothes instead of disposing of them, and buying items made with recycled or repurposed materials.

Scroll down to shop outfits inspired by Meghan Markle, Queen Letizia, and Princess Charlene using brands committed to sustainability in their own unique ways.

1. Striped Midi Dress + Oversized Sunglasses


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On Meghan Markle: Reformation dress; Sarah Flint shoes; Karen Walker sunglasses

Stella McCartney is unquestionably the leader in sustainable designer clothing, and these sunglasses are no exception. "The new eyewear collection is made without the use of these fossil fuels, replacing harmful diethyl phthalate—derived from petroleum—with innovative bio-acetate," the brand explains on its website. "Made from responsibly harvested wood pulp, this is a natural, renewable, and biodegradable alternative that's better for our ecosystem and the environment."

On its website, Reformation notes that this dress saves 784 gallons of water, 13 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 1.2 pounds of waste compared to most clothing bought in the U.S. Learn more about Reformation's sustainable practices here.

These vegan leather sandals are the perfect choice if you're aiming to reduce your use of real animal leather.

2. White Dress + Summer Bag


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On Queen Letizia: Adolfo Dominguez dress; Uterqüe sandals

Christy Dawn crafts handmade items in Los Angeles using dead-stock fabric left over from larger fashion brands. "By using dead-stock fabric, we save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually and keep the planet clean," the brand explains on its website.

Alienina's handmade bags are crafted in Italy using recycled materials, including sailing ropes and cotton wicks.

Cesta Collective bags are woven by female artisans earning fair living wages in Rwanda. The bags are made with organic vegetable dyes and locally sourced sisal, a biodegradable and renewable resource.

Ancient Greek Sandals has banned the use of chemicals in the production of its handmade shoes. Fun fact: Emma Watson named the brand one of her 10 favorite sustainable labels

3. Floral Maxi Dress + Delicate Jewelry


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On Princess Charlene of Monaco: Roberto Cavalli dress

Los Angeles brand Dôen uses 100% recyclable packaging and is committing to eliminating waste in its production cycle. 

"Wolf Circus uses either recycled sterling silver or recycled bronze that is coated in a high-grade 14k gold plating," the brand explains on its website. "We're adamant about ensuring our collection is both well-made and well-priced, and like to think of ourselves as an attainable luxury."

Emily Levine repurposes antique saris she finds in India to bring new life to the one-of-a-kind fabrics. Upcycling promotes a circular fashion system, which is crucial to making the industry more sustainable. 

Stella McCartney never uses real fur or leather and is committed to eco-friendly and cruelty-free designs. 

4. Button-Up Shirt + Skinny Jeans


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On Meghan Markle: J.Crew shirt, shoes, and hat

Everlane is disrupting the fast-fashion model by offering high-quality pieces made in ethical factories that are designed to stay in your closet for years.

These vintage Levi's jeans were recycled by Copenhagen-based brand Designers Remix, which is one of the many brands participating in the Global Fashion Agenda's circular fashion commitment.

Reformation explains that these jeans provide 577 gallons of water savings compared with most clothes bought in the U.S.

Ancient Greek Sandals does not use chemicals in the production of its handmade shoes, which boast all-natural materials.

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