With more people than ever choosing to shop sustainably, it’s no wonder the eco-friendly wedding market is growing fast.
The sustainable design philosophy that is making its mark on the world of fashion has also entered the realm of bridal wear. What’s more, there’s now an increasing number of ways you can get your hands on a gorgeous gown that won’t cost the earth (or do any damage to it!)
If being kind to the environment is high on your agenda, you’ll want to read my favourite 5 ways to find a sustainable wedding dress.
Get the vintage vibe
Be it 1920’s flapper style beading and fringing, fifties ball gown skirts, seventies floaty sleeves or even the flirty silhouettes synonymous of the eighties, a vintage gown is the perfect answer to a sustainable wedding dress. Choosing a vintage wedding dress is breathing new life into a garment that has already been made and cherished, so you’re extending the life of the garment. And, don’t think you have to wear the dress exactly as it is; vintage boutiques such as Heartfelt Vintage in Bristol offer an in house alteration service so a dress can be altered any way you choose. You also don’t have to let vintage dominate your theme – a vintage wedding dress can be successfully mixed into a more contemporary wedding for a more subtle effect.
Find the perfect pre-loved dress
There are now so many second-hand wedding dress shops we’re spoilt for choice. Ranging from specialist sections in charity shops (try the first floor of the St Peters Hospice shop in Westbury on Trym) to purpose built boutiques such as La Boutique in Exeter. La Boutique is particularly amazing because, not only do they sell pre-loved dresses, but all profits go to The Wishing Well Foundation – a charity which organises & funds weddings for people around the U.K with a life limiting or terminal illness. By buying your wedding dress from them you could be helping another bride obtain hers.
Go bespoke with an Eco Designer
You may have seen Linda Thomas on the TV lately as her work builds momentum. A fantastic eco fashion designer based in Bristol, she collects luxury fabrics such as silks and cashmeres from a number of ethical sources and then reworks them into gorgeous, one off designer pieces. Even her thread is organic and each piece is made with love and is helping to save the planet.
Rent a dress!
If you’ve ever thought it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on a dress you’re likely to only wear for one day of your life, renting a wedding dress might be the right choice for you. Not only is renting a cheaper way to secure the dress of your dreams but it’s kind to the planet too, one dress can be worn time and time again. Try companies such as Girl Meets Dress or Wish Want Wear for a range of styles and colours. Most companies will allow you to order a variety of dresses to try at home before you pick “the one”.
Buy from a sustainable company
Brands such as Minna or Sister Organic think environmental issues are of upmost importance. Their dresses are hand crafted and hand embellished using high quality, certified organic and fair trade fabrics. They use environmentally friendly production techniques too, including local manufacturing and zero waste pattern cutting techniques for every garment.
So, if you’re looking into ways to minimise the impact on the environment, an eco wedding dress is the perfect place to start.
This article is part of a series written for Leigh Court by Becky Barnes, a Bristol based style coach. You can find out more about Becky at www.beckybarnesstyle.com