Say Yes to an Eco-friendly Wedding Dress
One way to honor the planet and your values on your wedding day is by choosing an eco-friendly wedding dress. Learn more about sustainable wedding dresses and where to find one for your special day.
If you’re an eco-conscious bride-to-be in search of a wedding dress that aligns with your sustainable and ethical views, this article will assist you in finding the dress you have been dreaming of wearing.
Did you know that a wedding can produce an average of 400-600 lbs of waste? While it isn’t possible to throw a completely zero-waste event, you can reduce your wedding’s eco-footprint by wearing an eco-friendly dress. When shopping for wedding dresses, whether you decide to rent a wedding dress or buy one, there are many places where you can get beautiful sustainable wedding dresses.
Here are some earth-friendly wedding dress ideas to consider when planning your big day.
Something Old (Or at least, Pre-Owned)
One way to be eco-friendly with your choice of wedding dress is by purchasing a pre-loved or gently used gown. If you’re in the market for a pre-owned wedding dress, here is a list of places you can look at.
StillWhite is the largest global wedding dress marketplace for preowned, used, and second-hand dresses. You can find over 68,634 wedding dresses for sale. Buying something second-hand is no different than buying something brand new. At a discount, you can find popular and expensive brands like Grace Loves Lace and Vera Wang and have money left for alterations or design tweaks. The company is about sustainability because 1% of its revenue contributes to carbon removal. When you re-wear a fashion item, you give it a longer life and reduce its carbon footprint. If you want to help fashion brands and designers to go green, you should join StillWhite!
Borrowing Magnolia is a listing service website that wants you to feel extraordinary on your big day! It helps brides find their dream wedding dress while going green for a fraction of the cost. They advertise that “they have been giving women a more sustainable wedding dress option since 2014,” thus reducing the overall carbon footprint. How does one save the planet? When more than one person uses a product, you can reduce the overall carbon footprint. It’s a place where you can buy and sell your wedding dress.
Preowned Wedding Dresses
Another listing service, Pre-owned Wedding Dresses, advertises that they are “the largest online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of the new, sample, and used wedding dresses.” They have been operating since 2004 and have a vast selection of used wedding dresses and bridal party gowns.
Buying new might be your preference, and you can still do this while being eco-conscious. There are a few key things to remember when shopping for an eco-friendly wedding dress. First, look for dresses made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp. These fabrics are better for the environment and will likely be more comfortable to wear than traditional wedding dress materials.
Second, look for wedding dress designers or brands that use eco-friendly practices. This could include using sustainable dyes and fabrics, or working with fair trade suppliers. How your wedding dress is manufactured matters, so it’s important to take note. Business practices such as equitable working conditions, local sourcing to reduce excess material ending up in a landfill, and recycling of materials all contribute to a better environment. If the packaging for your wedding dress is FSC-certified, that is even better!
Finally, don’t forget to ask about the return policy for your eco-friendly wedding dress. Many eco-friendly businesses have generous return policies, so you can feel good about your purchase even if you don’t wear the dress on your big day.
Eco-friendly Wedding Dress Designers
If you’re in or close to a larger city center, you may have access to a designer who produces ethical wedding dresses. These are a few designers that may interest you.
1. Whimsy + Row
Based in Los Angeles, Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand that has a love for quality goods and sustainable practices. They are committed to their mission by using natural fibers and reducing eco-footprint throughout the process: from making to delivering it. According to their website, they visit their factories weekly to ensure fair wages and fair treatment of their workers. You’ll also find details about the fabric used, e.g., vegan silk, for your sustainable wedding dress.
2. Deborah Linquist
Also based in Los Angeles, Deborah Lindquist has a mission to “create American-made, breathtaking eco-conscious designs that will deliver exquisite style and luxury to her clients while using the finest quality fabrics.” Deborah, known as the “Green Queen,” has designed for celebrities, including Pink, Rihanna, and Christina Aguilera. She has been featured in multiple shows and publications like LA Times, Lucky, WWD, Good Morning America, and more. Her designs use recycled/reincarnated, sustainable, deadstock (the leftover fabric that is rescued), vegan, and organic fabrics.
Reformation, a well-known sustainable storefront, launched its business in 2009 and has a factory in Los Angeles, with several stores across the US. Their collections are also unique because every week, they put out a few new products based on customer feedback. By doing this, the company reduces waste. Their mission is to “bring sustainable fashion to everyone.” Reformation also uses “low-impact materials, rescued deadstock fabrics, and repurposed vintage clothing” in their collection. Most of their wedding gowns are made with Eco Silk, certified clean.
4. Grace Loves Lace
Although Grace Loves Lace is headquartered in Australia, they’ve expanded the business to 18 showrooms across the United States over the past six years. They advertise that they “are committed to designing and producing luxurious and ethical wedding gowns that women feel confident and comfortable in; while keeping them at an accessible price point.” About 80% of their orders are made-to-order, meaning they never have excess stock. Their packaging is also FSC Certified. Their materials are sourced from Europe, Asia, America, and Australia for sustainable practices. They even made their GRS-certified eco-lace from 100% recycled material and are transitioning to recyclable satin.
5. Christy Dawn
Perhaps you don’t want a white dress but something more down-to-earth and casual. Christy Dawn might fit the bill for you! They operate with two teams, one in the United States (Venice, CA) and the other in India. They use “deadstock, organic cotton, as well as their own Farm-to-Closet regeneratively farmed cotton to create each of their designs.” You’ll appreciate their detailed descriptions of how their apparel is sourced.
Is there anything more nostalgic than borrowing a wedding dress from a cherished family member? Your mother’s wedding dress might need a refresh and some alterations, but this could be the perfect solution for you. If not your mother, then perhaps your sister, cousin, or another relative (or friend!) might have a wedding dress that you’ve fallen in love with.
If you don’t have a friend or relative to borrow from, you can rent your wedding dress instead. You’re likely only going to wear it once, why shell out all that money to buy new? If you have a smaller budget and want to save some money, you can “borrow” a dress for a much lower price than purchasing one.
Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway is at your service with wedding dresses for rent! Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, they focus on minimizing waste by sharing access. Your dry-cleaned wedding dress will arrive before your big day. Once your four to eight-day rental period is up, you return your wedding dress using the prepaid shipping label. Their website has several filters to help you find what you want at the price you can afford.
Say “I Do” to an Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress
Everyone knows that the fashion industry is one of the main contributors to global carbon emissions. It is also known to be the second worst in terms of water and plastic pollution. Society is made of consumers, and we all like to buy things. But we can all do better by making better choices. To make a better world in the future, we all need to start thinking about our decisions and how they can impact the environment.
When planning your special day, think of how you can support Mother Earth by being eco-conscious. When looking for that perfect wedding dress, keep sustainability at the forefront of your mind. After your wedding memories have been captured, you may want to recycle your wedding dress or resell it to another eco-friendly bride-to-be.