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If you’re an environmentally conscious couple you may be aware of the massive impact weddings can have on the natural world. You may have opted for a non-traditional wedding to reduce the amount of waste and the carbon footprint of your day, but have you considered looking for sustainable wedding dresses and suits?
Producing new garments that will only be worn once out of unsustainable materials can be harmful to our amazing planet. So here are my suggestions and recommendations for the best places to buy your sustainable wedding dress or suit and still look amazing!
Stylish & Sustainable Wedding Dress Options
The majority of people will only wear their wedding dress once, and sometimes not even for the whole day! You want to look and feel great, but why not give a little back to the environment by choosing one of these sustainable and eco-friendly options?
One option is to consider renting your wedding outfits. It’s cheaper than buying and you won’t be contributing to the construction of a brand new garment, which may not be made from sustainable materials! If you do want to buy your outfit, here are some examples of more sustainable wedding dress picks.
Sustainable, Recycled & Upcycled Materials
Wedding dresses can be made from a whole range of different materials. Produced in a variety of ways that all have a different impact on the environment. Materials that contain plastic like polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide can have an impact through their production, but also through shedding micro-plastics. When the dress comes to the end of it’s life, the material is unlikely to break down.
Whereas natural materials like cotton can be extremely water intensive to grow, and unless organic can be grown using huge amounts of pesticides. Sometimes these materials can also have a high carbon footprint through their supply chain. Crops can be grown in one country, flown to another to be made into fabric and then shipped to a final destination to be made into the product.
When looking to buy a sustainable wedding dress make sure you ask what material it is made out of, and where it’s been made, or you can take a look at some of the different options below.
Hemp Silk Wedding dress
This hemp silk wedding dress on Etsy is a great example of a wedding designer using non-traditional fabrics to create sustainable solutions. Hemp grows more sustainably than traditional materials, without the need for pesticides, and it’s biodegradable too. You can upload your measurements and have the dress custom-made for you, just like they would in a bridal boutique!
Price – $2,134.32 US Dollars Shop now
Organic Cotton Wedding Dress
Another great wedding designer on Etsy is Sister Organics. All their wedding dresses are made from organic cotton, so you know that they’ve been producing pesticide free. Made by designer Natalie they have a great range of fun and carefree options that are perfect for brides wanting something outside the box. They also have some awesome two pice bridal wear sets perfect for adventure brides looking for a different elopement look.
Price – $200-$700 US Dollars – Shop Now
Wedding Dress Made From Repurposed Materials
Reclaimed, repurposed or dead fabrics are a great option for brides looking for a sustainable option whilst also wanting to go for a traditional fabric. These are fabrics that would otherwise be going to waste. Whether it’s offcuts from other larger projects, dresses that are unused, or material that is no longer able to be sold to other retailers.
One great designer that uses dead stock is Christy Dawn. She also uses other sustainable fabrics including organic cotton, regenerative cotton and regenerative silk-cotton allowing you to filter your search by the type of material. Opening a regenerative farm in India to grow cotton for the pieces. If you’re looking for something less ‘bridal’ for your wedding, this could be a good place to try!
Price – $600-$2400 US Dollars – Shop Now
Etsy designer Kimmi creates an alternative, whimsical and often retro designs using fabric that she’s collected over the years, giving a new life to old fabrics. Her dresses are one of a kind pieces, perfect for brides looking for a look that’s sustainable and completely unique.
Price – $300-$800 US Dollars – Shop Now
Viscose Wedding Dresses
Viscose, also known as Rayon, is a man-made cellulosic fiber made from wood pulp. Reformation use this fabric for the majority of their lines and I absolutely love these styles. They also ensure that the wood pulp is sourced from sustainably managed forests and share the breakdown of the impact of each dress – right along-side the product details and fit, making it easy for brides to make an informed decision.
Price – $300-$500 – Shop Now
Wedding Dresses Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles
Rolling in Roses describe themselves as “carefree gowns for off the beaten path brides” providing environmentally friendly wedding dresses in a range of stunning designs that would be perfect for any elopement. Offering three different ranges using different materials including organic cotton, satin and often use recycled fabrics. I absolutely love the design of this dress “The Nightinggale” made from recycled plastic bottles.
Find their stockists here.
Second Hand Takes First Place
If you don’t want to rent but you’d like to pick up a ready-made sustainable wedding dress, consider buying something pre-loved or vintage. As I mentioned earlier, most people wear their wedding dress for a single day (and sometimes not even the whole day!) so if you buy second hand, chances are it’s probably in top condition anyway. And if you are planning on adventuring in your dress, you’ll be less concerned about damaging it.
Etsy is a good place to look for pre-owned wedding dresses, like the example below in which the seller mentions she only wore the dress for 6 hours! You can also try eBay, and you can find some fabulous designer options for a real bargain price. A good dry-clean and you’ll be good to go.
There are also some great pre-worn dresses on Nearly Newlywed, like these designer brand ones I’ve picked out here. You can also find Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera and many others at brilliant prices.
Websites such as Nearly Newlywed also stock lots of ex-sample pieces, which is a wonderful way to purchase a sustainable wedding dress because you’re not contributing to new garments being made. It also stops them from being thrown away and damaging the environment by sitting in landfill! The best part? You can find some really stunning designer brands at amazing prices on there, like these ones below.
You’ll also find a range of sample, pre-owned, worn-once and never-worn wedding outfits on Still White. If you’re thinking less sustainable wedding dress, more sustainable wedding JUMPSUIT, here are some of my favorites. Sometimes items pop up on here that have never been worn and the owner changed their mind, just like the middle jumpsuit below!
Sustainable Wedding Suits
Grooms and Groomsmen have been able to hire their outfits for a longtime and it isn’t as unheard of as it might be for brides to hire their wedding dresses. Hiring suits can be a great way to limit the impact if it’s the sort of look that you are only going to want to wear for your wedding.
You can find places to hire suits from most tailors, as well as brands like Yardsmen and Moss Bros. If you’re looking to minimise your impact then the best option is to find somewhere to hire that’s local to you. Which reduces the travel emissions of the garment and you’ll know that the money you spend is going towards a local business.
It’s also possible to get wedding suits that are kinder to the environment. Reduce your impact by buying ex-hire or pre-owned suits from the likes of eBay and Etsy. If you are looking to get a new suit, go for one that you are likely to want to wear again, and think about the materials that it’s made from.
Whilst sustainable suits are still few and far between, and can be hard to find, I’ve made a list of a few great options which cover a range of materials, styles and budgets. Here are a few options:
Men’s Suits Made From Recycled Materials
Moss Bros started leading the way launching their range of eco-suits made from a mixture of wool and recycled polyester. With a range of different styles you are sure to find something you like.
Price – $500 – Shop Now
A new brand to watch out for in ethical men’s wear is Tranzend – priding themselves on being functional as well as ethical they describe their suits as the first “waterproof, anti-odour, ultra-stretchable, wrinkle-free, highly breathable and UV protected two-piece suit”. Making the perfect suit to hit the trails or wear on the slopes. Alongside their functionality they also have a slick modern style and are made from a mixture of recycled coffee grounds and plastic bottles.
Price – $570 – Shop Now
Men’s Suits Made From Hemp
There are a range of sustainable suit options on Etsy in a number of different fabrics and styles. Including suits made from hemp by DeIONESCU. Made from 100% hemp their suits are a great option for couples looking to avoid plastic based fabrics in their clothing.
Price – $400-$500 for a jacket – Shop Now
Men’s Suits Made From Bamboo
Another great upcoming natural fabric is bamboo. Bamboo is also a vegan option and can be much less impactful to grow than cotton. If you are UK based and looking for a bamboo suit King&Allen have a great range of styles that they tailor for you. For US based couples Brave Gentleman have a similar offering of suits that are also on an order to fit basis.
Price – King&Allen $955 Brave Gentleman $2500
A Casual Look for your Elopement
As well as suits if you’re looking for a more dressed down look for your elopement (or for the adventure part of it). You might want to consider kitting yourself out in the functional and stylish gear from Brothers We Stand. Committed to producing sustainable pieces that are durable Brothers We Stand make it easy for the customer to find out about the sustainability. Each product shows you more information about the fabric, and how the piece was made. I love their shits and chinos for a look thats smart casual whilst still being practical in the mountains.
Gender-Neutral Sustainable Wedding Suits
Although the range of sustainable men’s suits is limited, there are an increasing number of brands stepping away from gender norms and incorporating sustainability as they do it.
Wildfang create looks that are fresh and unique. Making outfits that are practical – read pockets that you can actually put things in – as well as designed to make you look and feel incredible. They also have several commitments at the core of their business including: inclusivity, sustainability and giving back. The brand is on track to go climate neutral in 2022.
Price Range: $300-$400 – Shop Now
You can find more gender-neutral wedding wear here.
For more tips on having a more sustainable wedding, read my blog about ‘Leaving No Trace’. There are lots of tips in there to help you have an amazing day whilst reducing your impact on the planet we love to explore!
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