10 Best Sustainable Wedding Dress Ideas to Find Your Perfect Match

Danielle Alvarado

March 25, 2021

*This post may contain affiliate links

sustainable wedding dresses
  • Save

Are you looking for some sustainable wedding dress ideas, shops, or inspirations? We have compiled a gorgeous list of sustainable and ethical ways to find your perfect sustainable wedding dress!

This post is all about Sustainable Wedding Dresses.

sustainable wedding dresses
  • Save

Being a sustainable bride goes beyond just choosing a sustainable wedding dress – but it’s likely going to be one of the first steps you’ll take once you start planning your sustainable special day. It’s also one of the most memorable experiences!

Lucky for you, there are more sustainable wedding dress options than you might have thought, and you’ll surely find one that works for you today.  No matter what your budget or style is, one of these options will absolutely work for you!

This post is about sustainable wedding dress ideas, shops, and inspirations for your special day.

This post is about sustainable wedding dress ideas, shops, and inspirations for your special day.

1. Wear What You Already Own

simple wedding dress
  • Save

This option is one of the most looked over options on the list, and I am happy to announce, the option that I personally took for my own wedding! My sustainable wedding dress was not planned to be from my own closet and it was completely last minute, but it worked out beautifully. 

The dress is a 3 year old linen dress that I have worn several times throughout the years – but not too many times as it is bright white and I have two very little boys who are always playing in the dirt. When my husband and I received the appointment for our wedding date (we decided to wed very last minute because we felt it was just “time”), I reached for that dress without a second thought.

The shoes were gifted to me from a favourite shoe brand, Bhava Studio (I’ll link the shoes here) and they made the entire outfit come together like perfection. A bit of a vintage look to them! My jacket is my normal day to day jacket that I ordered secondhand from Vestiaire Collective, and the one item I purchased new was the white scarf from a local seller. 

I have never felt more beautiful in my life than in this simple wedding dress. It was a magical day.

2. Rent The Dress!

As minimalism becomes more popular, more brides embrace the idea of renting a dress. After all, it’s a garment you’ll only wear once – why buy it when you can rent?

Thanks to dress rentals becoming more common, you’ll also likely have much more choice than if you were to, for example, buy a dress from a sustainable label or boutique. Rental dresses have the longest lifespans and are usually mended rather than thrown away when they break, which further extends the number of times they’ll be worn.

3. Share/Borrow From A Friend

If you have a friend in a similar size to yours (or multiple such friends), why don’t you buy the dress together to both wear on your special days? This cuts the footprint of your dress by exactly one half – as well as your budget.

This may not be a very common practice, but it can help a lot if you’ve found that dream dress which doesn’t come from a very sustainable label. A few of our sustainable friends on Instagram got together and purchased one dress together in a size 14 and shared the dress – it was amazing!!

4. Alter A Hand-Me-Down

If your mother has kept her wedding dress for you to wear one day, you’re in luck. Taking this dress to the tailor shop and getting it altered to fit your personal style is as easy as sustainable wedding dresses get.

You could entirely change up the silhouette, or just make fit alterations – that’s up to you!

Hand Me Down dresses have SO much life left to give and we encourage all of our brides to think outside the box on this one. Even the puffiest dress out there can have a hidden gem inside.

5. Stop searching for a "wedding dress", and instead, search for a SPECIAL dress that can live a full life in your closet!

This can go hand in hand with number one, but instead of wearing something you already have, you are now shopping for a very special dress that you can wear over and over again – for all of the things. 

I personally find white linen dresses to be extremely versatile (see my personal selections below), but this dress does not have to be white. I can be a beautiful ivory, delicate floral, or super bright and colourful. The gorgeous Valeria of WaterThruSkin wore a gorgeous and BOLD Brazilian dress by Farm Rio. Couldn’t have loved that wedding dress and ceremony more!

6. Find It Secondhand

If you buy your sustainable wedding dress second hand, you’ll have more choice than with hand-me-downs – with the same benefits. Long gone are the times when your only options were cheaply made garments shoved into the corner of a thrift store!

Browse online, where you can find a wide variety of options, or search for any second-hand stores specialising in wedding dresses in your area. A few of our favourites listed below:

7. Shop from sustainable brands and boutiques

Some brands specialise in creating wedding dresses sustainably, with a decreased environmental impact and without ethical dangers in the supply chain. Some brands you can find online include Grace Loves Lace,  Wear Your LoveIndie Bride London or The Cotton Bride. You may also find wedding dresses from broader sustainable brands such as Christy Dawn or Reformation.

You may also want to look around in your area for sustainable wedding dress boutiques.

8. Have one made by a local tailor shop

If you have a little more money to spend, you could have your dream wedding dress made at a local tailor shop. If you choose this option, you also have more control over the fabrics being used and their environmental impact.

Additionally, having a garment made to measure, based on your taste, also ensures that the dress you end up with will truly be exactly what you dreamed of! To save money, you can find fabrics secondhand for the tailor to create with.

9. Make one yourself

This certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you’re skilled with a sewing machine and don’t want to pay for having a custom dress made, why not make one yourself? This cuts your budget substantially in contrast to having it made by a tailor.

Granted, you need advanced sewing skills to make this happen – or a friend skilled at sewing willing to help out – but it can be a super rewarding process!

10. Just buy local

If none of the previous options are available to you – or simply don’t sound like an appealing option for you – you can simply take the step of buying the dress locally, to reduce the carbon footprint of having it shipped across half the world. 

This post was all about Sustainable Wedding Dresses and where to find them!

Hopefully you’ve been able to find the perfect match with our help! Looking for more sustainable fashion help? Check out our links below:

sustainable wedding dresses
  • Save

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

  1. Sandra Ans says:

    I really like the idea to have a wedding dress made by a local tailor shop or bought on Etsy. One more interesting idea is to have a wedding dress, that you can later remake and use as an evening dress or for some party. You can cut it also into 2 parts and use it separately as a skirt and blouse. That’s what I think, I would like to do! 🙂

    • That is a brilliant idea, Sandra!! I purchased a wedding dress off of Etsy about 6 years ago but the wedding never happened (thank goodness haha) and I will be getting it “updated” for our current wedding. The dress is just stunning and very vintage looking – I could ABSOLUTELY have them turn it into a skirt and top – I’m going to go see about this!

  2. Jericka A says:

    I love the idea of having a wedding dress made on Etsy. I honestly never thought of doing that until your post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

A full guide to sustainable fashion and how to build the conscious wardrobes of your dreams - starting with assessing what you already own and your consumer choices thus far. This is the real deal!

Free E-book: Beginners Guide to Sustainable Fashion

Better than free cake!

Are you on a mission to find the most affordable linen dresses for spring and summer? 100% linen clothes made in Europe and the USA might be known for their hefty price tag, however, our ethical linen dress list below is filled with pretty attainable options (that are, of course, sustainable!).

27 Best Sustainable Affordable Linen Dresses Women Love in 2022

SKL's Most Popular Blog Posts of 2022

13 of the Best Barefoot Sandals for Healthy Feet

Are you on the hunt for sustainable makeup that works just as well (and even better) than it’s unsustainable counterparts? Look no further, we have rounded up 15 of the best sustainable makeup brands who use non-toxic, natural, organic, and fair trade ingredients!

15 Best Sustainable Makeup Brands For A Non Toxic & Clean Beauty Routine

Barefoot sandals are worn by every member of the SKL team for good reason: barefoot sandals keep our feet healthy, closer to nature, and ready for any adventure that awaits us. Check out our full guide to choosing the best barefoot sandal for your feet!

Looking for the perfect pair or eco-friendly jeans for your ethical closet? Check out our top picks for sustainable jeans brands!

best sustainable jeans brands
Check It Out!

All Sustainably Kind Living Blog Posts

Looking for the best sun protection clothing for women to love this summer? Check out our full list featuring 9 of the best brands on the market!

best sun protection clothing
Check It Out!

Sustainable Fashion

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap