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Being a sustainable bride goes beyond 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.
There are more sustainable wedding dress options than you might have thought, and you’ll surely find one, no matter what your budget is, using one of these 10 approaches!
Table of contents
1. Rent a 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.
We love Rent The Runway for wedding dresses!
2. Share with 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.
3. 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.
4. Try upcycled wedding dresses
On a similar note to altering a hand-me-down, you could also wear an upcycled vintage dress on your special day!
You can occasionally find dresses that are already upcycled from some labels, or you could be a vintage wedding dress and take it to the tailor.
5. Search on Etsy
Did you know that you could find many gorgeous dresses made by small businesses on Etsy? Whether you’re going for a boho, minimalist or a vintage princess bridal look, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for on Etsy.
6. Buy it second hand
If you buy your 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.
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 Wear Your Love, Indie Bride 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
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.