The wedding industry is one of the most unsustainable, unethical industries out there. It pressures people to spend thousands and thousands of dollars for just one single day. So much waste comes out of weddings from food waste, confetti/sparkles, plastic/single-use decor, flowers, oh and the wedding dress that you’ll only wear once.
I’m in the midst of planning my own wedding and I know how important it is to find the right dress and have everything feel perfect. However, I also know that it’s a party that will only last a few hours and I want to keep waste t a minimum. Including my dress.
Read part one in my low waste wedding series: Things I won’t be doing for my low waste wedding, here.
For conscious brides like me, it’s important to have an ethically made wedding dress. One that didn’t come at the cost of the planet or factory workers. But it’s hard to walk into your average wedding dress shop and find an ethical dress, so I made this list just for you! (And me!)
Where to find ethical wedding dresses:
1. Leanne Marshall
Leanne Marshall wedding dresses and accessories are handmade in New York using materials like silk and other natural, sustainable textiles. Since the gowns are made-to-order, there is never a surplus of gowns that end up in landfills and ensures that each seamstress is paid fairly.
Reformation carries a small but stunning collection of wedding dresses for the laid-back bride. Their dresses are made using recycled, deadstock, and natural materials. Their products are also completely climate-neutral and a majority of the brand is made right in Los Angeles. They also outsource to a few other countries using safe factories with the highest standards.
3. Christy Dawn
Christy Dawn curates their dresses with mother earth in mind. They’re made from organic and natural materials like organic cotton and silk. Christy Dawn prides itself in forming mutually beneficial relationships with all the people and ecosystems they partner with from the farms they source their material to those who sew the pieces together, to the photographers that shoot their pictures.
4. Park & fifth co.
All of Park & Fifth’s inventory is produced right in Vancouver, BC ensuring the team can visit the factory often and make sure it’s following all safety guidelines to a T. All seamstresses are considered an integral part of the team and are paid fair wages and treated with respect.
In an effort to reduce textile waste, all trimmings and excess fabrics are collected and turned into pillow stuffing as part of the P&F pillow project!
5. Wear your love
Wear your love’s dresses are made-to-order and made in safe and fair environments in California. The gowns themselves are made from materials like organic cotton and bamboo. They offer video meetings with brides to ensure measurements are accurate so your dress fits like a glove and no extra materials are wasted!
When it doubt purchasing a vintage or second-hand wedding dress is the way to go. Buying a “used” dress keeps that item in the loop and out of landfills plus it’s so unique and one of a kind!
No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something you love and feel good in for. For me, I’m quite minimal. I’m hoping to find a simple dress second hand that I can either dye later on to wear for other occasions or re-donate it afterwards to keep it in the loop.
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