Sustainable wedding dresses

 

As soon as Peter and I were engaged, the first thing I started to research was wedding dresses. We all wonder what we look like, but definitely want to look our best on our wedding day!

After a year of being married to Peter and hosting our wedding, I was given the opportunity to coordinate my friends’ wedding for this upcoming summer - they’ve asked me to do something similar to mine, since they also wanted to reduce waste and make their wedding more sustainable. So I thought I’d share this journey by compiling a guide of various sustainable wedding dress options that I had considered before, plus a few more! Check the video above for more visuals (description box on YouTube has links for the dresses shown), otherwise read on below for seven options for a more sustainable wedding dress.

*These principles can also be applied for your wedding shoes, and formal wear for those special events every year, because how many times have we all purchased a fancy outfit, only to wear it once or twice?

Borrow

Any chance your friend or sibling just got married and have a dress they no longer need? If you don’t want to look exactly the same as the person you’re borrowing from, considering getting a separate bridal piece such as a topper to make the look different. This works great on strapless dresses, but below are some pieces for inspiration.

Celia Grace Carroll lace topper

Luna Bride daisy lace cape

Pure Magnolia french lace wrap

Pure Magnolia organic cotton lace topper

Rent

There’s a good chance you won’t be wearing your wedding dress more than once. This is the most ideal option if you want to approach your wedding minimally, and avoid the clutter. You may be able to find a local boutique that rents out wedding dresses, but here are a few online options I’ve found.

The Black Tux - Tuxedos, shoes and accessories

Happily Ever Borrowed - Bridal separates, jewelry and accessories

Poshare - Bridal and bridesmaid dresses, and accessories

Rent the Runway - Bridal and bridesmaid dresses, and accessories

Buy used

There are a variety of websites that sell used wedding dresses and accessories if you’re unable to borrow or rent, and are a more affordable option than buying new. Some of these dresses may also be unworn, so you may score a lucky deal.you can check out the listing on my Instagram shop here!

Borrowing Magnolia - Buy and sell used wedding dresses of all styles

Poshmark - Purchase and sell all types of used clothing including wedding dresses for the bride and party

Etsy - Find vintage wedding dresses from shops such as Maggie May Bridal

Preowned Wedding Dresses - Dress the bride, bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and flower girl with used pieces

Nearly Newlywed - Buy and sell used wedding dresses, rings and accessories

Still White - Buy and sell used wedding gowns from a large selection of designers

Once Wed - Buy used wedding dresses, find ideas and vendors for your wedding

Tradesy - Purchase and sell any type of clothing, and find a dedicated section of this site for weddings

Buy new, but sustainable

Consider the following brands for sustainable wedding dress options if you’re looking to buy new.

Celia Grace - Natural fabrics and beautiful dresses with a social mission

Pure Magnolia - Eco friendly and vintage fabric dresses and separates

Christy Dawn - Boho chic dresses made with deadstock fabrics

Reformation - Deadstock fabrics and sustainably made dresses for the bridal party and guests

Etsy - Handmade dresses of all types, can find sustainable material options

The Cotton Bride - Versatile pieces made of all natural fabrics

Minna - Eco-friendly silks and laces, combined with zero waste manufacturing

Wear Your Love - Feminine dresses made from organic cotton and bamboo fabrics

Make your own

Are you an expert at sewing or have a family member or friend that is? Consider making your own, and sourcing some sustainable fabrics to make your wedding dress (cotton, linen, silk are some great options). Find some inspiration from people like With Wendy, one of my favorite YouTubers. She’s made her own wedding dress, and you can also get inspired by her various videos below.

Wedding Dress - Wonderful dress with a full skirt and strappy top

Prom Dress - Could also be used for bridesmaid or bridal gown with different color

Wrap Dress - Perfect for engagement shoots or elevate the look with different fabrics

Bodycon+With+Wendy.jpg

Bodycon Dress - Make this dress floor length for a stunning minimalist gown

Make it multifunctional

Consider remaking your wedding dress so it can be used for everyday wear. You could also consider getting separate bridal pieces to be put together as your outfit for your special day, but then can be reused for everyday wear for more normal occasions.

Sell for someone else to wear again

If you want that wedding dress off your hands, I would opt for more traditional, timeless styles that can be worn again. The ‘Buy used’ section of this guide not only lists places you can buy used wedding dresses, but you can also sell on those sites too. If you have a dress from decades ago, you can also try to sell it at a local vintage shop - there may still be brides out there that want to go for a vintage look, and will alter the dress to have a more modern feel!