Did you know that the wedding fashion industry is guilty of crimes against the planet? With resource intensive materials, the chemicals used that are damaging to the earth and the fact it’s a dress you wear only once, your wedding dress could be the most planet-unfriendly item you’ll ever buy.
This is one of the many reasons we introduced our eco collection as we’re passionate about our planet and know that our industry can be a cause of damage. But why is your wedding dress in particular a bad buy….
It’s a single wear item
Can you think of any other item in your wardrobe that cost as much as a wedding dress, yet you wear only once? Probably not. And this is one of the major reasons that wedding dresses are not eco-friendly.
While you may not throw your wedding dress away, causing landfill, very few brides ever sell it on, wishing to keep it for sentimental reasons.
So, what can you do? Well aside from buying a more eco-friendly wedding dress, there are plenty of ways to recycle your wedding dress. You could rent it out to other brides, which also means you’ll make money from it, or even turn it into a christening dress.
It uses resource intensive materials
Wedding dresses are beautiful and as such are made from gorgeous fabrics not often used in other clothes, such as chiffon and tulle.
Chiffon for example is made from polyester-like fabrics, which are not biodegradable – it can take up to two years for materials like this to decompose. There’s also the fact that a whole lot of water, energy and damaging chemicals are all required to make these materials, which adds up to a hot mess of planet pollution.
It contributes to pollution of the environment
And it’s not just the actual materials that are damaging to the environment. The bleaches, dyes and material finishes used to make the fabric white or cream is the second highest polluting process in the world.
All this for a dress that’s worn for just one day.
Alternatives to the traditional wedding dress
If you’re keen to look after the planet, there are lots of options that mean you don’t have to go without a stunning wedding dress on your big day.
Something borrowed: If you’re not the sentimental type that wants to hand down their big day dress, renting is a great option. There are lots of sites now that offer this including By Rotation, Something Borrowed and My Wardrobe HQ. It means you might even be able to afford that gorgeous designer wedding dress that was previously out of your price range.
Something old: A vintage or second hand wedding dress could not only save you money and the planet, but can also be your something old! As well as having your mother or grandmother’s dress altered to fit, you can also pick up a great second hand buy from a variety of sites. We like Bridal Reloved, who also have actual physical stores across the UK and Rock My Wedding’s recycled shop. You can also obviously check out sites such as eBay and Preloved.
One of our favourite charities Brides Do Good goes one step further by only offering sustainable dresses, donated either by brides or designers. For every £3 they make, they invest £1 in charity projects that empower women and help end child marriage.
Something new: Buying an eco-friendly wedding dress isn’t as difficult as it once was. Even though we still offer our regular couture collection, we’re super proud of our sustainable wedding dress collection, which uses planet-friendly fabrics such as circular viscose and cupro, all lovingly designed for those brides who prefer a slinky bridal look.
More ways to make your wedding greener
If you want to make your entire wedding day more sustainable, here are some other ideas to help you:
Choosing to have a sustainable wedding doesn't mean you have to redo your entire wedding; it just takes a few simple swaps to make a huge difference!
Doing your own big day makeup? Our rundown of the best vegan makeup brands around will help you make choices that are kinder to everyone!
Sustainable bridesmaid dresses are very much a thing now. Not only are they kinder to the earth, but they’re all pretty darn stylish and definitely something your maids will want to wear again (another plus for the planet!)
For that final big day touch, go for jewellery that has no negative impact on either the people who make it or the environment.
Don’t forget the invites! We take a look at the best eco-friendly wedding stationery available right now.