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Now more than ever, brides are looking to incorporate eco-conscious practices into their wedding day. One of the easiest, and most fashion-focused, ways for a bride to do this is by purchasing a sustainably made dress.
"Sustainability is important in every category of fashion, but it feels particularly relevant to bridalwear. If your marriage should stand the test of time, your dress should too," shares Katherine Holmgren, co-founder and business development director of Galvan London.
Meet the Expert
When choosing your wedding dress, it's essential to focus on the material used, in order to determine if the look is made sustainably or not. However, while fabric and material are crucial in creating an eco-friendly dress, Holmgren does point out that there's much more to the conversation. She highlights that it's also important to see if the brand mass-produces its pieces, leading to an abundance of excess stock.
In particular, looks from Galvan's 'White Collection' are made with the idea of versatility and re-wearability in mind. "Our White Collection is mostly made to order, produced individually at local London ateliers that support the living wage, or else produced in micro-batches at our European factories," Holmgren tells Brides. "This ensures that wastage is kept to a minimum and that our garments are made in sustainable working conditions.
Beginning your search for a sustainably-made wedding dress? Ahead, we put together 22 of our looks, all from brands that focus on sustainable, eco-friendly practices.
For the Fashion Forward Bride: Galvan Thalia Bustier Dress in Pearl
This midi dress from Galvan was inspired by “the strong, sexy style of the ’90s supermodels”—think Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. We love the body-hugging silhouette and the sexy, yet timeless, bustier bodice. It’s a perfect choice for all chic and modern brides.
Most Effortlessly Chic: Reformation Tullamore Dress
Simplicity at its finest. This gown from Reformation is made for the bride looking to add romance to her wedding day look. The ivory coloring is a fresh alternative to pure white, and the lace detailing at the bottom incorporates a vintage feeling.
For a Spring Wedding: Maggie Marylin The Heavenly Ruffled Cotton and Silk-Blend Voile Midi Dress
This dress from Maggie Marylin is light, airy, and perfect for a daytime wedding in the spring. Wear it belted for a more structured look, or turn the waist tie into a dainty neck scarf to give the dress free-flowing movement.
Best Non-White Option: Carmen Llaguno Gabriella Dress
Stray away from the traditional white gown and try this nude-colored asymmetrical dress. Created in woven twill, made of Lyocell, a cellulose fabric made from Eucalyptus, the dress features eye-catching details, including button closures and a cut-out bodice.
Best Crystal Detailing: Safiyaa Celiana Embroidered Long Dress
Black tie weddings are your chance to stun in a statement ball gown, but this gown is simple, modern, sleek, and perfect for a formal wedding. The tight-fitting ¾ sleeve and fishtail bottom are flattering touches, but the most eye-catching element is the croc crystal embroidery.
How much do sustainably-made wedding dresses generally cost?
Sustainably made wedding dresses fall typically between $200 to $2000. While they are known to be on the pricer side, compared to fast-fashion brands, purchasing a sustainable wedding dress may end up being more cost-efficient.
Where can you shop for sustainably made wedding dresses?
If you're looking for a sustainable wedding dress, chances are you won't have much luck at a standard bridal salon or department store. Instead, most sustainable gowns can be found online, with brands that focus on eco-friendly practices. If you're curious about production practices, information can generally be found on the brand's 'about us' page.
What else should I keep in mind when shopping for a sustainable wedding dress?
In the past, eco-friendly clothing has had the reputation of being earthy and boho, but that could not be farther from the truth these days. Some of the most cutting-edge, modern designers are making sustainable garments to reduce fashion's impact on the environment. So no matter what style you're after, chances are there is a sustainable wedding dress that fits your vision.