You don't need to put a dent in the environment to nab yourself the wedding dress of your dreams.
Follow our guide to help you find the most sustainable fabrics, greenest gowns and eco friendly wedding dress suppliers.
To kick things off let's start with the greenest textiles for your eco friendly wedding dress. The green movement is making huge waves in the marketplace, replacing toxins and waste with sustainable organic fibers such as bamboo, hemp, and even cork! More and more consumers are looking towards renewable resources for their everyday lives and your wedding gown doesn't have to be any different.
So which textiles are the most planet friendly?
Organic Cotton --
From H&M to the Gap, organic cotton is popping up everywhere. Conventional cotton is one of the most chemical laden crops in the world, and choosing to give this textile the boot is a massive green step to take. Organic cotton on the other hand is grown without the use of harmful chemicals and synthetic fertilizers, meaning it has a much lower impact on the planet and the people who it comes into contact with.
But be aware, labels don't always tell the whole story. Just because it states organic cotton, it may not be fair trade and could still be processed using conventional dyes, or treated with chemicals such as formaldehyde, so always be prepared to dig a little deeper. Your best bet is to stick to light colors that represent the shades that the cotton is naturally grown in and to look for proof that the material is certified organic and eco friendly.
Hemp is touted as the most eco friendly fabric around. Why? Because it requires no chemicals to grow and can flourish in all conditions and climates, in fact it actually improves the quality of soil, making it one of the most versatile plants on the planet. Due to its versatility hemp can be used to make strong, sturdy items as well as soft, delicate fabrics.
What makes hemp super special is its incredible ability to produce a 250% greater yield of fiber than cotton per acre, plus 500% more pulp fiber! Despite the fact that hemp has been used to make clothing for thousands of years, recently it has caused quite the controversy and is facing opposition from drug enforcement agencies because of its close relative marijuana, both of which belong to the Cannabis Sativa family. Don't worry though the only high you'll get is from walking down the aisle!
Peace Silk --
Although you may think that silk is inherently eco friendly, there is more to this luxurious fabric than meets the eye. To get the silk fibers silk worms are raised on farms and eventually killed by being placed in a vat of boiling water once their hard work is complete. Doesn't sound very ethical does it?
Luckily there is an alternative, so you can still have that beautiful silky wedding dress after all. Peace silk. This kind of silk is produced from worm castings after the moths have naturally emerged and moved on to the next stage of their life cycle.
Closely resembling the softness of cashmere, Bamboo is fast growing and naturally regenerating. By helping to rebuild soil structure along with improving soil quality, bamboo is an eco friendly crop that can be transformed into the most beautiful of wedding dresses. The problem with this plant though lies in the manufacturing process.
Most bamboo textiles and garments are produced using harsh chemicals that are extremely toxic and can contribute to a range of health problems. Thankfully newer more environmentally friendly manufacturing methods are being developed. Bamboo fabric can be produced without added chemicals so look out for organic or sustainable certifications.
Image via D.Clow
These days green designers aren't as hard to come by as you might have imagined. You can get eco friendly wedding dresses in all shapes and sizes. Got an image of your dream wedding dress in your head? Whatever it is chances are you can get a green version, and if you can't, then there are plenty of ethical designers out there ready and waiting to craft you a custom made dress.
If you're on the lookout for eco friendly wedding dress designers then check out some of the following:
-- Annatarian - Bridal dress made from vintage fabrics and clothing, along with the latest in eco tech fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo and peace silk.
-- Nicole Lenzen - Reclaim fabric from the wedding dress of your mother or grandmother into a unique dress designed for you.
-- Tara Lynn - This eco fashion designer specializes in custom natural fiber wedding gowns and wearable art jackets dedicated to endangered species.
-- Threadhead Creations - Proud to offer a beautiful collection of dresses in eco friendly fabrics using sustainable natural fibers.
-- Snake Mountain Threads - Dedicated to keeping her business eco friendly, Andie uses beautiful eco friendly fabrics in the construction of her dresses such as hemp, hemp blends, and organic fibers.
-- The Cotton Bride - Made using only 100% natural fabrics, intended to harmoniously blend in with the natural environments they are designed for.
Image via AARON_400D
No bride wants to part with her wedding dress. It's not only the most beautiful gown you've probably ever worn, but it also made you feel amazing and reminds you just how special your big day really was. If you can bring yourself to part with it then consider donating your dress to a charitable organization such as Brides Against Breast Cancer or the I Do Foundation who will use the proceeds from the sale of your dress to help continue their incredible work.
Another option is to sell the dress yourself either online via eBay or at your local consignment store. You'll get some extra cash in you pocket and ensure that the life cycle of your dress doesn't end with you. Whatever you decide to do, it isn't very 'green' to condemn your dress to a lifetime of storage, so spread the green goodness and help another bride find the dress of her dreams at a price that she can afford!
Image via Joel Bedford
Are you planning on splashing out on an eco friendly wedding dress?
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