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When planning a wedding, there's a lot to consider, the food, the location, the guests, the music, and of course, the dress. If you are wondering where to find sustainable wedding dresses, you've come to the right place.
Before you shop for anything new, make sure to check out these used wedding dresses because you know that they say one bride's trash is another bride's treasure!
Like all things related to ethical fashion, there is a lot to consider when choosing an eco-friendly wedding gown, including the fabrics and materials and how those things are sourced. Of course, the company's overall corporate responsibility, and in the cases of ethical wedding dresses, we also want to ensure size inclusivity.
Sustainable Wedding Dresses
Before you say "I do," check out the guides at the bottom of this post. We're breaking down our criteria for choosing the wedding gowns on this list, and we've also got some great tips on what to look for. We want your wedding to be as fabulous as you are!
Refomation's bridal dresses are to die for. Each one is beautifully crafted using only the finest materials. Whether you are saying "I do" beneath a tree or on a beach, their classic wedding dresses are far from boring. There are so many to choose from.
Off-the-shoulder, sleeveless, long sleeve, all with clean lines and romantic elegance. They might be the wedding dress you wear again and again, which we love! You can choose by size, color, and price.
Look at the Haisley (pictured above). It's a matching set with a sleeveless corset top and maxi skirt. It has boning detail, a back zipper entry, and a full skirt with dramatic side pleats.
It's made from a heavyweight crepe fabric from 100% Recycled Polyester. Along with wedding dresses, you will find bridesmaid's dresses, options for wedding guests, and gorgeous sustainable shoes too.
Reformation's fabric and materials
They offer a mix of fabrics for their ethical wedding dresses, including 100% silk charmeuse, recycled polyester, acetate, and viscose. These semi-synthetic fabrics use many chemicals when manufactured, but Reformation notes they are sustainably sourced.
Reformation's ethical sourcing
Their Supplier Code of Conduct and benchmarks reference the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks, which are based on International Labor Organization (ILO) standards and internationally accepted good labor practices that we require all our direct cut, sew & finish manufacturing partners to adhere to.
Reformation's corporate responsibility
All packaging is recyclable or compostable. They use 100%recycled LDPE bags with a biodegradable polymer (BDP) that allows them to break down in landfills. They are working on plant-based solutions to make their packaging even better.
They are certified by Green America, Bluedeisgn, and Oeko-Tex, which means they adhere to strict rules regarding dyes and toxic chemicals.
"Bridal with passion and purpose" is what this Brooklyn-based ethical bridal shop is all about. What began as a side hustle and passion project has evolved into a full-time dream job for besties Marteal Mayer and Timmy Johnson. Self-described as:
"Effortlessly cool gowns made of fabulously funky fabrics and unique French laces. Fun, comfortable, easy-to-wear gowns and lingerie allow a bride to feel like the most fierce version of herself."
There are genderless gowns, fitted and fabulous, lovely in lace, and gowns for a good cause, to name a few. With names like these, you can say "I do" pretty quickly — so many traditional and non-traditional gowns to choose from. They even have jumpsuits and non-white options to choose from.
Loulette Bride fabric and materials
They use a range of fabrics like cotton, silk, hemp, linen, and wool and recycled poly lining. All fabric scraps are recycled with Fab Scrap.
Loulette Bride's ethical sourcing
All gowns are made to order, which eliminates excess inventory. They do everything locally, which supports the local garment industry, eliminates excessive shipping, minimizes carbon impact, and ensures that the quality is top-notch and that their labor is always fair and ethical.
Loulette Bride's corporate responsibility
For every dress sold, a tree is planted in that bride’s name with One Tree Planted. Each season, they pick a new charity to donate a portion of their sales.
Their West Street Wedding Collective Mentorship Program is free for students of color to work on their creative endeavors with local experts.
3. Whimsy + Row
Vegan-made wedding dresses with elegant, simple design is how we'd describe Whimsy + Row. Keep things easy and breezy with a universally flattering dress that never goes out of style. The Noa Gown.
It's the perfect backless moment, and side slit - what wedding dreams are made of! The wedding collection also includes ethical bridesmaid dresses.
Whimsy + Row fabric and materials
They choose low-impact fabrics like Certified Organic Cotton, Linen, TENCEL™, Cupro, Silk, and Deadstock/Upcycled Fabric. They use less energy, biodegrade faster than synthetic fabrics, and use substantially less water to create.
Whimsy + Row ethical sourcing
They cut limited quantities and lower their carbon footprint by producing locally. This way, the pieces they make are unique and waste-free. They favor ethical production over mass production. All dresses are made locally in Los Angeles.
Whimsy + Row corporate responsibility
To be zero-waste and close the loop, they recycle their scraps of material in the production process. They are carbon neutral, and each item is shipped in recycled plastic from EcoEnclose. They work with charities! like One Tree Planted, Global Fund for Women, Black Lives Matter, Reclaim the Block, Black Vision Collective, Downtown Women’s Health Center, and Feeding America.
Poémia's, based in NYC, makes environmentally friendly wedding dresses with romance, wildflowers, nostalgia, myths, and great stories! These dresses are made to be worn over and over again.
"Poémia wants to change the way you think about your wedding dress. We are providing a new kind of dress where you can look your best and feel your most comfortable and the most yourself."
Poémia's fabric and materials
They use a combination of GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certified Organic Cotton and Cupro (vegan silk).
Poémia's ethical sourcing
Their cupro comes from Japan and is certified by GRS (Global Recycled Standard), an eco product by Ecomark, and certified biodegradable.
Poémia's corporate responsibility
Their hangtags are FSC certified, meaning the products are sourced from forests managed responsibly by providing environmental, social, and economic benefits. The shipping boxes and kraft paper mailers they use to ship their products are made from recycled paper that is naturally biodegradable.
Choose the “Ever After” package, and they will convert your dress with a natural over-dye and a fresh hem to wear forever and ever!
Eye-catching details, daring hemlines, and personal touches are what you will find at IndieBride. Based in the UK, these sustainable women’s wedding dresses range from fashion-forward minis to dramatic ball gowns!
You'll undoubtedly make a statement when you walk down the aisle in one of their gorgeous creations!
IndieBride fabric and materials
A range of fabrics is used to make these dresses. Instead of polyester and nylon go for organic ramie, peace silk, and cotton. There are also quite a few options using deadstock fabrics, recycled PET, and lace.
On the product page of each gown, you can see detailed material information from the origin of the fiber to where the material was made in.
IndieBride ethical sourcing
Each gown is handcrafted in their London studio from the first cut to the last finishings. All Indiebride gowns are made to order.
IndieBride corporate responsibility
In the production of any clothes, the fabric is always cut off and usually thrown in a bin as it’s useless. They don't throw anything away. They use the off-cuts to make and embellish our sashes.
The off-cuts they can't use are donated to students and organizations to be used in their projects or collected by a professional facility. They will then repurpose them as new materials such as insulation, sports equipment filler, and carpet underlay.
From romantic ruffled gowns to sparkly beaded getups, these are sustainable wedding dresses that dreams are made of. Made in North Vancouver, Pure Magnolia's mission is to "create beautiful gowns for happy clients without compromising our passion for sustainable fashion."
Pure Magnolia's fabric and materials
They use a lot of recycled fabric, mesh, lace, crepe, cotton, cotton/polyester and tulle.
Pure Magnolia's ethical sourcing
Everything is handmade in Canada, and they have this to say about their responsible sourcing: "We like to research and find out exactly where our fabrics come from and how they are produced."
Pure Magnolia's corporate responsibility
They save our scrap fabric to use when cutting new pieces. FABCYCLE picks up the rest.
7. Christy Dawn
For sustainable wedding guest dresses, we turn to Christy Dawn. This zero-waste fashion brand is all about honoring mother earth, and that's evident in their "farm-to-closet" approach. You will find a stunning selection of boho-style dresses delicately made from a range of stunning sustainable, vegan fabrics.
The Autumn Dress is the first wrap dress Christy ever designed, and she's still a favorite piece today. With her tulip sleeves, delicate high-low hem, and V-neck in our Blue Fields print, she's the perfect option for any occasion.
Christy Dawn fabric and materials
You'll find some of the BEST fabrics here, including deadstock fabric like rayon, organic cotton, regenerative silk, and regenerative cotton.
Christy Dawn's ethical sourcing
The Farm-To-Closet collection is grown regeneratively on an 80-acre farm in India, where they work directly with farmers and with the farmers and artisans of Oshadi Collective. "
"The once depleted land has been replenished through ancient practices of regeneration to produce a bounty of healthy cotton crops, and 1 million tons of excess carbon were sequestered from the atmosphere."
What's excellent is that for $315, you can buy a 3485 sq ft plot of land. This will cover the costs of everything from the farmers’ salaries to herbal pest repellents and pollinator crop seeds. At the end of the season, they will buy back the cotton from your yield to create a new capsule of regenerative cotton dresses, and you will receive a store credit to shop the collection you helped grow1
Christy Dawn's corporate responsibility
In collaboration with their farmers, they have sequestered 38 tons of carbon from the atmosphere. The farm has also increased biodiversity — the farm hands over 20 plant varieties.
Keeping with the tradition of something old, we love shopping for secondhand ethical wedding dresses and thrifted clothing. It's the thrill of the find, and if you want a one-of-a-kind dress that's got an ethical edge, check out these shops on Etsy:
- Sixpenny Bride: Based in the UK. You will find some gorgeous vintage wedding dresses, some dated as far back as the 1920s. Owner Jacky also hand-makes stunning tiaras using vintage materials and jewelry.
- Velvet Pin Vintage: Based in Brooklyn, New York, you'll find an eclectic range of mid-century vintage wedding dresses that are so pretty and unique, sure to make a statement at any wedding. Find rare dresses from the 1920s and 30s.
- Vivian Elise Vintage: This little shop is dedicated to finding only the best and most unique vintage. All gowns are cleaned, restored, redesigned, and updated for the modern bride. The veils and headpieces are also work a look.
- Sofias Cobweb Museum: Find a mix of dresses from the 1970s and 1980s at super-affordable prices. Great hand-picked items! Vintage & Antique dresses, shoes, and accessories.
At OnceWed, you won't only find one-of-a-kind wedding dresses but dresses for the whole wedding party, including for Mom, bridesmaids, and even flower girls. You can narrow your search by designer, size, city, and type.
If you want to sell your wedding dress for a reasonable price, you can do that too. You know we love places where you can sell your used clothes online.
Some designers we think you will love include Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, Christian Dior, Monique Lhuillier, and more.
With more Than 50,000 Dresses Sold, you will find something you will love for yourself and your wedding party at Preowned Wedding Dresses. You can shop for wedding dresses under $500 or under $1,000, by type, designer, and size.
This online platform is easy to use and navigate. They've many tips to help you find a gown for your body and style. If you want to sell your dress, you can do that too! If you are looking for veils, shoes, or accessories, look no further, you'll fall in love with their selection.
Stillwhite has committed to contributing 1% of its revenue to carbon removal. They do this by investing in future-focused solutions.
"Stripe Climate aggregates funds from forward-thinking businesses worldwide to increase carbon removal demand." To date, they’ve saved 216,000kg of CO2!
They make it easy for you to shop by size, designer, and price, and with over 47,000 dresses to choose from, we are sure you'll find your dream dress!
One feature we think you'll dig is the "shop the look" section. It's a curated selection of gowns based on celebrity dresses! Want a dress like JLo? Grab it here!
PS. Got an old dress you want to sell? You can do that here.
12. Rent The Runway
Rent The Runway's wedding guest dress rental is the perfect place to say "yes to the dress." They are an online clothing and dress rental service with a lovely selection of dresses for your party. If you are a risk-taker looking for something more unconventional for your dress, they have tons to choose from.
What's cool about this service is that you can reserve an outfit in advance for a specific date with a one-time rental, or you can subscribe. A rental can cost you as little as $30.
Pro tip: instead of having your bridesmaids spend a fortune on an ethical bridesmaid dress they will never wear again, why not consider renting it? What a great way to make your wedding more sustainable.
Why consider a sustainable wedding dress?
It's simple. To reduce waste. A wedding dress can be considered single-use, and there are no hard stats on how many dresses are produced and discarded. But, according to Terrapass the average US wedding creates "about 400 to 600 pounds of garbage and emits 62 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."
It's not a good look when considering the impact of textile waste and fast fashion. Most bridal gowns are constructed using synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, chiffon, tulle, and lace. All of which have a heavy-duty impact when manufactured and dyed. An enormous amount of water, energy, and toxic chemical goes into it.
What we look for when shopping for sustainable wedding dresses?
Thrifting items will always be the most eco-friendly option when it comes to anything, but I think we can all agree that sometimes it’s nice to buy yourself something new or gift someone something new. If you are planning to buy, here are our buying guidelines that we look for.
1. What kind of fabric is it made from?
Is it recycled fabric? Is it a synthetic fibre? Does it come with any certifications proving that it truly is organic? These are all questions you want to ask yourself before buying products labeled organic or sustainable.
Greenwashing is rising, and it’s essential to trace how your fabric is made and sourced. Look for certifications like OEKO-TEX, GOTS, OCS, or Fair Trade. You can also look for materials like TENCEL™ Lyocell, hemp, organic cotton, wool, or linen.
2. How are the fabrics sourced?
It’s essential to know how your fabric is made, where it comes from, and under what working conditions. There are a lot of brands out there paying much less than livable wages and under harsh working conditions that violate tons of labor and human rights laws.
3. What is the brand’s corporate responsibility?
What extra measures do they use to ensure sustainable practices? Companies passionate about change often give back to their communities and enrich the towns and villages where they employ citizens.
A final word on eco-wedding dresses
Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life, and we want it to be perfect. We've included as many options as possible within your style and budget. We love secondhand dresses and thrift shops for ethical wedding attire. But ultimately, you need to find what you love!
When you are done with your dress, consider gifting it or selling it online, there are many online platforms where you can do this, or you can consider a consignment shop in our area. You can also donate your dress. A quick Google search of "donate wedding dress to people in need" will give you many results in your area.
For your wedding night, check out these sustainable lingerie brands too!
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