Wedding dress thrift stores may be unconventional to some but just like online thrift stores they hold lots of lovely surprises including some of the best deals, gems, and environmentally friendly options the market has to offer. And, today, there are so many places where you can find used wedding dresses, and many of them are even available online.
If you are like us you may have spotted the wedding dress section at your local thrift store(s) so don’t forget to have a look around your way to see what is available there. Buying locally is often best.
Along with our best thrift shopping tips, we would recommend not leaving the quest for thrift wedding dresses to the last minute. This will help avoid any concerns you may have about fit or defects— leaving you with ample time to sort out any issues you might encounter.
What is The Environmental Impact of Wedding Dresses?
According to La Laurel, a large portion of the environmental cost associated with wedding dress production comes from “one-of-a-kind patterns and specialty high-quality materials made by high-end producers in New York City, for example, to mass-produced synthetic gowns made overseas.”
The garment industry itself is notoriously taxing on the environment. From water consumption and pollution to textile waste and unethical production cycles— there is a lot left to be desired. In fact, according to the World Bank, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions.
The making of wedding dresses is no different unless it is mindfully done and even then, a preloved wedding dress may just be THE thing to do if we can let go of some of the negative preconceptions surrounding thrifted garments.
Why Thrift for Used Wedding Dresses
There seems to be a lot of stigma surrounding wedding dresses, which wind up banishing them to our closets once they have been worn. Though some of us do pass them on to future generations, this one-time investment is often perceived as a one-time garment. An awful shame for something so beautiful and resource-intensive.
There also seems to be a lot of shame surrounding buying a thrift store wedding dress. Even more than buying second-hand garments in general though we highly recommend curating a second-hand wardrobe or trying out a clothing swap party.
But getting over this stigma could solve several problems. So if you are wondering why thrift for used wedding dresses? It’s really a good idea on several fronts — especially where the environment and budgets are concerned.
Not only do we help the environment by choosing second-hand garments but it can also save us quite a few bucks. Who knows? You might even get lucky and find the designer dress of your dreams — giving it new life, without destroying your budget. You may even find your way into a sisterhood of traveling wedding dresses like the owner of Nearly Newlywed.
With that out of the way, let’s explore what the options are by way of thrifted wedding dresses.
Top places to find used wedding dresses for sale online
1. La Laurel
Based in Vancouver, Canada, La Laurel is a bridal consignment boutique offering a collection of pre-owned wedding gowns. Find lots of elegant and timeless options online or by visiting their showroom. For the latter, be sure to check out their website for more details.
Those shopping online will find a super straightforward shopping experience arranged by size — making it easy to narrow their selection right down to what you are looking for.
Sizes range from 00-26 and poking around their website definitely felt like discovering a little secret. If you have a used wedding dress you’d like to put on consignment, they offer that option online as well.
Stillwhite is on a mission to give a second life to wedding dresses while helping our planet. As we looked around their options in thrift wedding dresses, we got more and more excited as to what is available.
The selection here definitely made it clear that a secondary market is a wonderful option for the savvy bride and their website is relatively easy to navigate.
Find lots of lovely styles and silhouettes. And be sure to refine your search using filters to shop by price, size, and more. Sizes range from 00-30+
In terms of sustainability, Stillwhite also contributes 1% of its revenue to Stripe Climate which works to remove carbon from our atmosphere by supporting new carbon removal technologies.
Loved Twice Bridal is a sort of wedding dress thrift store created with the specific goal of making it easier for brides-to-be to find the best second-hand wedding gowns. And that’s just what you’ll find here.
Founded by a seasoned bridal and thrifting expert named Sarah, Loved Twice Bridal helps brides that are looking to sell their gowns, and brides looking to purchase pre-owned gowns without the guesswork.
For the latter, they offer virtual buying appointments and a try at home program. You can also visit them at their LA showroom for both buying or consigning a gown. Shop by designer, silhouette, sizing, and pricing. Sizes range from 00-16.
Starting out in a living room apartment, Nearly Newlywed curates and sells pre-owned wedding dresses at discounts of up to 90% off retail. A great platform to check out if you are looking for designer dresses on a budget. You’ll also be helping the planet out all in one!
Be sure to use their filters to zero in on your price range, size, designer, color family, silhouette, neckline, features, and more. Sizes range from 00-24.
Nearly Newlywed also offers the option to shop for new dresses and sample dresses so take note in case you are only looking for pre-owned options. They offer the option to sell your preloved wedding gown here too.
Borrowing Magnolia is a listing service website created especially for wedding dresses. The dresses featured on the site come directly from the women who own them so if you own a wedding dress that you’d like to sell, they offer a straightforward solution for that.
Another one of the best places to look if you are hunting for a designer dress, you can shop their listings by fabric, train, neckline, sleeve, silhouette, designer, and more. Sizes range from 00-18+ and prices range from $100-$3500+. You will also find bridesmaid dresses and accessories.
Tradesy is a part of the luxury and designer resale platform, Vestiaire Collective. They offer a marketplace for buying and selling pre-owned clothing and accessories – to help us achieve the high-end wardrobe of our dreams while reducing waste.
With savings of up to 70% off, their selection of garments, shoes, and accessories also includes a wedding section with wedding dresses, bridal veils, bridal jewelry & accessories, wedding decorations, bridesmaids' dresses, grooms garments, and more.
Find a wide range of options in pricing, shop by year purchased or by designer, or choose by size from XXS-3XL.
Oui je le voeux (pronounced: wi-ju-lu-vu) offers recycled wedding dresses made from preloved gowns taken in on consignment. They do a kind of thrift flipping if you will but for wedding dresses. So if you have a dress, they will estimate its value and take it on consignment. Dresses that are recent models are dry cleaned and restored for another bride to be. They also transform pre-owned wedding dresses and turn them into one-of-a-kind pieces that are truly unique.
Based in Quebec, prices range from $150 to $1,500 and sizes go up to 30. They also offer the option of renting which ranges from $250 to $550. With a wide selection of models to choose from this is a wonderful option if you are looking for an upcycled thrift store wedding dress. They do offer new dresses as well so make sure to double-check if you are only interested in recycled options only.
Brides Do Good’s collection comes entirely from donations and you might not believe it when you see what’s on offer. But it’s true. Everything in their catalogs has either been pre-owned or pre-made which means no new impact on the environment in terms of water consumption, carbon emissions, textiles waste, etc.
The lovely options they offer range from sizes 6-16 and are available to try by appointment only in their London showroom. Prices range from £250 - £3,500.
As a part of their mission, Brides Do Good donates 1/3 of their profits to charitable works geared toward empowering women and helping to end child marriage. To ensure maximal impact, they carefully select Impact Partners who work directly with at-risk populations. Their efforts support organizations like Plan International UK, and Huru International. If you have a wedding dress to get off your hands, consider donating it here.
A Final Word On Used Wedding Dresses
Finding the most beautiful, affordable, eco-friendly wedding dresses without breaking the bank is actually possible thanks to these wedding dress thrift stores! So whether you are looking to save the planet, working on a tight budget, and/or looking for designer options, thrift wedding dresses are definitely worth considering.
With a wide range of prices, sizes, styles, and silhouettes to choose from, we really hope this guide will help you (or someone you love) find just what you are looking for. And for more eco-living essentials like green beauty products and shoes, check out our brand directory.
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