It's Chic To Be Green: Sustainable Fashion
Australian bridal design company GRACE LOVES LACE spent two years engineering fabric for the debut of its first sustainably and ethically handmade gown, created from 96% recycled materials. In an effort to avoid the use of new materials, founder and creative director Megan Ziems sought repurposed resources that would reduce landfill, ocean waste and CO2 emissions to create the “Lumi” gown. “Repurposing what’s traditionally seen as waste product to create a valued heirloom—to me that’s revolutionary,” explains Ziems.
LEANNE MARSHALL’s bridal gowns are created using sustainable textiles and natural fibers sourced from reputable mills, all of which meet environmental and working standard regulations. To avoid overproduction, surplus inventory and unnecessary waste, each bridal gown is custom produced to order by seamstresses who are paid fair wages. Each and every gown is constructed using natural and biodegradable fibers that can decompose in as little as 10 months. But don’t worry, a properly stored gown will not decompose in such a short period of time.
Give back with your dress budget by shopping at BRIDES FOR A CAUSE, a nonprofit organization that collects and resells wedding dresses for charity. The beautifully appointed boutiques in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Sacramento are treasure troves of wedding gowns, with a wide selection of current collections donated from stores such as Kleinfeld Bridal in New York, so you can be assured the dresses are just as dreamy as any other. Best of all, the price tag of the gown supports a variety of nonprofit organizations that support women, such as the Loveland Foundation, which supports communities of color with a focus on women and girls; Dress for Success; Girls Inc.; and others. It’s a beautiful way to share love on your wedding day in a way that can help change someone’s life. “Our goal at Brides for a Cause is to help change the mindset of what shopping at a charity bridal store looks and feels like. Most of our dresses are designer sample gowns donated by bridal stores across the country, so our brides are able to find unique pieces that aren’t normally found in their area, while being sustainable and charitable with their purchase,” says Erin Scharf, founder of Brides for a Cause.
Nothing says sustainable like shopping secondhand. BLUE SKY BRIDAL, the largest bridal consignment store in the Pacific Northwest, with locations in Seattle and Portland, strives to bring gorgeous eco-friendly gowns together with Earthloving brides in a chic and stress-free atmosphere. The boutique features a curated collection of new, sample and once-worn dresses in sizes ranging from 00 to 28. Its inventory has gowns on consignment for local and out-of-state brides and bridal stores, including designers such as Madi Lane, Stella York, Rebecca Schoneveld, Made with Love and others, all marked at discounted prices between 15%-60% off original cost.
The Seattle-based online company DEAR CLEO launched in January 2020 with a focus on creating a novel category in the wedding fashion market: sustainable bridesmaid dresses made with recycled yarns and available in a wide range of colors, silhouettes and sizes. Continuing with the sustainability push, Dear Cleo also unveiled a signature bridal gown collection, with nearly 60% of its looks using fully recycled chiffon and a made-to-order design approach that reduces unnecessary waste.
REFORMATION is a feel-good fashion company with a stunning line of bridal gowns. The brand creates its fashionable designs using low-impact materials, rescued “deadstock” fabrics and repurposed vintage clothing. Most importantly, Reformation puts the people behind the clothes first, ensuring that they have a safe, healthy and fair working environment. The majority of Reformation’s pieces are constructed in its Los Angeles factory, in addition to working with sustainable factories around the world. Complete the look by checking out Reformation’s bridal shoe collection, which includes gorgeous heeled sandals and mules.