Sustainability is a popular buzzword that is taking root in many industries and how individual consumers make choices. As more people begin to realize how their actions and decisions impact the environment, sustainability is likely here to stay.
For brides, being more sustainable can take several forms, including a more responsible choice of wedding dress. According to the United Nations, the fashion industry is responsible for up to 8 percent of global carbon emissions. Other issues include how much water it takes to make textiles and the chemicals that go into producing fashion.
Brides who want to lessen the impact of their big day can make more sustainable wedding dress choices. Learn more about what it takes to make a dress and what you can do to make a more responsible, sustainable choice.
Choosing the Right Materials
Consumers today are savvier than in the past. For more sustainable choices, you must be knowledgeable about fabrics, where they come from and what it takes to make them. Be aware of resource-intensive materials, those fabrics that require the most energy, water, and chemicals to produce.
For example, in bridal, popular fabrics include chiffon and tulle, both of which need a lot of water to make. They also require energy which leads to more carbon emissions and chemicals that could be released into the environment.
For American brides, fabrics made overseas must be shipped to the U.S., which accounts for yet more emissions. More sustainable materials are natural fabrics, like wool, silk, or cotton. They are made closer to home and with organic processes. Look for these kinds of materials when choosing a gown.
Keeping Chemicals out of the Environment
In addition to wasting resources and producing emissions, wedding gown materials can be sources of environmental pollution. Making synthetic fabrics and processing some natural fabrics takes a lot of chemicals, which can leach into the surrounding environment or even harm workers; considering processing textiles and fabrics are the second-highest water-polluting industry in the world.
A simple way to reduce your bridal footprint is to choose a gown with a natural color. Making pure white fabrics or deeply dyed colors takes harsh chemicals, like bleach, that pollute the environment and harm the people producing the dresses.
More bridal designers are offering alternative and natural colors. For a trustworthy recommendation, consider shopping in a major city that is known for more ethical approaches to garment manufacturing. Considering that, brides-to-be are more likely to find authentic sustainably-designed wedding dresses in Los Angeles in particular.
While a sustainable wedding dress might make you feel better about your impact on the environment, it has the added benefit of saving you money. Weddings are expensive, so any way you can save money should be welcome.
When it comes to a wedding gown, consider renting. The dress is for one day only, and it’s hard to justify the expense and the environmental harm for this single event. These are the main reasons more brides are turning to rental options.
Grooms and groomsmen have long rented their tuxedos for the big day, so why shouldn’t a bride rent her dress? As this becomes a more popular option, you should find it easier to rent a beautiful dress. Most wedding dresses stay in boxes for decades anyway. With a rental, you save money and still have beautiful memories and pictures to look at years from now.
Choosing Vintage Looks
With a rented dress, you can get a modern dress. Another option that is both sustainable and usually less expensive than buying a new dress is to go vintage. Vintage gowns make an extra special statement.
You can find older wedding dresses or formal gowns in specialty shops or online. You can also repurpose an older dress to make it look more modern. Buying vintage takes aim at fast fashion and its negative impact on the environment.
You won’t be responsible for pollutants, underpaid laborers, or carbon emissions from a dress that has been shipped around the world. Instead, you’ll save money and have a unique look no other bride will share.
Sustainability One Dress at a Time
One wedding dress doesn’t seem like a big deal, or it could make a big impact on the world, but taken collectively, these expensive gowns can potentially harm the environment significantly.
Brides and grooms can make a lot of sustainable choices for their events, from purchasing local foods and flowers to inviting fewer guests. More brides are becoming aware of how the choice of dress is yet another way to be more responsible and protective of the environment.