One of the biggest trends in the upcoming year is brides and grooms who are beginning to take a closer look at the impact their choices have on the world around them. As more information about the origins of different types of formal wear becomes available, it’s becoming harder to ignore unethical choices–and easier to make ethical ones.
The best news for brides and grooms is that ethical fashion doesn’t have to be a more expensive option. In fact, it’s often possible to save money by doing the right thing. Now that’s a nice way to start a lifelong commitment!
Sustainable fashion isn’t just for brides who stitch their own wedding dresses out of leaves and bamboo. Magazines like Elle, Brides, and Vogue have started featuring designers around the world who are jumping on the green fashion trend.
Look for Minna’s Eco-Luxe, which offers a line of zero-waste gowns made from organic fibers. Morgan Boszilkov, from Atlanta, Georgia, sources local and eco-friendly material for a line of stunning wedding dresses. Brooklyn’s Nicole Lenzen tailors fair trade fabrics to fit each client individually. Names like Deborah Lindquist, Tammam, Celia Grace, and Sanyukta Shrestha are all gaining fame in eco-fashion circles. Impress your friends years from now by showing off wedding photos that prove you were there first.
You don’t have to skip the green fashion trend just because you can’t afford a designer label, of course. One of the most appealing aspects of eco-friendly couture is that, done cleverly, you can save your bank account while you’re saving the planet.
Recycling and re-wearing is one of the most eco-friendly actions you can take, even if the dress isn’t made from organic materials. Look up whether there are any “dress swaps” happening in your area. This trend is snowballing in popularity because it allows newlywed women to make money from the gowns they’ll never wear again, and at the same time, it allows brides-to-be to pick up nearly-new gowns for a fraction of a new gown’s cost. There aren’t any consignment fees or middle men to raise the gown’s price. Plus, when you’ve met your dress’s previous owner, there’s a special glow you gain from knowing that the garment has already contributed to one happy marriage.
Don’t forget to pass your dress on once you’re done with it, too. With proper care and cleaning, a wedding dress can be worn many times before it starts to show its age. Consider donating the wedding gown to a charity for extra karma points.
Why Should You Care?
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the tiny choices of planning a wedding. Should the napkins be eggshell or ivory? If you have definite opinions on the little details, it’s even more important to step back and make sure you’ve got the bigger picture right, too. Start with a solid foundation, and you can go on to finesse the details with complete confidence.
The choices you make during wedding planning may seem like easy ones on the surface. When choosing your dress, you just pick the one that makes you feel the prettiest, right? Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that. Would you still feel as good in the dress if you knew that it was made from genetically-modified fibers, the exorbitant seed fees of which have dramatically increased the suicide rate of Indian farmers? Tragedies like this are happening all around the globe at this very moment, from the increased cancer risk of workers who spray the crop with pesticides to the underage textile workers who sew the wedding gowns in poverty.
Learning more about the global system that creates your clothing can be depressing, and it’s tempting to brush the knowledge away when you’re planning your joyous event. However, ignorance doesn’t stop the tragedies from occurring.
Only informed buying decisions can do that. As a couple approaching your wedding date, you represent an extremely powerful demographic to an extremely wealthy, worldwide industry. The more brides and grooms make ethical shopping choices, the more the international industry will have to stand up and listen. Think of it as your wedding gift to the world.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.