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Best UK Sustainable Fashion Designers for your Wedding Dress
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something… Sustainable? Nowadays more and more people around the UK are opting for greener choices in day-to-day life. When it comes to your special day, why should this be any different? Gone are the times when a sustainable wedding would only be considered in a 70s hippy commune! In the 21st century it’s never been easier to take a step in the greener direction and plan a wedding that doesn’t cost the planet.
While there are many considerations for an eco-friendlier wedding ceremony, many brides are opting to combat the detrimental impact of fast fashion by seeking out eco-fashion designers to design their wedding dresses. While there are a brilliant range of slow fashion brands for weddings (hold that thought), what is sustainable fashion?
- What Is Sustainable Fashion?
- Types Of Sustainable Wedding Dress
- Best Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands For Your Wedding Dress In The UK
- Sanyukta Shrestha
- Indiebride London
- Gemma Leakey
- Mother of Pearl
- Stella McCartney
- Lee Klabin Couture
- Mia Sylvia
Sustainable fashion is a crucial movement to promote environmental welfare and social justice in the fashion industry. This applies to all stages of the clothing journey; from manufacture to disposal and is a global pressing concern for the generation of today. Many fashion brands present inadequate working conditions and wages for their workers, while damaging the environment through high CO2 emissions, excessive pollution and waste and damage to surrounding ecosystems. This is often a result of gross overproduction to meet soaring global fashion demand, resulting in the label: ‘fast fashion'.
Good news is, there are lots of things we as consumers can do to disrupt the damaging timeline of fast fashion and feel better in ourselves for doing so. A sustainable wedding dress can be defined in many ways and isn’t limited to seeking out a specific eco-friendly designer. Consider the following types of sustainable wedding dress:
• Second-hand wedding dresses from platforms such as eBay or Etsy
• Vintage or upcycled wedding dresses • Bespoke wedding dresses
• Wedding dresses made from organic, natural, or recycled fabrics
• Locally sourced wedding dresses
• Wedding dresses made by properly paid workers
• Low/zero waste wedding dresses
• Wedding dresses made by brands with green initiatives (e.g., carbon neutral delivery)
• Wedding dresses made by sustainable designers (see below)
Described as “the Greta of the Wedding World”, Nepalese born sustainable fashion designer Sanyukta Shrestha is a pioneer of the ethical bridal wear industry. Innovatively manufactured using fibres such as milk, banana, hemp, wild nettle and organic silk, her illustrious bridal collections are displayed at the esteemed Fashion Museum in Bath. Not only are her wedding collections eco-friendly, she also actively campaigns for an ethical workforce and women’s empowerment. Her ethical bridal wear collections are ‘hand spun and hand loomed in Nepal and sourced from local villagers (mainly women weavers) through sustainable projects run by a certified Fair-Trade Group in Nepal’.
Indiebride creates handmade, bespoke ethical wedding dresses as beautiful and unique as the bride herself. They pride themselves on their bohemian style, consideration of the environment and personalised customer service. Their wedding dresses are of truly stunning quality, manufactured lovingly with organic fabrics such as ahimsa silk from England and organic ramie fabrics from China. If this wasn’t enough, they ensure all cut off fabrics are reused and recycled into their sashes, veils, and headpieces. If you’re in the South London area, be sure to check them out on your hunt for some ethical bridal wear!
Having switched from the UK fashion scene to ethical bridal wear merely 5 years ago, Gemma has certainly made a name for herself. Featured in the likes of Brides magazine, Perfect Wedding magazine and Vogue, Gemma designs simple, modern pieces that reflect her high street brand past and are ideal for the bride of today. Perfect for an eco-friendly wedding, a dress from Gemma Leakey is manufactured using only locally sourced, sustainable fabrics and offcuts. Dresses come made to measure or, if you’re brave, from a collection. But fear not, Gemma provides a full alteration service if you’re not 100% satisfied with the fit.
A luxury, sustainable womenswear brand, Mother of Pearl has a stunning bridal collection – Pearly Whites – which is made to order. Creative Director, Amy Powney, lives and breathes sustainability, with her environmentally responsible clothing collections exhibited at London and Copenhagen Fashion Week. Their ethical bridal wear is made from 100% organic silk satin and boasts a classic yet slightly whimsical design. The sleeve details especially make these pieces stand out, and there’s even an indulgent bridal pyjama set too! Perfect for some well needed sleep after all your hard work as a bridal eco-warrior!
How could we not mention the woman behind Meghan Markle’s renowned wedding dress, Stella McCartney. Following her royal success, she went on to release a sustainable wedding dress collection in 2018. The pieces are made in Italy using Couture techniques. Meghan’s specific dress – The Amal Dress – is made entirely of sustainable viscose that took three years to develop, the rest of Stella’s pieces are manufactured using recycled, organic, and forest-safe textiles. Sadly, the pieces are not available directly via her website currently, but designer resale sites such as THE OUTNET UK and NET-A-PORTER house the entire collection.
Lee is set to redefine the modern bride, motivated to make beautiful, contemporary dresses with a sustainable foundation. Strictly manufactured in the UK, they only use natural or recycled materials, working solely with factories who prove their staff are paid the national fair living wage or above depending on their skills. Lee spoke about her ethical bridal wear “I am most proud that I’ve been able to combine modern chic aesthetic with uncompromising sustainability. Too often sustainability is associated with over baggy yoga style, lentil-coloured clothing that doesn’t really appeal aesthetically. Not the case with us. No one guessed that we are 100% sustainable until we told them, and people are always gob-smacked.”
Mia Sylvia is at the forefront of sustainable fabric installations and recycled wedding dresses; her dresses are vintage pieces that have been discovered across the UK and are adjusted to fit you like a dream. Her wedding garments and textiles are handmade in England with hand-forged pigments, sustainable skills, and regenerated textiles. ‘Mia studies the language and symbolism of flowers and loves to hide romantic messages within the garments. The colours themselves are also inspired by the most beautiful pre-Raphaelite paintings.’ If you’re looking for an all-in-one sustainable wedding designer for table runners to vintage dresses, Mia’s your girl!
This list of stunning ethical bridal wear designers is by no means exhaustive. If you’re on the hunt for a sustainable wedding dress in the UK, check out some further sustainable fashion designers ready and waiting to make you a vision in white (or green).
• Ivy & Gold Bridal
• Kate Halfpenny
• Miller White
• Rita Colson
• Rolling in Roses
• Sabina Motasen
• Temperley Bridal
Did this ‘Best UK Sustainable Fashion Designers for your Wedding Dress' article help you? What's going to be your go-to dress for your wedding? Let us know!
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