Weddings are joyful celebrations, but they can be tough on the environment. Travel, food and other associated services can produce hundreds of pounds of waste and tons of carbon emissions. One of the many choices you can make to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding is in the wedding dress. Making an informed choice about whether to buy a new dress or a pre-loved dress can help your big day be more sustainable for the planet.
The tradition of buying a new wedding dress to wear for just one day is expensive, wasteful and bad for the environment. What is the simplest alternative? Wear a pre-loved dress. It’s more affordable and eco-friendly than buying a brand new dress.
Dressing for a more sustainable marriage
Although information about the environmental impact on the bridal segment of the highly polluting fashion industry is limited, it’s not hard to imagine that a fancy dress you wear for just one day is a waste. Consider the amount of fabric – and water – needed for a dress in silk, one of the most popular fabrics for wedding dresses. Approximately 2,542 gallons of water are used to produce a single yard of silk fabric. That means the average prom dress, which requires eight to 10 yards of fabric, uses up to 26,420 gallons of water. A mermaid dress uses four to six yards or up to 15,850 gallons of water, and a long dress, about 3 yards of fabric, consumes nearly 8,000 gallons before you try it on.
You can significantly reduce the footprint of your wedding dress by wearing a pre-loved dress.
Find a pre-loved wedding dress
Is there a wedding dress in your family that you could wear? Your mother or grandmother might have a dress she would like you to wear. Ask your loved ones if they have a dress they would be willing to share with you. If the right dress is not available, consider purchasing a pre-loved dress.
Sites like Stillwhite.com, almost newlywed, BravoBrideand even eBay are convenient markets for buying second-hand wedding dresses. With a wide selection of different brands, you might find what you’re looking for online.
If you are looking for local consignment stores that sell dresses, you will need to do a little research online. I bought my dress, which was lovely and in great condition, at a little thrift store in a college town. No major brick-and-mortar chain does bridal consignment yet, though Laurel in Vancouver, Canada, there is a wedding consignment store you can check out if you live in the area.
If you can’t find a used dress that you like, you can buy a new dress with less impact.
Buy a brand new dress
When shopping for a new wedding dress, avoid dresses made with fabrics with a significant environmental impact, such as nylon, rayon, polyester or conventional cotton. Organic or recycled cotton, hemp or linen, or even recycled polyester are more sustainable choices, and some brands specialize in dresses made with these fabrics.
The number of brands striving to make their dresses more sustainable is growing as brides become more environmentally conscious. For people looking to find an affordable dress (under $500) that looks fabulous, consider brands like Married Loulette And Larimeloom. If you are interested in mid-priced dresses, which cost over $500, check out wear your love, pure magnolia, Indiebride LondonOr poem. If the price is not an issue, you can add Grace loves lace, scout bridalAnd Lost in Paris to add to your consideration list.
Planning after the wedding
What are your plans for your dress after the wedding? Unless it was badly damaged, it still has life. One option is to keep the dress to pass on to your children, grandchildren, or another family member. Unfortunately, with this option, the gown may sit unused for years.
Another option is to sell the dress after your wedding. You’ll give someone else the pleasure of wearing the dress and recoup some of the cost of your wedding. And every time another person wears your dress, you’ve helped reduce the carbon emissions and water impact of making the dress. Every new wedding dress we avoid making is a win for the environment.
You can use online marketplaces like Stillwhite.com, almost newlywedAnd eBay to sell your dress. The process often includes paying a fee to list the dress. You will also need to ship the dress to the buyer. Sometimes the ad site charges a sales commission, but we recommend that you check Budget-wise bride ranking to help you choose where to sell your dress. If you find a local consignment that accepts wedding dresses, that’s also an option, although it’s not that common yet.
Whether you’re selling or storing your dress, make sure it’s clean and well packaged so it doesn’t get damaged. We recommend that you take your dress to a professional dry cleaner before storing or shipping it. You don’t want the next person to wear it to find it damaged. With a lot of bridal preservation kits to choose, you can sell or store your dress safely so that it is ready for the next wearer.
Start a new tradition
Starting a tradition of sharing dresses with other brides isn’t just green, it also has the potential to create a story for every generation of bride beyond yours. A well-made dress can be worn by daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. While a new dress made with more sustainable materials is a step in the right direction, the least environmental impact comes from wearing a pre-loved dress.
You will wear your wedding dress on one of the most memorable days of your life. If you pass it on, you bind more joy to the dress. Think of your dress as a flower that can bloom again and again with proper care. So why not be kind to the earth, spread happiness and give someone else a chance to have their wedding moment with your dress? Let’s start a tradition of passing on the dress, creating a legacy of joy for each special dress that includes more than one bride.