Although sustainable wedding dresses are harder to find, we dug deep to discover some of the best brands that adhere to eco-friendly principles during the sourcing and production of their designs.
Looking like a goddess on your big day is important, but it’s also essential to minimize the waste that a wedding creates. If you’re all about sustainability, we recommend that you go over the list of designers and brands we put together.
READ MORE: Sustainable and Plantable Wedding Invitations
#11 Sustainable Wedding Dresses for 2021
The global wedding dress market is predicted to reach a value of 43.5 billion by 2022. Most brides wear their wedding gown only once, spend a small fortune on it, then leave it packed somewhere deep in their wardrobes. It’s definitely not a sustainable purchase, but we’re here to change that.
If you’re looking for a brand that is committed to making the world a better place by using eco-friendly materials to create stunning bridal dresses, you’ll find the best selection below:
Reformation is one of the go-to brands for brides that need ethical wedding dresses. They focus on sustainable production and use only vintage fabrics and rescued deadstock fabrics for producing their beautiful designs. As a result, the silhouettes are usually simple, elegant, flattering, and perfect for a modern low-waste wedding.
Reformation pays a lot of attention to reducing their waste to a minimum and includes ethical practices in their production, packaging, material sourcing, and treats their employees right. In addition, their goal is to provide women of all sizes, colors, and ages with the perfect fit.
That’s why their range features sustainable options for Petites and plus-size ladies. When it comes to the price range, you can find options starting from a few hundred dollars and up to $600 or $700.
Check: Gorgeous Floral Wedding Gown
If you’re looking for the perfect wedding dress that will be made of sustainable materials and a custom creation, you should turn to Leanne Marshall. This amazing brand sources biodegradable fabrics made of natural fibers and only works with mills that promote and adopt sustainable practices.
According to their website, the brand avoids using polyester at all costs because it takes ages to decompose, and it’s not an eco-friendly option.
Leanne Marshall’s collections offer much more than just wedding gowns. If you don’t want to be a traditional bride and want to escape the regular patterns, you can opt for one of their skirt and top combos, colorful romantic dresses, or lace tops.
Each design will be custom-made by a seamstress for you, so you don’t have to worry about ordering the wrong size or being unhappy with how the gown looks when you put it on.
Tara Lynn is an absolute magician that creates some of the most beautiful sustainable wedding dresses you’ll ever see. The designer is well-known for her unique approach, detailed work, and amazing craftsmanship.
If your goal is to have a custom-made gown with sustainable fabrics, you should turn to Tara Lynn. There is also the option to shop from their ready-to-wear selection, but that collection is also made with natural materials and repurposed fabrics.
This Canadian designer also creates chic wedding suits for the modern bride. Her inspiration comes from her desire to make the world a better place and her admiration of nature. The price range is slightly higher, but you should consider investing if you’re searching for an unforgettable experience.
The famous Canadian brand Pure Magnolia is pure in many ways. Their beautiful wedding dresses are made of luxury fabrics such as Indian silk, European lace, but they also use vintage lace and recycled materials. Each design is custom-made for the bride, so there is almost no waste.
Pure Magnolia offers timeless pieces that you can resell and make another girl happy and unique designs that will help you stand out on your wedding day. Everything is made to order, so the chances of seeing the same dress everywhere are low. The brand also resells some of its dresses and sells sample gowns.
5. Anita Dongre
Anita Dongre is one of the best sustainable wedding dress brands to shop from. The designer and founder invested all her time in creating a company committed to eco-friendly principles, starting with the fabrics to their offices.
The brand is 100% vegan, so they don’t ever utilize fabrics that are derived from animals. Some brides can see these practices as limitations, but they’ll definitely change their minds once they see Anita’s work. The gowns are absolutely mind-blowing with the most insane craftsmanship.
Dongre expanded into accessories and cocktail dresses, so you can actually shop your entire look from there. Since Anita is Indian, she also makes stunning sarees.
6. Rita Colson
Rita Colson is another designer worth your attention. Her sustainable practices include sourcing deadstock fabrics, and all her materials are responsibly sourced. Colson finds vintage dresses that are decades old, uses their fabrics to create new ones that will make another bride happy.
You can find the brand’s creations in several stores, but they also offer the option for a custom-made gown. Rita is a huge supporter of sustainability; that’s why even the tiniest details on the gowns are made with minimum waste. The dress price will vary depending on what you want and whether it’s ready-to-wear or custom.
7. Christy Dawn
Christy Dawn is the queen of sustainable boho styles. All her designs are handmade and use only deadstock fabrics. Everything that fast fashion and other clothing brands leave as waste, Christy gets and transforms into whimsical creations.
She and her team also use organic cotton in production. The designer only makes two of each sketch, so this is the best option for brides who want to be unique and don’t want to see other brides wearing the same dress.
Dawn offers her clients an extended size range, which is often rare in the wedding industry. The workers in Christy’s atelier have all the benefits a worker should, making sure that their payments are more than decent.
Wear Your Love is the best choice for brides that want to look like magical fairies on their big day. The romantic, delicate creations that they make will make this event even more unforgettable for you. This is a brand that uses eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and bamboo.
It’s a vegan company that offers brides custom production so that the dress will fit you like a glove. There are no sizes to pick from, just let them know your measurements, and you’ll receive the perfect gown.
Other Places to Shop for Ethical Wedding Dresses
If you didn’t like anything from the brands we listed above, we wanted to include a few other spots where you can shop for sustainable bridal gowns, second-hand wedding dresses, and even rent the dress you’ve always dreamed of.
For example, suppose you and your fiancé already have ethical wedding rings, a minimum waste policy on food, and are trying to host a zero-waste event. In that case, you’re only missing a great sustainable bridal dress.
Etsy is one of the best places to shop for ethical wedding dresses and sustainable fashion overall. The best thing about this shopping platform is the numerous brands you can find that use sustainable materials to produce wedding gowns.
The price range is also diverse, so anyone and everyone will find something within their budget. There are even dresses that cost less than $100 and are an absolute delight to look at.
Another great idea is to look for vintage wedding dresses on Etsy that are also second-hand. Sustainable fashion is all about wearing pieces many times, so why not pick a dress that fits your personal style, doesn’t cost a fortune, and won’t have a negative environmental impact?
If someone else wore it, that shouldn’t prevent you from feeling like an absolute queen in it on your wedding day. Just take it to the dry cleaners, and it will be like owning a brand new dress. When the ceremony is done, you can resell it again and make someone else as happy as you are.
10. Rent The Runway
Rent The Runway isn’t exactly a place to shop for eco-friendly wedding dresses, but it’s one where you can rent the dress of your dreams at an affordable price. If you’re obsessed with certain high-end designers and brands, you’ll be happy to hear that some of their designs are available on this site.
So, if you’ve had your eye on a jaw-dropping Vera Wang number, but you can’t afford it even in your dreams, you should check Rent The Runway. Their selection is so diverse that you’ll be left with multiple choices, and it will be really hard to pick just one.
The site allows you to book and rent a number for 4 to 8 days, and you can even get various sizes from the same design in case you’re not sure which one you need. This is so important for huge events such as weddings because it offers you substitutes if you didn’t get the right size.
Once your big day is over, all you have to do is pack the dress and send it back. There is no need to pay an entire fortune on a dress you’ll only wear once in your life, so renting sounds like the next best thing.
As we mentioned before, buying a second-hand wedding dress is one of the most sustainable options for an eco-friendly bride. Borrowing Magnolia is a site that has thousands and thousands of designs that are waiting for you to scroll through.
You’ll see many classic bridal designs, modern numbers, colorful options, and a wide selection of lengths, materials, sizes, etc. What more could you ask for?
Here you’ll encounter huge designers that most people can’t afford. Some of the gowns come at a price that is discounted 60% to 80% from the original price. It’s like paying just a fraction for a dress that you’ve always wanted to own while also doing what’s best for the planet.
What are the most sustainable materials for wedding dresses?
Natural, organic fabrics such as jute, linen, organic cotton, bamboo fabrics are the most sustainable choices. You can also opt for recycled fabrics made of natural fibers, second-hand wedding dresses, or vintage wedding dresses.
Where can I buy a sustainable wedding dress?
Some of the best brands for sustainable dresses are Rita Colson, Reformation, Leanne Marshall, Pure Magnolia, Tara Lynn Bridal, Christy Dawn, Wear Your Love, Etsy, Rent The Runway, and Borrowing Magnolia.
Are wedding dresses ethically made?
In general, the bridal industry, especially wedding gowns, is the complete opposite of ethically made. However, there are brands that pay a lot of attention to working only according to ethical practices and use sustainable materials.
Opting for an eco-friendly wedding dress doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice looks. Many brands create the most magical gowns using only vintage, recycled, ethically sourced fabrics in their production.
If you’re planning a sustainable wedding, the brands and designers we listed are great places to start your search for the ideal dress. You can also use sites such as Etsy, Rent The Runway, and Borrowing Magnolia to find second-hand dresses or even rent one from renowned designers.
- “Bridal Gown Market Size Worldwide 2017-2022 | Statista.” 2017. Statista. Statista. 2017. https://www.statista.com/statistics/976471/bridal-gown-market-size-worldwide/.
- Brittany. 2020. “9 Most Affordable and Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress Options – Wayfaring Weddings.” Wayfaring Weddings. January 10, 2020. https://wayfaringweddings.com/most-affordable-and-eco-friendly-wedding-dresses/.
- https://www.facebook.com/WiseConsumr. 2021. “10+ Ethical and Sustainable Wedding Dress Brands – the Wise Consumer.” The Wise Consumer. January 9, 2021. https://thewiseconsumer.com/ethical-and-sustainable-wedding-dress-brands/.
- Lane, Taylor. 2013. “9 Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress Designers to Shop Now.” Brides. 2013. https://www.brides.com/gallery/eco-friendly-fashion-brands.
- Saying, Love. 2021. “The Good Trade.” The Good Trade. April 30, 2021. https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/sustainable-and-eco-friendly-wedding-dresses.
What are your favorite sustainable wedding dresses? Please share your picks below!
I’m a freelance journalist/writer/content marketer with BA Hons in Journalism.