Clothing + Fashion

Published on May 30th, 2008 | by Leslie Richard

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Eco Bridal: DIY, Upcycle or Handcraft Your Wedding Dress

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Organic Wedding DressIf you are one of the many modern brides who are now concerned with the massive carbon footprint a wedding can leave behind this will be an eco treat! The average wedding is calculated to produce 14.5 tons of CO2, which is more then the 12 tons a person emits in one whole year. Yikes!

The last few years have thankfully brought us far beyond the once confused crunchy DIY & organic wedding designs into a realm where your green wedding dress fantasy will now become a memorable reality. This is a joyful list of craft culture worthy bridal gowns that will not only beautify your celebration but will solidify your environmental beliefs.

For those of you who may cower at the thought of sewing your own organic or upcycle wedding dress, don’t stress- there’s affordable eco designers who will handcraft your dress, plus bridal gowns are available from charities, vintage, or on auction.

DIY Wedding DressDIY: If you are the type of grrrl who has the sewing skills that can pay the bills you may just want to consider the intimacy & loving quality of creating your very own wedding dress. You will be able to choose all your own eco safe fabrics, save plenty green in your wallet for your biodegradable ecofetti & wedding favors, and be super proud to wear your handcrafted eco lux gown.

Get some DIY bridal inspiration from the Stitch Lounge, where Hope shows her step by step experience. If sewing your own dress makes your knees feel weak and your blood pressure rise, you can hire your local seamstress who will whip up your pretty dream dress from that coveted picture you tore from Brides Mag or a pattern (look for vintage patterns on e-bay and at local thrift stores). Purchase the organic fabrics online from a store like Near Sea Naturals who sells swatches and samples so you can actually touch it before you decide what you want. The types of fabric with the most traditional look and feel would be hemp/silk blends, tencel or eco silk, but many ladies are branching out with bamboo, organic cotton blends, and hemp linen.

UPCYCLE: This is where the imagination can run wild and free the way it should. Anywhere from creating your own eco couture design (without a couture price tag), forgoing expensive fabrics for something cheap, already used, embellished, with seams in place- to creating a simple elegant design based on that almost perfect dress you saw at your local thrift. Remember what Molly Ringwald did with Lona’s fru fru prom dress in Pretty In Pink? Hell yeah!

A great place to start is good ole’ Ebay for a crazy amount of used & vintage wedding gowns – some priced as low as $9, that’s totally cheap! You or your seamstress can transform these old bridal gowns (from the thrift, your mom’s closet, Brides Against Breast Cancer, or in the local classifieds) into new one of a kind creations, and leave almost no environmental footprint behind. Hint: Personally I find, the weirder the wedding dress is to start off with the further you will have to push your design and the better the end product will be.

HANDMADE JUST FOR YOU: There are fabulous eco designers out there who have already designed an array of organic & eco friendly wedding gowns and are just waiting for your measurements to sew one for you. The prices range from $250 to over $3,000, all of which are made specifically for you. This is an important environmental factor, because the traditional wedding dress industry pumps out tons of gowns that may or may not ever be bought or worn & are made from toxic materials causing a serious environmental impact. The eco designers listed below use only the most environmentally safe fabrics & practices.

My Corset Eco Silk Wedding Gown1.Designer Rene Geneva makes incredible, show stopper, eco wedding gowns and corsets (as pictured here with corset)- using sustainable materials such as hemp, organic cotton, and eco silk. This is for the high end eco wedding, these ethical bridal dresses can price well into $3,000 range- but holy crap they are awesome!
2. Get Conscious makes extraordinary eco wedding gowns for every genre, from the clean lined strapless, to the flowy Marilyn Monroe, Flamingo Dancing, Mermaid, and various other fun designs. Seriously, these dresses have character! Their prices start around $630 and go up well into $2,000 range for their eco couture styles. They also carry bridesmaid & groom gear.
3. Thread Head Creations -Choices! Choices! At Thread Head Creations you can choose from a handful of organic bridal dress already designed, alter these designs, or even work one on one with designer Rai-Lynne to design your very own dream dress. All materials used are sustainable fabrics like hemp/silk blends. These dresses are very affordable (as far as organic weddings go) starting at $475.
4. Isadora (eco Etsy artist) has designed a beautiful stylish bamboo wedding gown that is absolutely gorgeous! This is for the wedding goddess in you. It runs about $750, which for an all eco wedding gown is rather comparably priced to a traditionally made gown (aka-sweatshop/bad for the earth). Plus when the wedding is over, this dress can be dyed and cut to be an adorable timeless cocktail dress.
5. Wholly JO - Custom made eco wedding dress created exactly the way you want it, by someone who lovingly will help you design just the right one for you. Only drawback for gals in the USA is this designer is based in the UK – Prices start around $600. Check out her picture gallery for inspiration! For those in the USA, try Olivia Luca who provides the same personalized service as the UK’s Wholly Jo.
6. Gaia Conceptions is an eco designer on Etsy, her organic wedding dress is made with locally grown and milled organic cotton, this is a simple formal wedding gown that you can have custom designed, starting with this basic example. Priced at only $250!
7. Spiritex – A North Carolina based organic clothing/fabric maker, Spiritex has added organic, bamboo, hemp and silk wedding gowns & bridesmaid gowns to their collection. Call to order & ask questions (828-254-8949) because their designs are absolutely stunning. A must see for the eco-bride!
8. The Frock - Exquisite, stunning, fabulous vintage wedding dresses, that would make a drag queen shed tears! What could be more earth lovin’ then a gown long since been made, like since the 1920′s. These though are not cheap, running $1,000 and way up. The selection is 16 pages long, and every gown is a complete showstopper.
9. Blue Sky Bridal (for wedding accessories) – an eco esty store that carries pretty organic & vintage & upcycled wedding veils, wraps, and corsets. Prices start as low as $35. While your at Blue Sky Bridal, go ahead and search Etsy for all the lovely handmade wedding gear a crafty girl could want.

Now go and get married in your saucy planet friendly wedding gown! Don’t forget to write us and tell your DIY wedding story @ craftingagreenworld@greenoptions.com .

Images: Spiritex, Stitch Lounge, Isadora, My Corset

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About the Author

I live and breathe everything eco , from organic gardening, organic food, to green crafting, minimalist decorating and nature made art. On an average day you can find me planting seeds, loving on my kitty, working on my eco fashion store The Oko Box (www.theokobox.com), and blogging about something green. I love promoting eco lifestyles and participating in changing the future, for a greener earth. xoxo



  • http://www.alterednationdesigns.com Altered Nation Designs

    Love this article and the dresses featured in it!

  • http://www.alterednationdesigns.com Altered Nation Designs

    Love this article and the dresses featured in it!

  • http://www.alterednationdesigns.com Altered Nation Designs

    Love this article and the dresses featured in it!

  • http://www.alterednationdesigns.com Altered Nation Designs

    Love this article and the dresses featured in it!

  • http://www.thecorsetshop.co.uk corsets

    Wow, the Rene Geneva Corset is stunning

  • http://www.thecorsetshop.co.uk corsets

    Wow, the Rene Geneva Corset is stunning

  • http://www.thecorsetshop.co.uk corsets

    Wow, the Rene Geneva Corset is stunning

  • http://www.thecorsetshop.co.uk corsets

    Wow, the Rene Geneva Corset is stunning

  • Susan Black

    I just received this dress today. Oh, My! Absolutely gorgous! The top is covered with sequins and pearl beads & the fabric is heavy satin with chiffon overlay and has great boning and multiple petticoat tulle linings! The fit (I got the custom) is perfect! We also ordered a couple of bridesmaid dresses they are perfect as well! Thank you !!

  • http://dressestoweartoawedding.info dresses to wear to a wedding

    I think that especially if you are the bride usually you don’t even think about how much CO2 your wedding will produce but you only care about shining in the best day of your life. Many thanks for put it that way and give alternative eco solution too.

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