Show your love for the planet with a DIY wedding dress! You can make your dress from scratch, upcycle a dress, or hire a crafter to make a DIY wedding dress just for you!
If 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 Dress
If you are the type of girl 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 Your Wedding Dress
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.
Can’t sew? Find someone who can!
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.
1.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 @ email@example.com .
Images: Spiritex, Stitch Lounge, Isadora, My Corset
60 CommentsLeave a Reply
What a thoughtful and well researched article! I love the idea of crafting your own special dress. What an heirloom!
That’s a really good idea. Why not wedding dresses? Everything should be more ecologically friendly! Thanks for the good ideas. Hopefully some people put them to good use!
I like this as well. I was just looking through some wedding sites and came across this. Our environment can use all the help it can get. Great work!
Wow, now I wish I could go back and get married all over again! However, my wedding was about as eco-conscious as you can get. We walked to the court house alone. I was wearing vintage Doc Martins and a pair of jeans, and the drunk janitor was our witness. No reception, no honeymoon. That was 7 years ago 🙂
I love your wedding style :)… that IS as authentic -n- eco friendly as it can get! 7 years ago, i don’t think there was much buzz or available ideas about making eco wedding choices either. I think I’d choose to do it smokey mountain style where all you had to do was jump over a broom together- and bam! You’re Married!
What kind of jewelry would work well with an eco wedding dress? I think that wearing jewelry that is mass produced or made with industrialized mining techniques would be counterintuitive. But, I’ve seen some lovely eco-wedding jewelry available at earthsurf-ecojewelry.com. It’s made with sea glass and hand-dyed silk cords and its gorgeous!
That is a really good question. I think this would depend on the style of wedding one chooses, but certainly there is a plethora of jewelry makers on http://www.etsy.com. I found this really crafty one :http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5719589 who makes cruelty free vegan flower chokers. Also, many artists on etsy use recycled materials in their jewelry : http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=tag_title_description&search_query=recycled+jewelry+%2B+wedding
There is plenty sea glass there too, which I think would be so elegant with an eco wedding gown (such a perfect idea!).
To learn more about the problem with conventional jewelry, go here : http://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2007/10/jewelry-trouble.html
Great post. I had a really hard time finding an eco-friendly wedding dress that wasn’t going to either run me $2K or look like a hemp sack. My Mom ended up altering her own dress from the 70s to fit me and look a bit more modern. She’ll be happy to hear that she’s an “Upcycler.”
Just to let you know that I am re-launching Gaiahouse as an internet-only site so you can add it to your list of green gown suppliers ( if you like it of course!!) Please note that contact details have not yet been updated so if you`d like to know more, you can phone 01273 777752 (U.K.) or reply to this mail. Rosie from Green Union will vouch for me!
We craft very special eco wedding gowns for eco conscious brides. Each gown is one of a kind and can be embellished with hand made appliqué flowers, a train of sea shells or hand embroidered flowers and butterflies. It’s the brides dream gown and reasonably priced too! Prices start at $1,500. Many of the dresses we make are styled so they can be worn again to another special event. All the artwork is hand crafted in Vermont at our solar powered studio. visit taralynnstudio.com to have a peek. -Tara Lynn
What a great piece on eco wedding fashion! I love it!
You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
Haha ^^ nice, is there a section to follow the RSS feed
It is really a good idea to DIY your own wedding dress. It is not only to save money but also to see what you can do by yourself for your wedding.
Beautiful site. I was wondering if you might be able to mention our Eco-Elegant Wedding Show on your Blog? For information about the show take a look at the website: http://www.eco-elegant-wedding.com
Thank you and have a great day.
I stand in awe of my body.
Love this article and the dresses featured in it!
Wow, the Rene Geneva Corset is stunning
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