We all know about fast fashion, and to be honest we all know that is not great for the world – even if we don’t know the facts and figures, ins and outs, a £2 top can’t be right, surely? Granted wedding dress shopping isn’t about fast fashion – these dresses have had hours and hours of work and skill poured into them and there ain’t nothing fast about that. But if like me, you are thinking about how to adapt your daily wardrobe into being more ethical, consider trying to purchase your wedding dress with the same ethos in mind. Every year 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced – thats a whopping 400% more than 20 years ago. How can we help change this figure? At Bride and Tonic we pride ourselves on being a simple, non-fuss blog and support independent, British suppliers. We are working towards becoming more ethical, but it can be a tricky process and is pretty time consuming in research! So, we have taken on the task, hunted around and produced this guide to help budding ethical brides with their wedding dress shopping.
Please note – we don’t expect people to follow every single one of these guidelines, and understand we can’t make every single thing in our lives ethical (unless we live in a hole in the woods, probably naked and eating leaves?) but maybe, just maybe by supporting one of these ideas, we could help the world a little bit at a time. Here’s how:
one. air miles – by shopping locally and buying from British suppliers you are not only cutting down on air miles and the dreaded carbon footprint, but you are also supporting small businesses and like minded people. Try Francis Bridal, Ailsa Munro or Caroline Arthur.
two. organic – if everyone switched to using organic materials it would make one hell of difference to our environment and the people in it. Man-made fibres such as polyester are oil based and production releases greenhouse gases, uses large amounts of water for cooling and the end product is not biodegradable. The Soil Association reports that organic textiles:
are grown without using harmful pesticides or genetically modified organisms so promote a healthier farm and environment; don’t allow harmful manufacturing chemicals in organic textile production, so it’s better for wildlife and workers.
Social conditions are high in organic textile factories, and organic cotton production can help farmers find a way out of poverty.
Animal welfare is at the heart of organic systems, so is better for animals growing our fibres.
Our organic textiles don’t contain allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemicals.
four. vintage – one of the best ways to be an ethical bride – avoid new purchases and reuse. There are so many incredible vintage wedding dress shops out there, and styles from long ago are back on trend. Even better – wear your grannies wedding dress. If grandma’s dress isn’t around, try Oxfam, Vintage Lace Wedding Dresses London or Abigail’s Vintage Bridal.
five. preloved – Ok similar to vintage – but not the same! This is a great option if you have your heart set on a particular dress or designer, and also helps save the pennies! Pass on the love and resell after your wedding as well. Try Preloved, Bride2Bride or Still White.
six. silk – Many people probably aren’t aware that in the production of this natural, biodegradable material the silk cocoons are boiled alive or pierced in order to extract the silk thread before the moth emerges. Ethical companies are starting to incorporate wild, peace or Ahimsa silk which allows the moth to emerge before extracting the silk. Try Tammam.
Please let us know if this guide was useful, and what we are missing! We are learning too and there are so many great, informative websites out there to have a look at. Are you thinking about making your wedding more ethical? Let us know in the comments below!
P.S. The featured dress is by Ailsa Munro.