Zero waste wedding gowns are made from natural materials like organic cotton, linen or hemp. Although some women choose silk, know that silkworms are killed to make the material (and even some ‘peace or ahimsa silk’ leaves silkworms to die on the floor. Cupro is a better alternative, made from the cotton waste industry (it looks and feels just like real silk).
Most wedding gowns are also very expensive, especially to wear just for one day. A lot of zero waste wedding ideas involve hand-me-downs (wear your grandma’s wedding dress!). Others choose vintage gowns or just rent one. If you buy a wedding gown from a charity shop, support small local animal charity shops, not big charities that use profits to fund cruel animal testing or company cars (ie. most of the big medical charities).
- If buying new, Rolling in Roses (Yorkshire) offers handmade gowns with delicate features in a vegan alternative to silk, made from oranges! Each dress has a wrist loop to carry a train gracefully, and ribbon tabs (to tie up for dancing).
- Luna is a leading ethical wedding dress designer, all the fabrics are organic and vegan, such as English lace and vegan bamboo (see above re some ‘peace silk’). Highly skilled seamstresses transform the fabrics into unique dresses that are all made in Britain. Based in Yorkshire.
- For pre-loved dresses, you can buy and sell at Still White or Bridal Reloved (check out local dress agencies too).
Just buy a nice organic dress, and then you can wear it again and again. This organic cotton broderie dress by People Tree is really nice, and could be suitable for a wedding.
Buy nice vegan bridal shoes from Beyond Skin. These are ethically made and will last years for other occasions, and although expensive, there are regular sale bargains. Above are pretty silver Darcy sandals.
Where to Donate Wedding Gowns
You can donate used wedding gowns to Gift of a Wedding, and these are used to give a bride with terminal illness a special day. Or look up charities like Cherished Gowns or Cariad Angel Gowns who unpick donated gowns, then make them into free burial gowns for angel babies, in Heaven.