5 Questions with...Adele Wechsler

Bridal designer Adele Wechsler dishes on her Eco Couture line and gives tips for picking earth-frien

Adele Wechsler studied fashion design at the renowned Natal Technikon in South Africa. After graduating, and planning her own wedding, Adele moved to Canada and launched the Adele Wechsler collection. Adele's designs have become synonymous with streamlined, alternative wedding gowns, evoking feelings of feminine romance. In 2008 Adele introduced her Eco Couture Collection II. The line is a continuation of Eco Couture I featuring "breezy, windswept and free flowing" dresses. Adele's Eco Couture designs are 100% green, and the perfect dress for the bride planning an eco-chic wedding.

Why did you decide to create an eco-friendly line of wedding gowns?

It was a natural evolution for me from my "HELLO AFRICA" collection, which was a collection with a humanitarian component, to create a collection with an environmental consciousness. I also wanted to inject more meaning into what I do, in the same way that I think that many brides today want to make a statement about themselves on this special day. It is not merely about the dress (although of course the gown needs to be beautiful). I wanted my collections to have heart and soul. The fastest growing "trend" in bridal today is the green wedding. It simply made sense.

How are your designs eco-friendly?

The following components go into each design - Certified organic hemp/silk blends
- Vegetable dyed silks
- Remnant lace and fabrics
- Fair trade labor
- Each dress is hand cut with many hand sewn details
- Organic design elements
- Every dress is made in Canada, where the company is based

When you're creating a new collection what inspires you?

I am truly inspired by the bride who cares about the world in which she lives I am inspired by the mood of the times.

Besides the wedding dress, do you have any advice for brides planning a green wedding?

There are a variety of ways a couple can have an eco-chic wedding: - If your guests will be traveling to your wedding destination, you can encourage them to purchase "carbon points" to offset their flights
- Couples can hire a "green" caterer who uses organic and/or locally grown foods
- When shopping for invitations, brides should look for the following components: post-consumer waste (PCW), recycled paper, biodegradable elements, chlorine free, soy-based or vegetable inks or consider using an online invitation service, such as evite.com
- Use fair trade or silk flowers for your bouquet and centerpieces
- After the wedding, donate your centerpieces to a hospital or nursing home, and deliver leftovers to a shelter

Do you have any tips on how the groom's attire can be eco-friendly too?

The groom can wear a vintage suit, or one he already owns. If he is going to buy or order a custom suit, have it made in breathable hemp and silk blends. If the groom is planning on renting a tuxedo, check that the rental company uses an eco-friendly dry cleaner.

Click here to see the complete Adele Wechsler collection and check out our entire wedding dress gallery.

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