Today, the world is celebrating the environmental crusade and movement known as Earth Day. But for many brands, that eco-conscious mindset has become a way of life and integral to their business. For a long time, fashion and sustainability were thought to be working in opposition to one another, but the tide is changing slowly, but surely. Reformation, the epitome of cool girl style, and global retail juggernaut H&M are two such labels leading the charge.
“Throughout my years in fashion, I saw firsthand the overwhelming amount of pollution created by the industry and knew that I had to make a change and help break this cycle,” stated Reformation founder Yael Aflalo. “Our mission at Reformation is to lead and inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable. We seek to change the way that people think about fashion by showing that it can be eco-friendly without sacrificing style. We want to lead a movement towards a world where sustainable manufacturing is the status quo.”
For H&M, sustainability is gradually being woven and integrated into every part of their business. “We’re make sustainable, quality fashion available to a large number of people all over the world and we want H&M to be the more sustainable choice,” a spokesperson from H&M’s Conscious design team told Brides. “At H&M Group, we are constantly on the lookout for innovative materials and processes that can make our products more sustainable. Our new sustainable material for this season, BIONIC yarn, is made with plastic recovered from shorelines, waterways and coastal communities protecting the oceans from plastic pollution. Our goal is to every year increase the share of sustainable fabrics in our total material use.”
And when it comes to bridal fashion, Reformation hasn’t had any particular challenge making its bridal collection eco-friendly. “We use a lot of the same sustainable fabrics from our weekly launches in our wedding collection,” Aflalo revealed. “We also keep track of our footprint in the same way, through RefScale. It's on every product page and shows how much water, CO2, and waste each Ref garment saves compared to industry standards.”
So with Earth Day upon us and more brides-to-be than ever looking for ways to incorporate sustainability into their ceremony looks, we got some expert tips from Aflalo and H&M for all brides-to-be who are looking to make their wedding looks sustainable.
Vintage, recycled, and Tencel fabrics are the ones you should be paying attention to.
Reformation uses all three of the aforementioned in their clothing, which makes it easy! “We work to develop better solutions for our higher impact fabrics like silk too,” states Aflalo. “We use Bluesign(R) Certified Eco Silk, sourced from a bluesign certified mill. It's made using a holistic systems approach, which means only safe dyes are used in the process.” The new Freesia dress (above, $488 available at Reformation) from the brand’s Bridal collection is already on a waitlist—it’s under $500 and stunning so naturally—and is crafted from surplus fabric.
Yes, you absolutely want to make your own special moment on your big day, but that doesn’t mean you have to do that wearing a new dress! There are such amazing stories behind vintage designs, that if you find a knowledgeable enough vendor, you may find one worn by a bride whose story you also fall in love with. And the best thing about vintage pieces is that you tailor them to perfection. So don’t be afraid to get one size up or alter it to your liking. Etsy is a vintage wedding gown treasure-trove and the boho chic princess in us is all about this 1960’s style.
The magic is in the tailoring.
“If you find a great dress that you love but that maybe doesn't fit the best, keep in mind you can have it sewn to flatter you just right,” states Aflalo. “I think being comfortable and feeling sexy, especially at your wedding, is super important—and the perfect fit can help with that. “
Choose something sexy, but effortless if you absolutely want to wear your dress again.
Aflalo advises brides-to-be to start in their closet if they’re set on figuring out how to get more bang for their buck when it comes to their wedding gown. In your wardrobe, you should be looking for your favorite silhouettes and accessories that will allow you to style it differently and wear them again and again. Or, “just throw on some cute flats instead of heels and you're good to go,” the Reformation founder advises. And H&M advises shortening your gown’s skirt to make it more wearable for everyday. We’re obsessed with this Daughters of Simone gown, but you could absolutely take up the length a bit and wear it with flats, as both brands have suggested. Or throw a jacket over it to make it cocktail chic.
Kemp Silk Off The Shoulder Wedding Dress, $2,522, Daughters of Simone
Let sustainability spill over into your accessories.
“All of the handbags, earrings, and shoes in the H&M Conscious Exclusive collection are made with sustainable materials,” the brand revealed, thus that’s a great place to start.