Now more than ever, brides are looking to incorporate eco-conscious practices into their wedding day. One of the easiest, and most fashion-focused, ways for a bride to do this is by purchasing a sustainably made dress.
"Sustainability is important in every category of fashion, but it feels particularly relevant to bridalwear. If your marriage should stand the test of time, your dress should too," shares Katherine Holmgren, co-founder and business development director of Galvan London.
Meet the Expert
Katherine Holmgren is the co-founder and business development director of Galvan London, a London-based label. Specifically, their "White Collection" offers suits, party dresses, and gowns tailored for civil ceremonies, formal nuptials, and after-parties.
When choosing your wedding dress, it's essential to focus on the material used, in order to determine if the look is made sustainably or not. However, while fabric and material are crucial in creating an eco-friendly dress, Holmgren does point out that there's much more to the conversation. She highlights that it's also important to see if the brand mass-produces its pieces, leading to an abundance of excess stock.
In particular, looks from Galvan's 'White Collection' are made with the idea of versatility and re-wearability in mind. "Our White Collection is mostly made to order, produced individually at local London ateliers that support the living wage, or else produced in micro-batches at our European factories," Holmgren tells Brides. "This ensures that wastage is kept to a minimum and that our garments are made in sustainable working conditions.
Beginning your search for a sustainably-made wedding dress? Ahead, we put together 22 of our looks, all from brands that focus on sustainable, eco-friendly practices.
For the Fashion Forward Bride: Galvan Thalia Bustier Dress in Pearl
This midi dress from Galvan was inspired by “the strong, sexy style of the ’90s supermodels”—think Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. We love the body-hugging silhouette and the sexy, yet timeless, bustier bodice. It’s a perfect choice for all chic and modern brides.
For the Minimalist Bride: Rita Colson Celeste Gown
Graceful, delicate, and simplistic are the words to describe this floor-length gown from Rita Colson. Perfect for the style-conscious bride, this gown features an unexpected crisscross neckline that is subtle yet eye-catching.
Best Jumpsuit: Reformation Alfred Jumpsuit
While not technically a dress, we love this bridal-style jumpsuit from the ‘go-to’ sustainable brand, Reformation. The flared legs give a 70s edge to an otherwise modern look. Dress it up or down; either way, we know you’ll be dancing the night away.
Price at time of publish: $278
Best Midi: Galvan Freya Dress in White
For a nontraditional winter wedding, consider this structured, long sleeve midi. The dress features Galvan’s signature neckline with V-boning and is crafted in semi-shine Italian viscose yarn.
Price at time of publish: $895
Best Two-Piece: Nordeen Faven Top and Tamsin Pant
Two-piece bridal sets are popping up everywhere, making for an unexpected twist on the traditional bridal gown. Pair this set with pointed-toe satin white pumps and a bold lip for a glamorous ensemble.
Most Elegant: Nordeen Lyra Gown
Glide down the aisle in this elegant gown from Nordeen. Nordeen's pieces are inspired by movement and beauty in nature, which fits the brand's sustainable, environmentally friendly practices.
Most Party-Ready: Reformation Adare Dress
Let loose in this slip dress—perfect for a second wedding day look, post-ceremony. The fun, flirty silhouette is complete with a pearl-embellished neckline and thin, adjustable straps.
Price at time of publish: $348
For the Boho Bride: Wear Your Love La Paz Dress
Flowy and ethereal, this gown is perfect if you're aiming for a boho-chic vibe on your wedding day. The dress features feather pattern embroidery and a crisscross strap back with dangling tassels.
For an Elopement: Whimsey & Row Jade Dress in Shiny Cream
Slip into this no-fuss dress for a low-key elopement. Go minimalistic with simple gold jewelry and a classic kitten heel, or try a bold color platform heel for a statement look.
Most Effortlessly Chic: Reformation Tullamore Dress
Simplicity at its finest. This gown from Reformation is made for the bride looking to add romance to her wedding day look. The ivory coloring is a fresh alternative to pure white, and the lace detailing at the bottom incorporates a vintage feeling.
Price at time of publish: $528
For the Sexy Bride: Bastet Noir The Michelle Dress
Inspired by Michelle Pfieffer's silky slip dresses in the cult-classic movie, Scarface, this gown is alluring and timeless. The dress falls around ankle length and features a cowl-esque neckline with a revealing open back.
Price at time of publish: $133
For a Spring Wedding: Maggie Marylin The Heavenly Ruffled Cotton and Silk-Blend Voile Midi Dress
This dress from Maggie Marylin is light, airy, and perfect for a daytime wedding in the spring. Wear it belted for a more structured look, or turn the waist tie into a dainty neck scarf to give the dress free-flowing movement.
Best Lace Bodice: Leanne Marshall Angeline Gown
Lace is a romantic touch to any wedding gown, and this style combines sweet and sexy, with a long sleeve lace illusion bodice. We picture the lightweight silk chiffon skirt blowing in the wind at a seaside ceremony.
Best Pastel Detailing: Leanne Marshall Wyoming Gown
Add a pop of color with the pastel detailing on this gown's playfully full skirt. The scoop-neck adds to the youthful nature of the gown, while the high-slit adds an unexpected sliver of skin.
Most Unique: Kampperett Mae Silk Organza Dress
Whimsical brides will love this silk organza gown from Kampperett. The Quiapo-inspired tie closures add to the dress’s quirky and avant-garde nature. Pair with an ivory slip underneath.
Price at time of publish: $895
Most Cottagecore: Lost in Paris Stardust Gown
This vintage cotton Quaker lace gown is perfect for a rural countryside wedding. The dress focuses on comfort with natural fibers and stretchy, soft lace.
Price at time of publish: $1,087
For the Statement-Making Bride: Pure Magnolia Cecilia Gown
Crafted out of hemp—one of the most sustainable fabrics in today’s world—this gown is truly one-of-a-kind. The one-shoulder design focuses on one statement sleeve adorned with petite polka dots.
Price at time of publish: $1,524
Best Paint-Suit: Reformation Kinsale Set
Brides looking for an alternative to a classic white wedding dress will love this stylish, oversized pant-suit. The blazer is fully lined and features front buttons and side pockets, and the pants have a wide-leg fit.
Price at time of publish: $488
Best Wrap Silhouette: Reformation Winslow Dress Es
Classic wrap dresses never go out of style, and they are perfect for brides wanting a casual, low-key wedding. Not only is this silhouette comfortable, but the versatile tie belt allows for a fitted or loose look, depending on what you prefer.
Price at time of publish: $298
Best Non-White Option: Carmen Llaguno Gabriella Dress
Stray away from the traditional white gown and try this nude-colored asymmetrical dress. Created in woven twill, made of Lyocell, a cellulose fabric made from Eucalyptus, the dress features eye-catching details, including button closures and a cut-out bodice.
Best Puff Sleeves: Reformation Rachelle Dress
Planning a beachside wedding or backyard nuptials? Opt for this simple midi with comfort-focused touches from elastic sleeve openings to a full, flowy skirt.
Price at time of publish: $298
Best Crystal Detailing: Safiyaa Celiana Embroidered Long Dress
Black tie weddings are your chance to stun in a statement ball gown, but this gown is simple, modern, sleek, and perfect for a formal wedding. The tight-fitting ¾ sleeve and fishtail bottom are flattering touches, but the most eye-catching element is the croc crystal embroidery.
Price at time of publish: $2,170
How much do sustainably-made wedding dresses generally cost?
Sustainably made wedding dresses fall typically between $200 to $2000. While they are known to be on the pricer side, compared to fast-fashion brands, purchasing a sustainable wedding dress may end up being more cost-efficient.
Where can you shop for sustainably made wedding dresses?
If you're looking for a sustainable wedding dress, chances are you won't have much luck at a standard bridal salon or department store. Instead, most sustainable gowns can be found online, with brands that focus on eco-friendly practices. If you're curious about production practices, information can generally be found on the brand's 'about us' page.
What else should I keep in mind when shopping for a sustainable wedding dress?
In the past, eco-friendly clothing has had the reputation of being earthy and boho, but that could not be farther from the truth these days. Some of the most cutting-edge, modern designers are making sustainable garments to reduce fashion's impact on the environment. So no matter what style you're after, chances are there is a sustainable wedding dress that fits your vision.