Wearing a green wedding dress does not mean you have to don a burlap sack! In fact, eco-friendly wedding gowns have never been more stylish or affordable than they are today. There are hundreds of designers, fabrics and styles to choose from - you just need to know how to search. Here is a list of the most common natural wedding dress fabrics with some drool-worthy examples from today's hottest eco gown designers.
Organic Cotton Wedding Dresses
Cotton is often considered a "natural" fabric, but cotton is actually one of the most heavily pesticided crops in the world. Organic cotton is grown without toxic chemicals, which makes it better for the environment and the workers who handle it. Many establish designers like Kendal Leonard Designs, as well as up-and-coming Etsy designers, use organic cotton to create comfortable and affordable gowns perfect for a spring or summer wedding.
Peace Silk Wedding Gowns
Silk is a completely natural material spun from the cocoon fibers of silk worms. The only problem is that most silk is extracted from cocoons that are still inhabited, and the average wedding gown requires the silk of 3,000 worms. For that reason, vegans (and many others) have moral issues with silk. Peace silk is a great alternative for ethical wedding gowns, as it is harvested after the moths have already left their shelters.
Hemp Silk Bridal Fashion
Despite popular misconceptions, hemp is not the same plant as marijuana. Hemp is significantly more sustainable than cotton because it requires half the water and zero pesticides to grow and has the added benefit of wicking moisture away from your body (so it keeps you cool and less sweaty on your big day). When hemp fibers are combined with silk, the result is a shimmery, soft luxurious fabric.
Linen Wedding Attire
Linen fabric is made from flax. Like hemp, flax is a natural fiber that grows without requiring a lot of water or pesticide inputs. Linen is one of the oldest fabrics, and because it is labor intensive to make, it is very valuable (it was even used as currency in ancient Egypt!). Linen gowns are extremely elegant and linen suits are perfect for warm weather weddings.
Wool is incredibly warm, eco-friendly and ethical - as it is sustainably harvested by shearing sheep. While few gowns are made of wool, winter brides can delight in wool overcoats, shawls and other cozy accessories while their grooms stay toasty in handsome dark wool suits.
When you choose a wedding gown made from a sustainable material, you not only support earth-friendly farming practices, but you also promote eco-conscious designers who are going out of their way to source natural fabrics. After your wedding, consider “recycling” your gown by reselling it or donating it to a good cause, like Brides Against Breast Cancer.