“Something Green”

17 Mar

  In honor of St. Patrick’s Day here’s a little twist on “something green” and it happens to be a growing trend in the bridal industry.  Many consumers today are choosing to live an eco-friendly lifestyle as an attempt to improve the living conditions on our planet.  Traditionally this has included simple acts of recycling or remembering to turn off a light in order to conserve energy.  Since this lifestyle has become more popular, more businesses and retailers have had to develop green products in order to satisfy their growing market.

Source: Sprig.com

  Lately I have met a lot more eco-conscious brides who are not only searching for their “dream dress”, but one that is also environmentally friendly.  Many brides who have chosen to live this lifestyle don’t think it is possible to go green when shopping for their bridal gown and often find themselves compromising their own personal values when making their big decision.   During our consultation I normally hear that they are either frustrated and/or overwhelmed with not being able to wear a green gown.  It’s always disappointing to hear that a bride is having a difficult time finding her “dream dress”.  Why shouldn’t you be able to wear a dress that reflects your own personality on your wedding day?

  Luckily some bridal designers have started to notice the growing demand for these gowns.  During the last market in New York we noticed more collections were being designed with organic textiles and produced within the United States, satisfying both an environmental and social responsibility.  If you’re concerned that these gowns won’t be considered as fashion forward, don’t be!  These organic designs weren’t just limited to simple sheath gowns.  Fuller shapes with eye catching details also graced the runways.  These eco-friendly designers are helping show brides who are concerned about their carbon footprint that they don’t have to sacrifice fashion, style and/or their personal values on their wedding day.

Source: Adele Wechsler Eco Couture

 

Source: Adele Wechsler Eco Couture

 

Source: Adele Wechsler Eco Couture

 

  Just a note: Even though these gowns are becoming more popular, it is still a niche market and they may not be readily available at every bridal salon you visit. 

  Another way to mix fashion with your passion for the planet is to think about reconstructing a bridal gown.  For the DYI brides out there, this is another opportunity for you to show off your creativity and talent while making a positive impact on the environment.  Yes, you are able to buy a sample gown or used gown at certain salons and boutiques, but did you know that you could also find a diamond in the rough at your own local thrift store or church/charity rummage sale?  Most gowns are still used, but sometimes sample gowns are also donated from local or national bridal salons. 

  One time when I stopped at a local rummage sale looking for vintage jewelry, I noticed that they had a bridal section as well.  From across the room I noticed a gown that was hanging on the rack that looked a little familiar.  When I walked over to take a closer look, I saw on the inside of the gown Carolina Herrera!  I asked one of the volunteers where they received their dresses from and she told me that boutiques all over the city donated to the sale because all of the proceeds were going to charity.  I couldn’t believe it.  Not only was this gown in great condition, but it was a Carolina Herrera couture bridal gown for a fraction of the price!  And believe me when I say fraction, I mean fraction…$50.00!  I also noticed that they were willing to barter with brides who really wanted a bargain. It was such an unbelievable deal that I wanted to buy the gown for myself!  I was tempted, but then I noticed the brides that were starting to swarm around me and the gown after I discovered the Carolina Herrera label. 

  Since I couldn’t let this dress go to waste, I passed it to the bride next me.  She seemed really nice, we had been commenting back and forth on the gorgeous dresses and the good deals.  Plus, she told me that she was getting married in the next few months.  She then asked me if I had a few extra minutes so I could give her my opinion about the gown on her.  Of course, I said yes.  In my head I knew that this dress was going to be the one and it only took a few seconds for the bride to realize the same thing.  Even though she loved it, she had a few hesitations.  The dress had a couple of things that weren’t exactly her style and it also lacked a few details that she imagined on her “dream gown’.  I realized it was now time to unveil the “bridal consultant” in me.

  While looking in the mirror we went over the pros and cons of the gown and then I gave her a few solutions to her negative points.  Most of her concerns were things that could be adjusted during her alterations, such as adding straps, a sash with an obi knot, buttons and modifying the skirt to make it slightly more fitted.  When I told her that, she was ecstatic and this was the dress.  This $50.00 gown was about to be a custom Carolina Herrera bridal gown.

  So, not only did this bride get the deal of the century, but she was also able to reuse and recycle a gown that had more wear left in its lifetime.  I would consider the example above to be a more standard way of reconstructing a bridal gown.  Bridal seamstresses are able to use their skills to transform a creation from the 80’s or 90’s and make it more modern and fashionable. 

Source: Etsy.com; sHELLAgARCIA

  If you are interested in reconstructing a gown, I would recommend consulting with a reputable bridal seamstress.  You will be able to tell her the design you have in mind and your budget, while she will tell you what you should be looking for and what can and can’t be done. 

  In the end, you will be able to walk down the aisle in a custom made gown that was not only affordable but a positive choice for the environment.

  Good luck and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

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