Eco-Friendly Wedding Dresses & Sustainable Gowns for 2021
Learn how to find an eco-friendly wedding dress that is sustainable & stunning!
Written by Hannah Warren
We earn a commission through carefully selected links on this site, however, this never influences our evaluations or writing.
Finding an eco-friendly wedding dress is important in 2021
Saying “yes” to the dress shouldn’t also mean you say “yes” to ignoring all your normal values; if you love the environment the last thing you want to do is start your new life in something you feel conflicted about buying and owning.
The best thing you can do if you live your life trying to do your best for the world around you is to make choices that won’t actively harm the environment. “That’s fine,” you say, “we’ve got recyclable cutlery. But what about my dress?”
Don’t worry – it is possible to find a dress that will make you look and feel great on the inside as well as out. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind as you move forward with your search for the perfect eco-friendly wedding dress.
How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress
Consider these 4 tips when shopping for environmentally friendly dresses & gowns
Consider buying second-hand
This isn’t going to be an option for everyone and you definitely shouldn’t feel pressured to buy a second-hand dress just because it already exists. This is your wedding day, so don’t compromise if you don’t want to!
You also may not like the idea that someone else wore it and no longer wants it (suggesting their marriage was unsuccessful), and it will need tailoring, so unless you want a vintage dress this probably won’t be the right option for you.
Rent a dress
There are some services that will let you rent your wedding dress, so if you want a designer dress without the cost, this may be an option.
Order within the US (or your country)
When you order from a store in your own country you minimize the extra effort it takes to get to you. If you can, see where the dress was manufactured too, as a dress coming from China will have to come on a plane or container ship.
The Big One: choose a natural fabric
The biggest thing you can do when you choose your wedding dress, that won’t cause you to compromise on what you want, is to choose a fabric that is all-natural and comes from a renewable source.
What Fabrics Are Natural, Organic & Environmentally Friendly?
The only fabrics you’ll probably want the main fabric of your wedding dress to be, are linen, cotton, silk, and rayon. Linen is a thick, traditional fabric, so you probably won’t come across it in a wedding dress. There are other natural fabrics but most aren’t suitable for use in a wedding dress.
It’s likely you’ll find a fabric blend in your dress, rather than just one fabric. For example, 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Just do your best – every dress is going to have a zipper and other elements that aren’t as eco-friendly, so focus on sustainable materials and processes.
Eco-Friendly Wedding Dresses
These are our top 5 sustainable & eco-friendly dresses for 2020!
Retro 1950’s Style Sleeveless Pencil Dress
Designed by MUXXN
Not crazy about a princess or mermaid dress? If not, this MUXXN Pencil Dress is ideal for the eco-friendly bride.
$29.99 – $59.99
Why we love it
The dress is made from 65% Rayon (a natural blend), 30% cotton, and 5% spandex, and comes in sizes S-XXXL. While white is the obvious choice, it comes in 16 other colors, so you really can take your pick. With over 4,500 reviews and at a price point of $29.99, it makes a great choice for any bride looking for a tailored look.
Bohemian Drawstring Waist Lace Maxi Dress
Designed by Milumia
If you’re fully embracing the earthy vibe with a bohemian wedding theme and you’re looking for the perfect dress, this is it.
$20.77 – $37.99
Why we love it
Wear it as a low V-neck or off the shoulder, and pair with beautiful sandals to complete that low-stress look. Made from 95% rayon and 5% lace, you’ll also know your dress is as natural as you look. The dress comes in sizes XS-XXL and is only $35.99.
Unique Vintage Tea Wedding Dress
Designed by iHot
The iHot Vintage Tea Dress won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a dress with some vintage flair, a great price, great material blend, and non-traditional coloring (i.e. not white), this is a great choice.
$7.99 – $25.99
Why we love it
This dress is made up of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, so it’s a super comfortable mix that complements the flattering and wearable cut of the dress. Depending on your choice of color, you can have a boat-neck with lace waist or a V-neck and a ribbon-tie waist.
You’ll find a version of this dress in just about every color or pattern combination you can imagine, other than plain white, though they do have a number of white floral options. Add a decorative beaded belt or necklace to make this dress wedding-ready. It’s available in S-XXXL and has a price tag of just $24.99 or $25.99.
Devyn Lace Bridal Gown
Designed by Nicole Miller
If you’re looking for something that’s a more “traditional” wedding dress, you probably aren’t going to find one that’s made entirely from natural fabrics. However, this dress might strike that delicate balance you’re after.
Why we love it
If you have your heart set on something with lace detailing or a huge princess skirt, try to find a dress with a blend of fabrics that was made in the USA.
This Nicole Miller Devyn Lace Bridal Gown is a dress just like that; it’s full length, off the shoulder, and plenty of lace detailing. Unfortunately, it only comes in sizes 2-8, but at a price of $142.50 – down from $950 – it’s certainly worth a look.
Long Lace Sleeveless Wedding Gown
Designed by DYS Dresses
Finally, if you have your heart set on a classic wedding dress, know that it is possible to find one with a good ratio of natural fabrics to synthetic fabrics, you’ve just got to be willing to compromise.
$69.99 – $79.99
Why we love it
The nature of these dresses means they need those layers of tulle (or a similar fabric) to give them that weightless look.
That being said, this DYS Bridal Gown is a perfect classic wedding dress, with all the fine lace detailing, full-length skirt and train, and composed of 85% cotton and 15% polyester. This dress can be tailored to your measurements or comes in sizes 0-20, and at around $100 including shipping, is a complete bargain.
If you put in the effort to get an eco-friendly dress, don’t forget to do the same for your accessories! Shoes are especially likely to be made from artificial fibers and plastics so look at second-hand, splurge on some designer shoes you can wear again and again, or look at vegan options (as they are most likely to be eco-friendly by design).
Have you seen any great eco-friendly dresses or have any ideas for how to make weddings more eco-friendly? Drop us a comment below!
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