What is a Sustainable Wedding Gown?

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You can be that gorgeous, blushing bride and support your community at the same time!

There is a growing trend in the bridal scene, of brides not only wanting to look gorgeous on their day, but to also support their community and environment—which gives to the rise of sustainable wedding gowns; but what do we mean by a sustainable wedding gown?

Sustainable wedding gowns are wedding gowns that support the community and environment.

There are several options for you in finding your sustainable wedding gown:

1. Local and handmade—visit your local boutique and find out if they are using locally handmade fabrics for their wedding gowns. Some examples of sustainable fabrics are vintage fabrics, organic cotton or bamboo and peace silk. Here in Cambodia, our silk is hand woven and some of the silk yarn is locally grown but there is a high demand for silk so some of the yarn is imported from Vietnam. We can get the silk in a large range of colours and much of it is naturally dyed using local plants. By choosing local and handmade, you help sustain the community livelihood and help create new jobs for the locals. You also help the environment–less transportation, less contribution to traffic congestion and pollution.

2. Vintage or used—you may opt for something old or something borrowed. Ask mom for her old wedding dress and re-vamp it or, if it is still your style, make a few adjustments for it to fit you. There are a lot of vintage shops out there that may have your dream wedding gown. Buying used or vintage enables you to help the environment by reusing and finding value in what somebody else doesn’t need. You help reduce environmental impact and you support the local business as well.

3. Renting—you can also go and rent a wedding gown that suits your style. Just a few adjustments here and there to fit you and you are wedding-day-ready. Renting is a good option as it will have less environmental impact. A rental gown will not be as wasteful as a wedding which you will only wear one time. Renting, like buying vintage or used, has the benefit of being the most environmentally friendly in that the dress may be worn 3 or 4 times before it gets sold off. The only environmental down side would be how often it needs to be cleaned but if the company uses a reputable cleaner this may not be an issue.

4. Your Eco-ethical designer—there are a number of sustainable wedding gowns designed by Eco-ethical designers out there. Availing the services of your Eco-ethical designer will help you learn more about supporting your community and environment and will work with you to design your perfect dress. Anne Noelle Bridal is a social & ethical enterprise that supports local women by providing them job opportunities through our manufacturer, Fairsew. We have ready to wear designs or can design something especially for you.

To order a wedding gown from us you can make an appointment to come and see our gowns in our Phnom Penh boutique. If you are not located in Phnom Penh, you can visit our Etsy shop. We ship worldwide and offer bespoke options.