Ethical Wedding Fashion Guide

I am STOKED to have my pals at one of the leading ethical fashion companies, Pure Magnolia Gowns, write you the ultimate ethical wedding fashion guide. Whether you’re one of the VIPS or an attendee, read on for the whole scoop of how every wedding guest can wear clothes that make a positive social and environmental impact. Mega hearts of the work of this PMG!

Your Ultimate Ethical Wedding Fashion Guide

Ethical Fashion is a huge buzzword right now in our world. Put it into your insta hashtags and you will see what we are talking about! Just a mere 2.5 MILL posts covering it for all the right reasons. Second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world. On top of that, our average wedding produces around 400 lbs of garbage and about 63 tons of carbon emissions. WOOF! So when it comes to your wedding, how do you create an incredible party while still being trendy, charming and the best ever? This is where we come in 🙂 We are Pure Magnolia Gowns, and we have come up with some ideas on how to be conscious that your footprint size stays sensible while still having an amazing wedding! We are a sustainable company and believe that we can do better in this world! Here’s  your guide to ethical wedding fashion.

Ethical Wedding Attire for Bridal Party and Guests

There are SO many options for the bridal party and guests when it comes to ethical wedding fashion. Enter, rental companies! Dress rentals are ALL the rage right now and not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, you are right on trend! This is extra helpful when it comes to the Bridal Party. We know that most bridesmaids dresses get put on a hanger and never get worn again after the wedding. {Think 27 Dresses featuring Katherine Heigl} So instead of having each girl spend money on a dress they most likely won’t wear again, have them rent from one of the companies below.

Sustainable dress rental companies

Many ethical fashion companies that have super cute jumpsuits and dresses for your guests. Take a peak at what we found that are great for wedding guests:

Ethical Menswear and Groom Attire

The groom’s attire can be whatever they are feeling. Classic suit with a nice tie? Count us in! Tux with a plain button down underneath? YES please! Powder blue tuxedo? DOUBLE YASSSS!!

Options for the groom are renting a suit/tux {which most stores do}, buy from a sustainable company or head to your local Thrift Store and get your shop on!

We love the idea of going to Value Village and hunting for the right pieces. There are so many treasures there, especially if you go for a few weeks or even a few months to hunt for that pre used item that could be an amazing piece for your wedding. We love finding that unique character piece in the packed racks. When searching attire, remember that whatever fits his style and personality the best. Let him shine, even if that means he is in a powder blue tux. 😉

Sustainable menswear companies

Sustainable and Ethical Wedding Dresses and Bridal Attire

Bridal fashion is quite the concept if you think about it. Spending 2k-10k on a dress that you will only wear once, seems outlandish. That is why it makes SO much sense to go and support a sustainable fashion company, purchase a preloved gown or upcycle a family gown! There are ways to do this where you still feel like the queen you are!

Ethical wedding dresses from Pure Magnolia Gowns. Photography by Hannah Earheart Photography.

Sustainable bridal companies are around if you do your research. In Vancouver, BC, we have a flagship store that is all about beautiful and ethically sourced bridal dresses. We are also in retail shops across Canada and the US. From the fabrics that are sourced to the labour to quality of garments, we believe in sustainability within the fashion world. If you choose to go a sustainable route, look for garments that are being made by hand, for a fair wage.

‘Fast fashion’ is not what you are getting with a company like us. If you are in a flagship store, you will be involved with the entire process from the first muslin fitting to the final fitting. You will meet the wonderful people who make the gowns to the designer who has dreamed up this lovely little shop. With these types of stores, you are getting one on one attention while knowing what goes into your dress! How could you not want that type of experience?!

A preloved option is also an incredible option. You can upcycle a dress to look and feel your best for your day. How to do this is all about patience, knowing what you are looking for and a great eye for treasures. You can find incredibly beautiful styles, colors and designs from a consignment store or a consignment sale. We host a consignment sale for the month of May each year and we know there are plenty of shops around that do host their sample/consigment sales as well. At a consignment sale or consignment store, knowing a few things are critical.

  1. Know what style you love and what you look best in (this helps with saving time, and the energy of  trying on 26 dresses and sweating because you are moving and grooving so much in the changing room).
  2. Keep in mind that although a label says a certain size, it might have been altered to fit differently than said size. Try dresses that are 1-2 sizes up and down from your usual size.
  3. Alterations are definitely something to keep in mind when shopping consignment. If taking up the straps a bit or hemming a smidge to get the perfect fit, do it. Find an alterations company that you trust to do this and they will have you looking amazing. Remember to always budget $300-$500 for alterations if you need to adjust the size of the dress.
  4. Styling your consignment piece can also change up how a dress or item looks. Adding a belt, or adding sleeves or cutting off sleeves or making the skirt shorter… all can dramatically change a piece, giving you the look you want.
Ethical wedding dresses from Pure Magnolia Gowns. Photography by Hannah Earheart Photography.

The last idea for ethical bridal fashion is to reuse a dress that has been handed down from a woman in your family.  It’s very sentimental and usually your family gets all the feels when you tell them that you’d like to use a particular dress. It is good to have the dress altered in a way that fits your personal style and vibe. If there are sleeves that you aren’t particularly fond of, but the rest is right, snip them off and use the fabric to make a wonderful ribbon to go in your bouquet or flower crown. You can also rework the dress through sitting down with a designer/alterations specialist through a consultation.

There are many options for brides out there that want to be ethical in their decisions. Just remember that no matter what, do your research and go with what you feel best doing!

If you are a bride and interested in learning more about Pure Magnolia Gowns, please reach out to us to talk through all the options.  We have custom gowns, consignment gowns (during the month of May) and can refurbish/redesign any vintage gown. You are so loved; let us help you find your wedding dress!

All ethical wedding dresses by Pure Magnolia Gowns. Photos taken by Hannah Earheart Photography. Check out her website or follow Hannah on Instagram.

Craving more ethical wedding inspo? Browse the blog.

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