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Organic Fortnight - Wedding Dresses
September 6, 2007
There's been a lot of talk lately about organic clothing on the high street and, while quite a few of the big names are paying lip service to the idea by stocking mini ranges of organic cotton, mostly at the casual end, there are some dedicated top designers producing fabulous ranges using organic fabrics.
So what's available to the eco chic bride wanting to use organic fabrics for her wedding attire? Not a lot to be honest, if you want to go the conventional dress route. This is, in part, due to the lack of certified organic fabrics which will give the style, cut and drape expected of a wedding dress.
Our partner dress makers, if you ask them, will use fabrics like pesticide free, uncertified organic silk, hemp/silk mixes, 'peace' (or vegetarian) silk and bamboo for the outer layers (the bit you can see) of your dress. The lining might be organic cotton, which will be certified by a certification body, like SKAL, which is recognised by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM).
If the fabric has been dyed, all dyes used should be either plant/mineral derived or, if not of natural origin, environmentally responsible, low-impact dyes.
Bamboo can be gorgeously lustrous and drapey and, like hemp, "bamboo’s eco-footprint is smaller than a size 5 stiletto" according to conscious choice, and "the highly renewable grass, praised for it’s rapid, several-feet-a-day growth, can be harvested in as little as three years." Bamboo, like hemp, is not yet certified organic but is 100 percent biodegradable. However the downside to bamboo is the processing, which requires heaps of chemicals, though they are recycled back into the fiber-making process keeping the chemicals from entering the environment.
If you're not after a conventional wedding dress then there's a lot more choice, organically available to you from top ethical stores and designers like Adili, Enamore, Equa and The Natural Store. Or go down the recycled or vintage route which is not organic per se but is certainly a lot lighter on the the planet.
Here are some fabulous dressmakers who are working wonders with organic fabrics and making gorgeous gowns for eco chic weddings:
With thirty years couture experience combined with contemporary print and design Gaiahouse's affordable collection is created in 100% organic silk. Appointments for their Design Consultation and Bespoke Couture Service can be booked online and your bespoke gown will be created from exclusive, reconstructed, hand made fabric.
Conscious Elegance offers gorgeous eco-friendly hempsilk and organic silk wedding dresses and bridesmaid gowns, all individually hand-sewn in the UK. They also offer a service where you can recycle your dress after the wedding with their free Naming Ceremony Gown service for your future little ones.
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