INSPIRATION - Wedding Dress Trends for the Eco Bride, Courtesy of Bespoke Dressmaker, Julie Dutton

18th April 2018

Material girl 

Many brides are turning away from mass-produced fabrics in favour of something that is ethically produced in a way that is kinder to the environment. Julie Dutton, a bespoke dressmaker based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, explained that peace silk is an increasingly popular choice. 

Julie Dutton dressmaker Photo credit Louise Holgate

Also known as Ahimsa silk, it is produced in a way that is more humane to the silk worm. In conventional silk production, the cocoons of  the silk worm are boiled and then the threads are sorted to be used in production. In Ahimsa silk production, the silk worms are allowed to hatch and the cocoons are used once they are empty. It is a method that is increasingly popular amongst vegans and vegetarians, indeed anyone concerned about animal cruelty. 

Another fabric that is growing in popularity is Bamboo Silk. This soft, versatile fabric has all the breathability and coolness of cotton (you’ll often find it used in sportswear) but it uses far less water in its production so it is kinder to the environment and to the communities that cultivate it. It is popular for overseas weddings in hot countries.

Brave beauty 

Linda Thomas Dress Designer

An amazing designer that is pushing all the boundries of the 'traditional' is Linda Thomas. Linda is taking strides to use her amazing creative eye to design bespoke clothing with fabric that has already lived a life using felting techniques and completely unique colour and texture, as you can see from the picture above. Linda's latest designs are vibrant, edgy and completely amazing which says as much about the bride as the designer.

Real Green Dress

Lace is perennially popular. GU brides are often very particular about the quality of lace that is used on their dresses, and Erica Arnold of Real Green Dress believes that they are right to be picky. She points out that the quality of modern wedding photography, which can pick up the smallest detail, means it is not worth skimping on lace quality. Erica is a former conservator for national museums who now sells vintage wedding dresses and reworked dresses. She prefers to use vintage lace if she can as she says it is impossible to find the same quality in modern lace without paying a hefty price tag (in the region of £400 per metre). Rather than the shiny brashness of synthetic lace she believes the delicacy of a vintage Chantilly lace – even if used sparingly – is far more aesthetically pleasing.

Matt Parry Photographer

Moral Fibres

A growing trend for GU couples is individuality. This might mean upcycling an older dress - Erica sells some dresses that have had three, four or even more incarnations, undergoing subtle reworking for each new generation. Sometimes new dresses might incorporate vintage handwork, such as embroidery or beading, bringing both individuality and a link to the past. 

Touches of colour continue to be popular and these are as individual as the brides themselves. A recent bride who bought a 1960s wedding dress from Erica told her “Nothing can be too boho for me”.  Others might choose to stick to a more muted palette, particularly if they are going for naturalistic flowers or décor.

Gavin Foster photographer

A huge wedding fashion trend that will only continue to grow this year will be the incorporation of bold accents, which provide a stunning contrast for traditional white dresses. This style includes anything from black brocade and beading elements to whole sections and layers of a dress. With wedding dress alterations, adding black accents to your white dress can be a green choice too! A good wedding dress seamstress can alter modern and vintage or inherited dresses alike to include striking black accents, updating your dress to be bang on trend in 2018.

Many couples are having not just one but two ceremonies – maybe getting married in two separate countries or combining two different cultural traditions. Sometimes a single wedding dress needs to fulfil a dual role. At other times, there will be two entirely separate outfits.

Sarah London photographer


There is a big movement in what bridesmaids wear as we see from photo after photo, a theme of colour but all indidvidual dress styles, this can be swayed by personalised denim or leather jackets so that each maid can bring out her own personality.

Sarah London Photographer

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