Buy a previously loved vintage dress or pantsuit. New wedding dresses and suits require the use of raw materials, only to be worn for a single day. Vintage dress wear can be cheaper and more distinctive — and often still look new, since they usually haven’t been worn very much.
You can help save the 9000 liters of water used to make one dress by wearing something that isn’t brand new.
Unless you’re planning to save your wedding attire for someone you know who wants to wear it, it’s just taking up space in your closet. Wedding dress rental is cheaper and also means no new raw materials will have to be used. Rental has long been the norm for suits — why not dresses?
You probably don’t have many occasions for a ballroom gown, but if you go with a simpler design or one made of material that can be dyed, you’ll get multiple uses out of it. For suits, if you’re not renting, go with a style that’s versatile for other events. A suit comes in handy for work meetings and special occasions more often than a tux.
If you give your wedding party a color scheme, instead of a single outfit option, they may be able to use something they already have — or borrow, without needing to buy anything new. And if they do have to buy new, it’s more likely to be something they’ll wear again. Giving your wedding party flexibility uses fewer resources and costs them less. It also makes for happier friends and better pictures, as they’re likely to be more comfortable at your event.
Once the party’s over, donating or selling your wedding dress or suit will help a future bride or groom make an eco-conscious choice for their wedding. It can help out a couple who may not have a lot to spend on clothes get their dream wedding.
Google searches for "used wedding dresses for sale" have increased by 100% over the past five years as it becomes more common to purchase a preowned dress.
"When I was picking dresses for my bridesmaids I checked to see if they were readily available on secondhand clothing websites. It helped keep costs lower for my friends and gave those dresses another opportunity to party."
“My dress was handmade by a local dressmaker using unbleached raw silk and lace (not local, but as close as can be).”
“I bought my dress from a bridal shop that sells donated used dresses. My dress didn’t require new materials to be made and the proceeds go towards combating sexual abuse and exploitation in my community.”
“I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses (I just picked a color), and no one needed to purchase one for the wedding, they just used what they already had or borrowed.”