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25 Jul
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The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable and Ethical Wedding Outfits

Let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to find the partner of your dreams, but finding the perfect wedding attire? Daunting, to say the least. And that’s before you look for an outfit made with the wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants in mind. We went on the hunt for the best sustainable and ethical wedding outfits to match your marriage to your morals on your special day.

Eco-conscious brides, grooms, and couples everywhere are having more mindful celebrations and ethical weddings. Even royals like Meghan Markle and Princess Beatrice opted for eco-friendly wedding and reception dresses, Markle with a stunning Stella McCartney number and Princess Beatrice with a vintage gown on loan from the Queen. This kind of exposure to more sustainable gown options can only be a good thing for the wedding industry, which is typically highly polluting. According to research in The Green Bride Guide, the average wedding produces 400lbs (200kg) of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. With an estimated 2.5 million weddings per year, that means 1 billion lbs of trash and the emissions equivalent of what four people would produce in a year in just one day.

So, this ultimate guide to ethical wedding outfits is here to make at least one part of your wedding experience a little less stressful and a little more compassionate. Here’s a list of places to start in your hunt for “the one”, 2.0.

Vintage, second hand, and rental wedding attire

The best thing you can do for the environment when choosing a wedding outfit is to find something pre-existing.

Vintage

Vintage gowns and suits can leave a lasting impression. However, poring over racks of gowns in vintage shops takes time and a good eye for picking out diamonds in the rough. And while sites like eBay can provide you with a plethora of options, they don’t always guarantee that the item will be of high quality.

So why not try a vintage bridal shop alternative, such as Oxfam Shops, which are well known amongst fashion fans as a place to nab some bargain quality threads—and that includes wedding dresses. Their online store has an extensive range of vintage gowns in all shapes, sizes, and eras. So whether you’re going the full 1980s meringue or 1960s flower child, you can find something that fits the bill. Etsy is also where great vintage stores show off a selection of their best garments.

Second hand

The vintage look is not for everyone. However, second hand does not necessarily have to mean vintage. For an eco-conscious bride and groom-to-be who prefers more modern styles, try one of these great sites that connect current couples with past ones:

  • Once Wed: With over 5,000 dresses available on their online marketplace, there is a high chance the dress of your dreams could already be waiting for you. Once Wed launched in 2008 and has since become one of the “top wedding websites in the world“. To inspire brides-to-be, Once Wed offers a variety of content from wedding ideas to real-life inspiration. There are some great finds to be had, like this 2013 Vera Wang gown.
  • Still White: Still White is a huge worldwide marketplace for second hand wedding dresses with thousands of pre-loved wedding dresses to choose from. Offering a variety of filters, including size, price, condition, and style, Still White allows you to shop by price or by design, making the search for that perfect dress a little bit easier.
  • Borrowing Magnolia: Borrowing Magnolia is an expansive bridal marketplace with designer wedding dresses from renowned designers worldwide. Along the way, the brand has made sustainability a cornerstone of its mission, ensuring that the brand leaves a trail of social and environmental impact along the way. Borrowing Magnolia is a treasure chest for an eco-minded bride-to-be on a dress hunt.
  • The Loop: If you’re looking for preowned luxury bridal wear, then take a look at The Loop. The company offers a curated selection of stunning gowns, aiming to amplify the belief, that considering the finite resources needed to create luxury clothing, more thought should be given to its lifecycle thereafter.
  • Vestiaire Collective: Since launching in 2009, Vestiaire Collective has grown from a French company to a global one whilst maintaining a strong Parisian DNA. Vestiaire Collective is “the leading online marketplace to buy and sell authenticated pre-owned luxury fashion” and with some digging, you’ll also be able to find some gorgeous looks for your special day.

Rental

It’s not uncommon to hire out suits for the day, so it’s surprising that this trend is taboo for the party’s dress-wearers.

With the “rent-a-dress” trend on the rise, eco-conscious brides can consider hiring a dress instead. Saving you a fortune, the rental movement sees beautiful dresses being loved over and over again, rather than rotting away in the back of the closet after one wear.

  • Vow To Be Chic: Vow to be Chic is a US-based bridal rental service. With the intent to “deliver luxury at affordable prices”, the online experience has complimentary bridal stylists available to help decide between the thousands of designer dresses on offer. Their “great fit” program allows you to request fabric swatches and gives detailed fitting guidance to ensure brides the perfect fit for the perfect day.
  • Glam Corner: Sydney-based formal wear rental service Glam Corner offers a wide variety of dresses to suit all tastes and occasions. The business also aims to introduce smaller designers to a larger market while emphasising the importance of environmental sustainability.

Buying second hand or borrowing might not be the right options for you. Maybe you don’t want your special dress or suit worn by anyone but you, or perhaps you can’t find what you’re looking for second hand.

Never fear—you can still stay true to your ethical values with one of these phenomenal brands bringing you the ethical wedding outfits of your dreams.

Ethical wedding outfits

Sustainable wedding dresses

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great
An ethical long wedding dress with short balloon sleeves by Christy Dawn.

Lianne Dress – Ships internationally from the US

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women’s clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand has top scoring, making it a fabulous boho option for your wardrobe. Dance the night away in Christy Dawn’s Lianne Dress. Featuring a tiered skirt and soft balloon sleeves, she’s the epitome of romance. Might we suggest a simple flower crown to complete the look? This number is available in XS-XL, but the brand has lovely extended sizing options too.

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Shop Christy Dawn.

BASTET NOIR

Rated: Good
A sustainable wedding dresses in champagne by a low back by Bastet Noir.

The Michelle Dress – Ships internationally from Macedonia

If walking down the aisle in white is not your thing, we’re here to help. BASTET NOIR’s Michelle Dress in champagne is a gorgeous alternative. The design for the gown is inspired by Michelle Pfieffer’s infamous role in Scarface and her choice of silky slip dresses. The beige bareback dress has pleated details at the front that fall gently around the neckline. The open back of the dress is complemented with two gentle thick straps and a frill detailed skirt with an ankle-length. BASTET NOIR offers custom-made clothing manufactured by women in Macedonia, ensuring that every purchase contributes to the welfare and education of these women and their children. Available in EU sizes 36-44 or custom.

See the rating.

Shop BASTET NOIR.

Mila.Vert

Rated: Great

Knitted Boatneck Dress – Ships internationally from Slovenia

Offers

Someone wearing a white dress and beige trench coat ethically made by Mila.Vert.

Mila.Vert – Site-wide

Contemporary classics designed for those in search of a kinder lifestyle. Crafted in the EU and PETA approved. 10% off with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 3 OCT)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU
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Mila.Vert offers timeless, minimal, and chic clothing, adding sophisticated details that give the garments a modern feel. The Slovenia-based brand wants to make desirable clothing, avoiding the ethical and environmental issues that the fashion industry represents. This knitted boat neck dress is light and airy, providing a luxuriously comfortable feel for your wedding day. Find the garments in sizes XS-XL, or make a custom fit order free of charge.

See the rating.

Shop Mila.Vert.

Reformation

Rated: Good
A white floral wrap dress by Reformation.

Winslow Dress – Ships internationally from the US

Known for its beautiful designs and dedication to sustainable practice, Reformation offers an amazing formalwear range for brides-to-be, bridesmaids, and wedding guests alike. Reformation’s elegant bridal dresses range from modern to classic styles, like this stunning yet comfortable wrap dress. Available in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Reformation Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Reformation @ Farfetch.

Shop Reformation.

Lost In Paris

Rated: Great
A white Lost in Paris' ethical and sustainable wedding dresse in lace.

Edwardian – Ships internationally from Australia

Sydney-based label Lost in Paris are creators of “dresses laced with history”. They make stunning custom-made wedding dresses from salvaged lace found in antique shops all over the world. The brand’s Edwardian dress is a nostalgic tribute to the styles and craftsmanship of yesteryear. Painstakingly pieced together from century-old lace, this one-of-a-kind dress has a history and a story to tell. All dresses are made by hand in Sydney. Available in XS-2XL.

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Shop Lost in Paris.

Mara Hoffman

Rated: Good
A long sleeve wrap white linen dress by Mara Hoffman.

Blair Dress – Ships internationally from the US

With a focus on mindful and conscious practices, Mara Hoffman uses eco-friendly materials including GOTS certified cotton, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester, and even has a range of Oeko-Tex STeP certified products. Made from organic cotton, the Blair Dress will keep you glowing and gorgeous on your big day. Available in 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Mara Hoffman.

Shop Mara Hoffman @ Reve en Vert.

Shop Mara Hoffman @ Farfetch.

Shop Mara Hoffman Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good
Women wearing silky ethical and sustainable wedding dresses by Whimsy + Row.

Fiona Dress – Ships internationally from the US

Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and sustainable practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern, sustainable woman. By limiting each garment to short runs, Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, reduces packaging waste, and takes care of precious water resources. The silky Fiona Dress is elegant yet sophisticated, and is a perfect option for a non-white ethical wedding dress. Available in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Beaumont Organic

Rated: Good
A pale blue linen slip wedding dress by Beaumont Organic.

Athea Linen Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Looking for something simple and light? Look no further. Beaumont Organic’s Athea Linen Dress in pale blue is made from 100% luxury linen. Enjoy tie fastening at back of the neck, and soft ruffle detailing at the bottom. Founded by Hannah Beaumont-Laurencia, the brand also has its own charitable foundation which supports people in Fiji. Available in XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Beaumont Organic.

Indiebride

Rated: Good
A long sleeve white wedding dress with low back by Indie Bride.

Anya Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Indiebride designs gorgeous lace dresses to take you through your wedding day and beyond.  All the heirloom quality bridal gowns and accessories are handmade and designed in London, and made-to-order. The floor-skimming Anya dress is made of thick and luxurious silk marocain. It has a gorgeous low, open back and fitted long sleeves. The floor-sweeping maxi length skirt has a gorgeous train to add instant glamour to your special day. Find the pieces in UK sizes 8-16.

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Shop Indiebride.

Taiyo

Rated: Good
A beige plaid patterned long wedding dress by Taiyo.

Kiera Dress – Ships internationally from the US

Taiyo is a philosophy-first womenswear brand dropping one look at a time. The Kiera Dress is a sustainable gown featuring an easy silhouette and invisible side zipper. This beauty is made from 100% deadstock fabric, meaning it’s rescued leftover fabric from textile mills that would have otherwise been thrown out in a landfill. It was produced in a limited quantity in Los Angeles, CA at a small responsible factory called Nana Atelier. Available in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Taiyo @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Taiyo.

Pure Magnolia

Rated: Good
A white sustainable lace body top by Pure Magnolia.

Alegria Top – Ships within Canada

Pure Magnolia is a Canadian brand that designs ethical and sustainable wedding dresses for the bride who expects more and wants to feel amazing. Alegria is a stunner from the brand’s collection. Alegria’s embroidered cotton bustier boasts a sheer look with corset lacing. And since the brand was so in love with the fabric, it completed the look with some tailored pants using the same fabric. Available in sizes 0-28.

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Shop Pure Magnolia.

Dressarte Paris

Rated: Good
A digital and ethical wedding gown.

Dressarte Paris is a custom-made clothing label that curates unique clothing for a worldwide clientele. It sources luxurious surplus and eco-friendly fabrics to create a wonderfully chic sustainable wardrobe. Its products are made to order where you can choose from existing sizes, or enter in your own measurements for a custom order that not only minimises textile waste but celebrates all sizes. Fully committed to their ethos, Dressarte Paris has created the first-ever fully digital wedding collection, debuting their latest styles of ethical and sustainable wedding dresses without ever producing it. Available in custom sizing.

See the rating.

Shop Dressarte Paris.

Conscious wedding suits

Neu Nomads

Rated: Great
A champagne colored blazer by Neu Nomads.

Karlie Jacket – Ships internationally from the US

Neu Nomads is a Brooklyn-based sustainable women’s fashion brand, offering loungewear and travel essentials. It is female owned and operated, and works every day to create beautiful, wearable clothing without leaving a negative footprint on our environment, like the stunning Karlie jacket. Find the clothes in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Neu Nomads.

Maggie Marilyn

Rated: Good
A white blazer and wide legged pants by Maggie Marilyn.

Dinner Jacket and Tailored Trousers – Ships internationally from New Zealand

Need-to-know designer Maggie Marilyn’s clothes are defined by her strong sense of luxury and fresh point of view. Inspired to create collections that are sustainable as well as beautiful, the New Zealand-based label utilises organic cotton and ethically produced silks to craft effortlessly glamorous designs. Made for those who need something a little different from a dress and crafted from New Zealand Merino wool, the Dinner Jacket provides the sexy sophistication that’ll make you look stunning as you walk down the aisle. Available in sizes 6-20.

See the rating.

Shop Maggie Marilyn @ Farfetch.

Shop Maggie Marilyn Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Maggie Marilyn.

Nina Rein

Rated: Good

Nina Rein is a German brand that creates sustainable business clothing in Europe under fair conditions. The brand’s aesthetic is clean, feminine, and colourful, and each piece includes little details everyone loves. A great soft suit option is this linen blazer and trouser combo in a natural linen shade. Find most items in sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop Nina Rein.

Ministry of Supply

Rated: Good
A dark blue sustainable wedding suit by Ministry of Supply.

Velocity Jacket and Pants – Ships internationally from the US

Ministry of Supply is a Cambridge based brand that features sharp, high performing comfortable clothes. This high-tech suiting is designed to outperform classic wool in every situation. Its resilient stretch fabric that retains its crisp lines is a soft-yet-strong fibre that’s machine washable and wrinkle-free, and comprises a modern fit that’s form flattering and sharp. You can find this ethical suit in sizes 28-40.

See the rating.

Shop Ministry of Supply.

Saint Laurent (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
Second hand and vintage Saint Laurent suits.

Pre-Owned Suits – Ships internationally

Yves Saint Laurent, or as it’s now known, Saint Laurent, is a French luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The brand has good policies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

See the rating.

Shop Saint Laurent Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

CARPASUS

Rated: Great
A sustainable white Oxford shirt by CARPASUS.

Oxford Shirt – Ships internationally from Switzerland

CARPASUS is a Swiss menswear brand that makes fine shirts, ties, socks, and pocket squares. CARPASUS uses GOTS certified cotton and manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint. It also traces its supply chain and ensures workers are paid a living wage. If you need a shirt to go with your suit, then CARPASUS’s Oxford is perfect. Find most products in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop CARPASUS.

Sustainable shoes and accessories

NOAH

Rated: Good
Close up of black vegan work shoes by noah.

Vegan Lace Up Shoes – Ships internationally from Germany– Ships internationally from Germany

If you’re looking for classic and classy vegan shoes, look no further than NOAH. NOAH creates cruelty-free and 100% vegan shoes and accessories. This German brand’s high-quality and long-lasting shoes are hand-crafted in Italy, using a small proportion of eco-friendly materials. Find them in EU sizes 35-42.

See the rating.

Shop NOAH.

Shop NOAH @ Immaculate Vegan.

Good Guys

Rated: Good
A pair of black vegan Oxford shoes by Good Guys.

James Vegan Oxford Shoes – Ships internationally from France

Offers

Three pairs of vegan leather loafers by Good Guys.

Good Guys – Shoes & Boots

Beautifully handcrafted, Good Guys' Made in Italy, cruelty-free, premium collection is sure to bring joy to your feet every day. 20% off shoes and boots with code SEPT22GOODONYOU20. (Ends: 2 OCT)

Checkout code: SEPT22GOODONYOU20
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Good Guys creates cruelty-free shoes for women and men, founded and designed by Marion Hanania in Paris. Through Good Guys, Hanania aims to create the perfect cruelty-free, made in Europe closet, where no animal product is involved, and the production guarantees fair trade working conditions. Find these Oxford shoes in EU sizes 36-45.

See the rating.

Shop Good Guys.

Shop Good Guys @ Immaculate Vegan.

Shop Good Guys @ thegreenlabels.

Jimmy Choo (Pre-Owned)

Rated: Not Good Enough
Woman in vintage Jimmy Choo pumps

Pre-Loved Jimmy Choo Heels – Ships internationally

Turn heads with some gorgeous, pre-owned heels. While Jimmy Choo isn’t doing enough for animals, people, or the environment, we do recommend giving a second life to an old pump by purchasing vintage.

See the rating.

Shop vintage shoes at Vestiaire Collective.

VEERAH

Rated: Good
A pair of gold high heels with an ankle bow.

Venus Heels – Ships internationally from the US

Command attention with Venus, VEERAH’s delicate strappy sandal. VEERAH is an NYC-based designer vegan shoe company founded and led by women to “do good and look incredible”. Its innovative apple peel leather shoe collection is crafted with cushioned insoles made from algae blooms. Each pair is transformative with interchangeable shoe accessories to create more looks with less. It is made for warriors “killin’ it with kindness”. Find most shoes in US sizes 5-11.

See the rating.

Shop VEERAH.

FUTURA Jewelry

Rated: Great
someone wearing lampshade earrings by Futura Jewellery

Lampshade Earrings – Ships internationally from the US

Re-designing the lampshade motif by artist Man Ray, pair these earrings with your outfit for a bold and elegant touch. FUTURA Jewelry is a New York based ethical jewellery brand. Handcrafted with 18kt certified Fairmined Ecological gold, you can be sure your look is sustainable, ethical, and clean.

See the rating.

Shop FUTURA Jewelry.

Bario Neal

Rated: Good
A cluster necklace features morganite, diamond, and champagne diamond.

Burst Cluster Morganite with Diamond Pendant – Ships internationally from the US

Bario Neal is an ethical custom jewellery designer that creates handmade rings and fine jewellery with conflict-free diamonds and other gemstones, like in this stunning necklace. The brand uses ethically sourced materials, including reclaimed precious metals, Fairmined gold, and ethically sourced stones to bring to life each of its uniquely designed pieces.

ARTICLE22

Rated: Good
A silver

Love Is the Bomb Necklace – Ships internationally from the US

Every piece of ARTICLE22 jewellery, like this necklace, is locally handcrafted in Laos using recycled materials from Vietnam War bombs, plane parts, military hardware, and other aluminium scraps. The brand embodies the innovation that the fashion industry needs more of—using recycled materials to produce beautiful globally-marketable products, while equipping local artisans with new skill sets and providing them with a sustainable source of income. ARTICLE22 gives back to clear more unexploded bombs in Laos, supports traditional artisans, and donates a proportion of profit to community development for workers. The range is available in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Shop ARTICLE22.

Raven + Lily

Rated: Good
A pair of long geometric gold earrings by Raven + Lily.

Anika Geo Drops – Ships internationally from the US

Offers

woman wearing upcycled sustainable jewellery by Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily – Jewellery

Eye-catching earrings, bangles, and rings made from ethically crafted materials for a striking and confident look. Exclusive 25% off jewellery with code GOOD25. (Ends: 4 AUG)

Checkout code: GOOD25
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Stand out from the crowd with Raven + Lily’s earrings. The brand supports local female artisans to create handmade jewellery, bags, and homewares. This US brand’s products are eco-friendly and empower communities through fair wages, healthcare, and education.

See the rating.

Shop Raven + Lily.

Shop Raven + Lily @ Cerqular.

After the ceremony

Being an ethical bride doesn’t end when the honeymoon begins. One of the biggest goals for an eco-conscious bride is to make sure that your wedding attire have more than a one-wear life.

So if you’ve gone with something new, you can give your outfit a second life by:

  • Finding a dress or suit that can be worn on multiple occasions
  • Repurposing your outfit by dyeing or altering it
  • Selling it afterwards to perpetuate the second hand cycle
  • Ensuring that your items are well made so that you can keep them for generations to come and pass them down

Check out our guide to ethical and sustainable engagement rings and wedding bands

Editor's note

Feature image via Whimsy + Row, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world's most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands. To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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