Today we’re celebrating six incredible Australian eco-friendly wedding gown brands whose passion for sustainability has led to the creation of the most gorgeous (and responsible) wedding dresses. From sourcing vintage materials to up-cycling and handcrafting, all of their approaches are fascinating, eye-opening and courageous in a world that, unfortunately, tends to favour fast fashion. Without further ado, feast your eyes on the stunning work of this talented bunch!
Aboutphaedra by Emma-Jane Christie came about from a desire to create artful feminine clothing that is deeply underpinned by a strong philosophy of sustainability and ethics. Emma also pursues a more conscious model of design and consumerism.
The development of new textures is at the core of Emma’s process and this results in unique, one of a kind garments. The label celebrates a ‘philosophy of the less’ and is doing its part towards the creation of a sustainable clothing model for our present world. Aboutphaedra wedding dresses are made one at a time from Emma’s home studio, and she describes her process as “responsible, respectful and slow”.
Image: Jessica Tremp
Bell Street Bridal
Bell Street Bridal in Sydney’s bustling suburb of Marrickville is a custom-made bridal dressmaking service where everything is designed and made in house by designer Ali Dibley.
“I love doing custom dresses because I’m never just churning out clothes and hoping someone will buy them,” says Ali. “Everything is made to order and nothing is wasted. I try to limit myself to a few fabrics that I know I love to work with, sourced from local family businesses. The textile supply chain is incredibly hard to trace and while sustainably produced fabrics are absolutely a goal for me, for now I like to support small businesses in my area. Encouraging brides to choose from a limited range of fabrics means that I don’t end up with useless remnants after every unique project – the scraps from one bride’s skirt might end up going into the next bride’s bodice, or get turned into trims like binding or button loops!”
Image: Best Day Ever
Known for being Australia’s first ethical Clothing Australia accredited bridal label, Lenka Couture is “changing the fashion industry one wedding dress at a time”.
The label was born of a desire to reduce waste and create lasting positive change in the fashion industry by producing couture bridal designs that don’t compromise on integrity. The gowns are all about simplicity and elegance with substance and attract brides who love great design, individuality and sustainability.
Images: Yana Klein
Lost in Paris
Lost in Paris is an ethical fashion label specialising in made-to-measure wedding gowns that all have a story to tell. Environmental sustainability lies at the heart of their business, with gowns hand-crafted from antique lace, unearthed from antique stores and markets across Europe. They restore and refashion this lace in gowns with a low carbon footprint.
“Our gowns are ethically made in our Sydney atelier so there are no sweatshops or other dirty little secrets,” says designer Alyssa Soovoroff. “We respect people and planet, and are working towards zero-waste.”
Image: Bek Smith Photography
Love Me Twice
Love Me Twice is the perfect option for brides wanting a pre-loved or up-cycled designer wedding gown.
Based in Melbourne, Love Me Twice is run by sisters Mary and Jennifer who are passionate about about eco-friendly and sustainable options and offering these to brides planning their weddings. The sisters curate a collection of pre-loved, up-cycled, sample and ethically made wedding dresses for last minute brides (the closest they’ve had his one week before a wedding!), to those wanting a more personal and relaxed service.
Images: Sean Tak
Pearl Button wedding dresses are designed with a ‘re-use focus’ so that the dress can be worn again after minor modifications like shortening the hem and over dying.
“There is a fundamental problem with a wedding dress that you’re only going to wear once and we’re trying to address that with clever design,” says designer Dinah Mitchell.
They also specialise in layering and separates, allowing the bride the option of changing their look on the day.
“The bride can go from a more formal look at the ceremony and then remove a layer to create a party vibe for the reception,” says Dinah. “A lot of my brides love this idea and have worn their lace overtops at their first wedding anniversary celebrations and beyond.”
Image: Heart and the Sea