Sustainable fashion was not in my mind when I was starting out as a bridal designer. With the popularity of ‘Blue Planet’ the documentary narrated by David Attenborough, magazines, blogs and television programmes are picking up on the trend. The Eco-age is now and since then more topics have been emerging regarding the sustainability of our planet and it will be the pinnacle of discussion for quite some time.
I was shocked to know that fast fashion was the second dirtiest industry in the world, cotton uses huge amount of water for production, and mainly produced in countries where water is scarce, chemicals and pesticides leak into fresh running water making the people who live near this natural source have health and skin problems. Silk, a huge textile fabric used in the bridal industry, 6,600 silkworms are killed to make just 1 kilogram of silk, there are reports of child exploitation in certain countries, children as young as 5 work in the factories where silk thread is produced. The list goes on, so what can we do to help?
Stop making large amount of clothes that contribute to fast fashion. Begin to make small quality pieces.
Buy organic with the GOTS trademark, this still has a negative impact because of the large amounts of water needed however at least the harmful chemicals aren’t being used.
Option to design new garments using recycled clothes.
Stop making clothes out of polyester as the micro plastics are released into water when the clothes are washed.
Try to use sustainable fabrics when making clothes. Hemp, Linen and Bamboo silk.
Try to get clothes produced closer to home.
Buy less and buy into quality.
Buy recycled clothes, some charity shops have amazing second hand goodies.
If you buy a wedding dress, depending on your budget maybe re-vamp a second-hand one, or go to independent stores or designers who custom make garments or they only produce a small collection yearly.
At the beginning of the year I was just about to do a new collection, but then I thought about the vast amount of fabric I would need, one dress can be made up of six metres of fabric and that doesn’t include the lining! In London alone there are over 100 boutiques, showcasing a range of dresses so imagine how much fabric is needed for these dresses. I have put together my collection on paper ‘Rainforests of the Sea” which includes seven bridal illustrations, fabric samples, embroidery and dip dye to support the look. Plus, only one or two dresses from the collection will be made.