Sustainability, eco-friendly, organic, ethical, green, words that I have started to see more and more. So I thought I would write a blog post regarding this topic.
So what are all these words and what do they mean? And can I say that I am an ethical bridal designer?
I believe that all these words represent how things are made that don’t cause any harm to the environment, people, or animals. I don’t know if you saw my last post about using cottons in my ‘Lobelia’ bridal skirt. Cotton is a natural cellulose fibre and there are many places where you can buy cotton but is it all clean?
Preparation of the 'Lobeila' Skirt. Hand dyed.
'Lobelia' skirt hand dyed with blue and grey tones.
Researching I found out that the production of cotton is haunted by claims of pollution, exploitation, and even slavery. Cotton is a thirsty crop and requires a lot of water and according to reports it can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton which will make just one t-shirt or one pair of jeans.
Cotton production also uses a lot of insecticide and pesticides therefore damaging the ecosystems and all living things around them. Then you have to think of the dying process, and the chemicals that are used.
Dying can pollute water dramatically. The 40,000 to 50,000 tons of synthetic dye stuffs expelled into our rivers are complex chemical formulations containing some things that are very toxic to us. I use an acid dye on a small scale therefore minimising the impact, and if I can I will use a mix of natural dyes like tea or beetroot, depending what colour is required.
The lace on my 'Autumn Joy' was dyed using tea bags to match the yarn and fabric colour.
I will sum up whether I think I have the eco credentials.
- I don’t mass produce or make yearly collections as I am a bespoke designer, designing one dress at a time for a bride.
- All my designs are made in London, UK. So minimal transport is needed.
- I dye in small quantities, The small amounts of dye I use are relatively safe to dispose of down the drain. The dyes that I use are not very toxic or carcinogenic but they aren’t totally clean either and I often use a mix of natural and synthetic dyes.
- I offer brides a choice of fabrics that are classified as organic and that is GOTS-certified (global organic textile certified) These can be bamboo silk, cottons, or linens and are listed in my Etsy shop. I offer a selection of beautiful fabrics that a bride can see and feel for the start of their bespoke journey. click on link
So summarising all this information am I eco-friendly? Well that is for you to judge and for you to make the appropriate choices when you are buying a wedding dress. I like to think that I am or that I can offer brides a choice. There are enormous amounts of textiles produced around the world and maybe the first steps for everyone is to buy smartly, think where did the garment come from, how it was made or how was the fabric produced......
I also made it to The Bee Green Magazine, so that is a start! Have a read.
Bowtie and Belle Photography for The Fine Art Wedding Boutique
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