April 14 2010, 12:21 PM
While I’ve been seeing more vegan menus and eco-conscious party favors at wedding receptions, brides are also looking to be more environmentally responsible when it comes to perhaps the most important fashion element: their wedding dress. I asked Tina Gill, a local stylist who helps style bridal parties, about this movement. Cheap Thrills: Are you seeing a trend with brides looking for more enviro-friendly gowns? Tina Gill: Eco-friendly dresses are more of a trend now than they ever have been. Also, vintage is currently very hot, and a lot of brides are being "green" just by going vintage. CT: If I'm looking for an eco-friendly wedding dress, what are some local shops I could visit? Can I find these on a budget? TG: There are a couple of different options for eco-friendly wedding gowns. You can look for a dress made with sustainable fabrics such as silk, hemp, linen, organic cotton, and bamboo, or find a gently used and/or vintage gown or even rent a gown for the day. There are a variety of options, depending on exactly what your budget is. Local bridal shops carrying eco-friendly gowns that are made with sustainable fabrics.: Little White Dress Bridal Shop, Castle Rock: They carry a beautiful selection by designer Justin Alexander (Pure by Justin Alexander collection for the eco-conscious bride made from organic silks and cottons) and range in price from $950-$2,200. Anna Bé, Denver: They carry gorgeous gowns by Adele Wechsler, who has been called the "queen of green" since she was the first designer to offer eco-friendly wedding gowns, and range in price from $1,800- $3,500. Many retailers, including The Bridal Collection in Denver, have several designers that feature their gowns in silk and are made by hand in the USA. Silk is a naturally produced, breathable fabric that will decompose with time and not stay chemically preserved like a polyester fabric. CT: Any local designers I should know about who use sustainable materials? TG: Alisa Benay, currently living in Colorado Springs, uses a "zero-inventory" model in which each dress is made upon order and produced using a lean manufacturing process. She also recycles the leftover materials from her production process in several creative ways, including repurposing excess fabric in her own designs, selling material to crafters, donating shipping tubes to bird sanctuaries, and recycling within the studio. Her dresses range from $1,700-$6,000. Bonus: Gill says to check out these boutiques for gently used gowns: Celine's Designer Resale Boutique, the Altar Bridal Consignment Boutique (featured in this blog), Bridal Budget Boutique (rental), and A Green Bride (a division of Wedding Dress Sale).