Simply Yours – A Sustainable Wedding Dress Collection
What is a sustainable wedding dress? Sustainability has taken off within the fashion industry but unsurprisingly isn’t huge within the bridal industry (perhaps because your wedding is the one time of your life when you really can just treat yourself and put your normal daily concerns to the side). Everyone deserves to spoil themselves and for many brides sacrificing the dress of their dreams is simply not an option. The thing is – this is so fine. Sustainability is not a trend; it is about creating long lasting practices that are sustainable.
Expecting perfection immediately and depriving yourself of things that bring you joy is not sustainable. Sort of like a fad diet compared to introducing healthy eating practices over time, that you are more likely to stick to. So if the idea of a sustainable wedding dress is not your jam don’t be hard on yourself. Instead look at other ways that you could start to implement sustainable fashion into your wardrobe. There are so many small steps you can start with in your fashion journey and we wont bore you with them all, but we will urge you to read more about sustainable fashion here and for tips on starting your sustainable wardrobe perhaps start here.
If however, the thought of a sustainable wedding dress intrigues you, then this collection is for you and you should probably keep reading.
What is sustainable fashion?
Whilst the fashion industry grows, so too do the environmental impacts. To summarise as much as possible – the overproduction of fast fashion contributes significantly to land pollution, resource depletion and often employs unethical and exploitative manufacturing practices in order to keep production costs down. For us at Calèche we are in a great position as we are already ethically manufactured in South Australia. Looking further our next step was discovering sustainable fabrics and then creating a contemporary and elegant collection using these fabrics.
We were introduced to a range of different fabrics that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. These fabrics include linen (of course), a polyester satin made out of recycled plastic, and a pina organza, a soft sheer organza made from the fibres of pineapple leaves. A wedding dress made out of pineapples sounds weird right? Right, but it doesn’t look weird (promise).
The theme of the collection is simplicity. The styles are simple and elegant, with a few statement features keeping the collection contemporary. The question was – could we meet our usual signature Calèche contemporary elegance and European style? The answer – Yes.
So what makes a sustainable wedding dress?
All of the fabrics included in Simply Yours needed to be sustainable. A lot of them are actually sustainable in different ways! For example, linen (a favourite of ours) requires little water to grow and super importantly, is biodegredable at the end of its life. The polyester satin is made out of recycled plastic, a great way to reuse existing plastic which otherwise would end up in landfill. The pineapple organza is made of pineapple fibres. Pineapples are a sustainable resource and pina organza is also biodegradable at the end of its life. Check out this video of the incredible work that goes into making pineapple organza!
In regards to manufacturing practices, all nine gowns were made locally in our South Australian workroom. We also implemented practices to minimise waste, such as finding use for offcuts of tulle to create the hand-crocheted crop top, Dorothy.
It was important to remain sustainable in every aspect of this collection and the photoshoot was no exception. Styling the shoot we sourced almost everything second hand. Jess wore two different pairs of vintage shoes sourced from second hand shops. The train worn on the Vera gown is actually a vintage veil sourced from a second hand shop. Lastly, handmade jewellery pieces by local designer Anja Jagsch were selected to finish each look. Anja’s jewellery is grounded in nature, made using botanical leaves to create each individual piece. A perfect fit for Simply Yours.
Elsie & Iris
Elsie and Iris is a two-piece dress in pineapple organza, featuring silk/cotton embroidery motifs.
To make pineapple organza, pineapple fibres are hand-extracted from the pineapple leaf and the thread is manually worked on a loom.
Grace is a recycled polyester satin dress.
Polyester is found in over half the worlds clothing and is typically made from plastic, which can take around 500 years to break down. Recycled polyester is made from melting down existing plastics and repurposing them into polyester.
Valerie a linen wedding dress.
Arguably the most sustainable fabric, linen comes from flax plants and is biodegradable. Linen can grown almost anywhere and needs minimal water.
The bodice and sleeves of Agnes are embroidered silk/cotton organza and the skirt is pineapple organza.
To make pineapple organza, pineapple fibres are extracted from the pineapple leaf and the thread is worked manually on a loom.