By Anna Van Der Heijen
Whilst our clothing is clearly a reflection of who we are, demonstrating which culture, social position, gender, and taste, our wedding is obviously an occasion when you want to sartorially express yourself to the fullest. Some women want to display their status with couture gowns; others may want to give a nod to their culture (or their groom’s) with traditional garb. And increasingly numbers of brides want to show that that their union is a symbol of romance, love, and hope for a better future by making their special day an eco-friendly one.
Almost every element of a wedding can be done more sustainably, from the food and lighting to the guest favours and of course, the gown. The ethical bride is spoilt for choice with today’s designers of bridal wear, from the flowing frock to the pretty panties.
Just like flowers, each bride has a unique beauty, so it seems appropriate that Sanyukta Shrestha’s Enchanted Blooms bridal collection was inspired by endangered flowers.
The collection ranges from joyful jumpsuits to dreamy dresses and from classic ivory to soft pink. Making gowns with innovative fabrics like bamboo, hemp and organic silk, all made ethically, of course. “By creating my dresses in the way I do, I want to form a bridge between the very fortunate and the very unfortunate. Brides get to wear a beautiful dress, and the people – often women from Nepal – making them get a chance to use their knowledge and craftsmanship and get paid a decent wage for it,” Sanyukta says.
The designer herself comes from Nepal, where most of the dresses and fabrics are made, and has therefore strong ties with the local community. With the work she does now, she has the ability to make a lot of people happy. “Wedding dresses are the perfect way to spread the word about ethical and sustainable fashion. Brides get asked about their dress and will proudly tell everyone how it is made.”
Finding an eco friendly bridal gown in Dubai is no easy task – unless you know about Sohad Acouri, that is! The Lebanese couturier is well known for his upcycling techniques – he can take your mother’s cherished bridal gown -or even just a small piece of it- for example, and refashion it into something that’s perfect for you. But he also uses eco-friendly and upcycled embellishments, too, including sustainably sourced freshwater pearls, and will soon be co-creating a couture jewellery line with Paris based jeweller, Joan Joaillerie.
Ezra Santos is another couture designer who loves incorporating sustainability into his work. Although the designer uses a wide variety of fabrics, he is very proud to use one manufactured in his native Philippines: Pinatex – innovative threads made from pineapple fibres, which has the finish and feeling of taffeta.
If couture designs of Ezra Santos or Sohad Acouri are beyond your means, there’s always Celia Grace. Made from only plant based materials, Celia Grace bridal dresses aren’t just eco-friendly, they’re ethical, too: the label uses only Fair Trade practices to create their gowns in India and Cambodia on Trade not Aid programs that help women in those nations.
But what to wear under the bridal gown? This is one of the challenges ethical brides face – how to find something sexy that looks great under the dress? Daniela Paradeis uses organic cotton gussets, natural silk and in more exotic designs, eco-friendly PU, to create slinky pieces that are guaranteed to make your wedding night unforgettable!
Shoot credits: No.1: Lingerie by Daniela Paradeis:“Bling Bling“ Plunge Bra & Thong
No.2+3 Lingerie by Daniela Paradeis: “Bon Bondage” Harness in powder, Oui Plunge Bra & Thong
Mini-Veil & Jewelry by Edita Rosenrot
Flowercrown by Verhutung for Ivory Isle
No.3: Lingerie by Daniela Paradeis: „Oui“ Plunge Bra & Thong
Headpieces & Jewelry by Edita Rosenrot
No.4: Lingerie by Daniela Paradeis:“Bling Bling“ Plunge Bra & Thong
Veil by Verhutung for Ivory Isle
Jewelry by Edita Rosenrot