By Anna Van Der Heijen
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.
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