Brides do Good
8 years ago, Chantal Khoueiry found herself discussing what her newly married friend should do with that £12,000 wedding dress. Dry-cleaned and in perfect condition, this friend was sad at the thought of it getting dusty in her attic. And that's when Chantal had the idea to re-sell designer wedding dresses for the benefit of others. Brides do Good is social enterprise that donates up to two thirds of the profit made from selling these pre-loved gowns, as well as ex-sample and end-of-line gowns direct from designers (that haven't even been worn), to charitable initiatives Too Young To Wed and Plan International. Meanwhile, Brides do Good clients save up to 75% on a dress made by the likes of Elie Saab and Phillipa Lepley (and in pristine condition)! And when you wear that beautiful design, you can feel happy in the knowledge that money you’ve spent is going towards girls’ schooling and ending child marriage in developing countries. In fact, so far this year, Brides do Good has funded one-year scholarships for 100 young girls who otherwise may not have had access to education. If that isn’t brilliant, we don’t know what is.
This London-based jewellery brand has created an absolutely stunning line of engagement rings with top-notch ethics. The Aboveground Commitment Collection does indeed commit to ethically and sustainably made engagement rings – which also happen to be one of life’s most important symbols of commitment. It’s a wonderful play on the word, but we like the production process of these pieces even more. Aboveground diamonds are made in a lab but, don’t be fooled, they’re just as precious and real as those that have come from the earth’s crust. As Founder and Creative Director Ella Drake put it to us: ‘Monarc’s Aboveground Commitment Collection brings sustainability and transparency to jewellery items that signify one of the most important moments in our lives.’
Engagement rings from £1,620, monarcjewellery.com
Sanyukta Shrestha is a Nepali designer with a highly ethical approach to bridalwear. For the eco-conscious bride, we highly recommend visiting her boutique and trying on the luxurious gowns, all made with organic, fair-trade materials such as bamboo (which is also kind to skin and breathable). But even more admirable is the designer’s commitment to empowering women in developing countries through providing them with jobs and fair wages. Her innovative workforce and designs have been awarded nationally and internationally – and we can understand why.
Gowns from £1,500, sanyuktashrestha.com
NAK takes environmentally friendly fashion seriously. All of their shoes are cruelty-free, meaning they’re made from a material that really resembles leather but is entirely vegan. In fact, the fabric and production process by Italian artisans make these shoes higher quality than many of their leather counterparts. They’re lightweight, waterproof, breathable and, most importantly, luxurious. As their website says: these shoes will give you ‘3 x longer to dance’. A pretty convincing sell for your big day!
Nude stiletto, £260, nakfashion.com
It was love at first sight when we came across ethical jewellery brand Roxanne First. Her designs are either classic or contemporary, but they’re all worthy of becoming a family heirloom. Roxanne also creates custom pieces for clients who want something particularly special – perfect for your wedding. Every supplier the she works with is also a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, who are committed to following the internationally recognised standards for responsible practices in the use of diamonds, gold and platinum group metals. The code addresses everything from labour rights to environmental impact. As Roxy says herself: ‘Fine jewellery (and engagement rings of course) become part of your story, to be enjoyed over a lifetime. It goes without saying that part of their quality lies in their components being sourced ethically and responsibly.’ Cheers to that.
Jewellery from £135, engagement rings from £2,500, roxannefirst.com
Dried-petal confetti is, by far, the best kind. Not only because it comes in lots of pretty (dye-free) shades and floats slowly to the ground, as the brand romantically puts it, ‘like blossom from a tree’, but it also biodegrades in just a few days. This means that your venue doesn’t have to sweep up flakes of unsustainable material after you leave (and if they don’t, it can be pretty harmful to wildlife). And all that’s not even to mention the benefit of it not hitting you uncomfortably in the face, as plastic or foil confetti is wont to do!
Available from £1.95 per packet or £47 for a pack of 25, shropshirepetals.com
Feel like a cool Cali girl as you sunbathe in Vitamin A’s beautiful bikinis and bodysuits. All the swimsuits are made with recycled nylon – called EcoLux – which the Californian founder herself worked to create with top mills around the world. Likewise, all of the stylish beachwear produced by Vitamin A also repurposes wasted materials, including recycled cotton, Tencel® and polyester fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. And it doesn’t stop there! A percentage of all the brand’s sales is donated to various organisations that work to preserve and protect clean water. So that's one bikini that you can feel really good about wearing.
Clothing from $80, vitaminaswim.com
Ukranian brand Lee Pfayfer produces beautifully embroidered dresses and laid-back-cool accessories that we think are perfect for day-to-night looks on honeymoon. And it’s all made even better by the use of high-quality materials that are also eco-friendly! The straw and canvas used to make their gorgeous shoes and bags is completely natural, while all the linen is produced in a local Ukranian factory – and also 100% natural. Get ready to look effortlessly chic on honeymoon.
Dresses from £570, leepfayfer.com
This Barcelona-based label is perfect for all the sisters out there who love watersports and hardcore swimming. The brand has created swimsuits made from recycled materials, including fishing nets that nasty people have discarded in the ocean (BOOOOO!). Anyway, we think brands like this are truly heroic, creating premium fashion by recycling wasted (and planet-damaging) stuff. Be sexy, strong and sustainable as you jump off that diving board.
Swimwear from £40, allsisters.com
One of the first successful eco-minded fashion brands, Reformation has captured the hearts of many fashion-conscious women. For good reason. The floaty, flirty, feminine designs all have just a touch of sensuality about them. They also happen to have been worn (all over Instagram) by the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, Karlie Kloss, Bella Hadid and Taylor Swift – to name a few. All clothing is made according to the label’s sustainable ethos: less water, less dye, recycled fabrics, eco-friendly packaging. And now Browns Fashion in London is going to stock a few seriously honeymoon-worthy looks. Get ready for that ‘gram!