How to Shop for a Sustainable Wedding Dress

If you’re a bride and have started looking for your wedding dress, you may have come across the term ‘sustainable wedding dresses’ by now. With the changing climate (both environmentally and economically), there is now more of an emphasis within the bridal industry on producing more ethical bridal wear that is kinder to the planet. Every year 350,000 tonnes, around £140 million worth of used but still wearable clothing ends up in landfill in the UK each year (via Clothes Aid) which has a massive impact on the environment. Here are a few ways in which you can shop more consciously and sustainably as a bride when shopping for your wedding dress, helping you to add an eco-friendlier aspect to your wedding day.


Discontinued new or ex-sample wedding dresses

This is a great option if you are a bride essentially wanting a new wedding dress, but your wedding dress budget is under the £1000 mark. At Betty Gets Hitched we offer a range of wedding dresses in London by different designers, which we specifically source as discontinued or excess stock and ex-samples. These are wedding dresses which have been tried on in a showroom or boutique a few times but are otherwise unworn and unaltered for a wedding. It is the ideal way to wear a luxury, designer wedding dress on your special day and not break the bank! As they are already dresses in existence (and sadly if never purchased may end up in landfill) this is a great way to buy a more sustainable wedding dress which is better for the environment.

sustainable wedding dresses

Preloved wedding dresses

If you are unbothered by the idea of wearing a wedding dress which has been previously worn by another bride, then a preloved wedding dress can be a great way to prolong the life of an existing garment and bring some environmentally friendly elements into your wedding day. There are bridal shops which specialise in preloved wedding dresses, as well as some online reselling websites. The slight downside compared to discontinued wedding dresses or ex-sample wedding dresses is that they will have been altered to fit the bride selling the dress; therefore, it’s important to check the actual measurements of the dress as opposed to the original size, as it could be several inches too short or fit snugly on one part of the body even though it’s listed as your size! If it’s slightly too big, then it should be fine to take it to a reputable bridal tailor to fit your dress to your body and give your preloved wedding dress a new lease of life! It’s always recommended to try on the dress before you purchase if you can, so that you are aware of the fit and get an idea of the bridal alterations needed so that it fits you.


Couture wedding dresses

A couture wedding dress is the ultimate bit of luxury for your wedding day, as you have a dress made for you. At Betty Gets Hitched we have a new couture collection, which we pride ourselves on being more environmentally friendly. All our fabrics are sourced from UK or European suppliers to try and keep our carbon footprint down, and we only purchase fabric for each dress once it has been ordered to minimise buying excess fabrics. All our fabric remnants are either repurposed in-house by using them for other garments or accessories, as stuffing or sent to charities to use for various community projects. Our Betty Gets Hitched Couture collection is now available to try on in-store and will be available to purchase online very soon, so sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on the collection launch and other offers and events. Our couture wedding dresses are also a more sustainable wedding dress option as they are all made in England in-house at our North London studio, where all our bridal fittings also take place and is beneficial for brides in the London area wanting to keep things local.

sustainable wedding dresses london

Choose a wedding dress which can be re-purposed and re-worn

We have had a few brides in the past that have wanted to re-purpose their wedding dress in various ways. From shortening a wedding dress or adding/removing details to create a chic cocktail dress for the evening, to re-using the fabric from a bride’s wedding dress to make a christening gown for their child, we always love the challenge and creativity of creating something new for a bride to wear or use! Other ideas could be creating separates out of the bodice and skirt of your wedding dress to mix and match with other garments in your wardrobe, or even making some special furnishings for your home such as beautiful cushions or pillowcases, or lavender sachets out of some of the fabric of your wedding dress for keepsakes you can use for years to come.


There are lots of options if you are a bride wanting to keep your wedding dress as sustainable as possible; with the above wedding dress shopping tips you are hopefully already on your way to making your wedding that little bit more environmentally friendly!