In this blog post series eco-friendly York based wedding photographer Alice Lodge will help you plan your awesome sustainable Yorkshire wedding.


Last week I covered the venue choices this week it is all about wedding clothes.

Before starting your eco wedding journey I want to give you full permission to guilt free planning! I think one reason why people shy away from thinking about the environment in the first place is that it can feel overwhelming. You feel you need to get everything right to make a difference. But here is the thing: Even if you just implement one of the things we will talk about, you will have already made a difference! In this blog post series I will cover all the big topics such as venues, flowers and clothes but also the small things such as wedding favours and stationary. Let’s do this!

How to choose your eco-friendly wedding outfits

(Don’t forget to check out the recommended supplier links at the bottom)

1. Recycle, upcycle or hire your outfit

If one million people would buy their next item of clothing second hand instead of new we would save 6 million kg of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere. Finding a preloved wedding dress or suit is now easier than ever with shops specialising in exactly that. Elizabeth from Bridal Reloved York says: “Not only are we fans of recycling, we also encourage up-cycling: where brides to be can find a dress they love and make it unique and their own by adding a corset back, illusion top or dainty sleeve etc. This is proving very popular!” Or maybe you are after a vintage suit? Find a shop in your area and give a preowned suit a new home and purpose. 


2. Find a local designer

Having your wedding outfit designed just for you is something extra special. By choosing a local designer you can save on travel and shipping emissions. See your outfit being handmade, knowing people are paid fairly for their work, whilst supporting a local business is a great way to source your outfit. Plus you will have more of a say when it comes to the material being used. Keely from Luna Bride states on her website: “We use Organic GOTS Peace Silk which does not harm the moth that made it. Furthermore we use organic cotton lace as well as recycled fabrics and end of line fabrics. We don’t throw away any of our off cut fabrics. We either recycle them or use them to make lingerie.” Fantastic!


4. Make it last – Choose a versatile item of clothing

This is a little easier for men as suits can be worn for so many different occasions and you can mix it up by just using the jacket, trousers or shirt with other clothes you already own. But not every wedding dress has to have it’s lifespan limited to only one day. Maybe you find a different kind of dress which is not wedding related or another outfit you really love. Wear that! As long as you love it, it is right. There is no rules! I for example can’t ever imagine myself wearing a wedding dress. I don’t know why, but I probably end up wearing some cool pants and my favourite trainers ;). Furthermore every dress can be altered. Take it to your local alteration service afterwards and transform it from wedding into favourite new outfit that you can wear over and over again.

5. Let your wedding party choose their outfits

Letting your wedding party choose their own outfit means ultimately that people will feel more comfortable in their clothes and will therefore reuse them. If you want things to match then it can be a good idea to give them a colour or style theme and let them choose from there on. 

6. Donate your dress to a good cause

If you are not going to wear your dress again and don’t want to keep it for sentimental reasons there is some great ways to ensure your loved outfit will help others. You could donate it to a charity like Oxfam who sell the dresses in their own bridal sections. Another great company is Brides Do Good. With every sale they contribute a donation to their charity partners, Plan International and Too Young to Wed, and help the United Nation’s mission to end child marriage by 2030.


Recycle, upcyle and hire

  • Bridal Reloved Yorkshire selling high end pre-owned wedding dresses through award winning, friendly and welcoming boutiques. Stores on Micklegate in York and also in Beverley and Wakefield.
  • Oxfam Bridal sell online and have a bridal room in York, featuring both ex-catwalk and donated wedding dresses & accessories.  View their full bridal range online or find more info on their York store here.
  • Bexbrides in Darlington selling made-to-measure Bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses, including original medieval and 50s style dresses.

Find a local designer

  • Luna Bride in Harrogate. Beautiful ethical handmade wedding dresses using luxurious natural and organic materials and stylish design. The Luna look combines elegance with comfort, opulence with simplicity, and tradition with fashion.
  • Kindling Bridal in West Yorkshire. All dresses are designed in a small, beautiful Yorkshire valley studio and are made to order in the UK, using the finest pure silks and intricate laces.
  • Kate Beaumont wedding dresses hand made in Sheffield from finest quality silks and French laces.

Donate your dress to a good cause

And last but not least I want to hear from you!

Are you an eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable, green (or whatever you want to call it) wedding supplier? Please get in touch so I can feature you. I am ideally looking to have it Yorkshire based to avoid shipping, travelling etc. but I am happy to hear from you in any case to reflect shared thoughts and ideas and to learn from each other. Email me or leave a comment below.

Eco friendly wedding photography? To find out more about my own eco-policy and background within my business please have a look here.

Alice x