Adventures in Making an Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress [Glamorous Fashion with Organic Fabric]

Via on Apr 6, 2009

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I was recently approached by an earth-minded bride-to-be who wanted her choice of wedding gown to be as organic and unique as the rest of her life (and the rest of her wedding!) Kristin was frustrated by the online choices, which were either out of her budget or out of style -“Potato-sack Dresses”- and she ultimately wanted to support a local designer. She wanted something contemporary and classic, but didn’t want to feed the corporate wedding machine. I happily agreed to work with her to create a one-of-a-kind, eco-conscious wedding dress for her June nuptials among the Redwoods.

There are many different ways to go about creating an earth-friendly wedding dress, beginning with where you source the materials. One way is to deconstruct vintage gowns or use vintage fabric to create a new design from recycled materials. Another is to order organic fabrics online to create a new gown from consciously produced materials. Kristen opted for ordering new organic cotton and hemp-silk fabrics, so I set out to find the best resource on the web. Although there are tons of producers, I liked Near Sea Naturals’ online store and variety the best, and in addition to a pretty rockin’ “Yard Sale” discount section, they allowed us to order samples of any materials for a small fee. Another good resource is Green Sage Fabric Store, and while searching online for organic bridal fabrics, I also stumbled across Harmony Art Fabrics. They sell the cutest patterned organic fabric in funky, modern designs, perfect for anything from pillows to a new outfit.

Kristen and I met to discuss the style of the dress and talked about the prefect silhouette and material for the simple and elegant design. The samples arrived in a few days, and when we agreed on a beautiful organic cotton poplin and a herringbone light knit for the dress, she was able to order as little as a yard of each. The only slight snaffoo was that the fabric we wanted was on backorder, so we have a wait a little longer to receive it, so make sure you order earlier than you think! I will keep you posted on the progress of the dress as the fabric arrives and the big day nears.

Unique handmade wedding gowns made using recycled material and organic fabrics.
Unique handmade wedding gowns made using recycled material and organic fabrics.

If you are interested in a one-of-a-kind dress of your own, contact me or ask your favorite local designer if they could custom make the earth-minded wedding dress of your dreams, without having to brave bridal shops or roll the dice with an online order. And you’ll be sure no one else will be wearing the same dress;-)

My sister Sarah's wedding dress was made from with parts of my mom's wedding dress and vintage lace of my Grandmother's from the 1890's!
My sister Sarah's wedding dress was made from with parts of my mom's wedding dress and vintage lace of my Grandmother's from the 1890's!

Rachel Znerold is an artist and independent fashion designer living the good life in San Francisco, CA. www.rachelzart.com

About Rachel Znerold

Growing up in the Colorado countryside, Rachel Znerold knew early on that she was different…she saw dazzling beauty in decomposing logs and expressed her individuality with wild drawings on her sneakers. Now, as a prolific painter, eco-fashion designer, performance artist and writer, Rachel makes a life out of making art. With a degree in Fine Art and Advertising from The University of Colorado in Boulder, Rachel began to pursue her art career full time. Aiming to share her awe of the world and the art of the everyday, she has taught painting, fashion design, and performance at a variety of schools, museums, and non-profits. Rachel has been commissioned to paint murals in Colorado, New Zealand and Mexico, and eventually landed in San Francisco, becoming a part of the Mission District’s vibrant art scene. Rachel believes art is instrumental in building strong community and a culture of social activism. www.rachelzart.com

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6 Responses to “Adventures in Making an Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress [Glamorous Fashion with Organic Fabric]”

  1. C.D. Jung says:

    I have to say that I'm not sure how to respond to this article. On the one hand, I am very much in favor of individuals striking out and making it on their own in the face of the crushing competition from impersonal corporate America. At a deeper level though, I am concerned that we're taking the heart out of the Eastern philosophy that we are supposedly trying to connect to. In Boulder I recently saw an advertisement for "body sculpting yoga" which is apparently yoga with weights to give you flat abs and a tight ass. Now is it just me, or are we missing something here?

  2. Harmony says:

    Thanks for the Harmony Art mention! LOVE your sister's dress. … having a story behind the dress makes it so much more meaningful and special.

  3. [...] hand-making an eco- wedding gown for her romantic summer Redwoods wedding. (Read my previous blog “Adventures in Making an Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress” for more details of the process…) She wanted something classic that would fit the surroundings, [...]

  4. Unique handmade wedding gowns seems to me pretty stunning and I'm very much impressed to see all of the above Eco-friendly wedding dress indeed!

  5. Lace Fabric says:

    The bride's gown is very lovely and stunning well it is simple yet elegant, who would have thought that it is made from eco friendly materials.

  6. Lace Fabric says:

    The bride's gown is very lovely and stunning well it is simple yet elegant, who would have thought that it is made from eco friendly materials.The bride's gown is very lovely and stunning well it is simple yet elegant, who would have thought that it is made from eco friendly materials.

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