Grazia Feature – Something Green? The rise of sustainable weddings
As we head into another peak wedding season it has become clear that sustainability is at the forefront of a lot of couples minds. From choosing sustainable outfits through to seasonal food and flowers – there are many ways to make your wedding more green.
We were featured in this weeks Grazia discussing what it means to be a sustainable wedding dress brand in this current climate and how our brides are making clear conscious choices when it comes to their bridal outfit.
The Grazia team asked us some questions about our designs, sustainability ethos and the production of our dresses.
How did your brand come to be? Was sustainability always a main focus for you?
After gaining a wealth of experience within bridal, initially with a role within a well-known boutique and with then with other British designers I discovered a niche for contemporary, simplistic and tailored designs made from luxury natural fabrics. That created the vision for the brand which I launched in 2014 and has remained our signature style and design. Working exclusively with natural silk has been important for me since our very first collection, to ensure our designs are of the highest quality, drape in the way silk does and ensures we are working with sustainable fabrics. This alongside having my own studio and team to produce all our garments, was always to ensure the highest quality and the most ethical and sustainable approach.
How do you ensure the brand is sustainable?
Sustainability is circular, it has to include all aspects of your practises, including production, fabrics and ethical practises. For this reason we only make in natural fabrics, including adding TENCEL fabric options in our 2022 bridal collection and making all our garments in London. We are continuously working to improve the smaller areas of practises, such as sustainable packaging, down to using biodegradable seed paper labels in our showroom. This is an ongoing process, as with any brand you can only continue to improve and address this openly and honestly; it’s the only way forward.
We have also launched the AH Tree Project, where we will be planting a tree for every bride in 2021, including those brides postponed from 2020. This is an important addition, but can only work alongside all other aspects of our practises. If brands are ‘planting trees’ when they produce in polyester or other man made fabrics, which will take hundreds of years to degrade and cause environmental damage in the process, this cannot be considered sustainable.
Have you noticed more brides recently looking specifically for sustainable dresses?
Brides are much more likely to ask questions in regards to fabrics and production than when we launched the brand in 2014. A focus on sustainability in the media and businesses has created a more open approach to consider these aspects and we do hear of brides only visiting designers who are producing sustainably.
What’s your most popular piece?
Our most popular dresses recently, have been ‘Bloom’ and ‘Clement’ from our 2021 Elements collection and ‘Clarice’ and ‘Wallace’ have been popular for the past few years.
With regards to what brides normally request/ask for most, has this changed over the past year?
It has changed a little, it’s been a more casual look with shorter length, but possibly more detail with fabric and design. Certainly more tops and veils to give two looks within one dress has been notably requested this year.
How can the wedding industry achieve greater sustainability do you think?
Honesty has to be the best start, without this change nor improvement is possible. Transparency and guiding clients is just as important, to steer towards more sustainable options for every aspect of their wedding. Brands, designers and suppliers who are willing to make conscious changes will openly talk about this, without it being used as a marketing tool or green washing. Offering a high level of sustainable service, at an achievable price point will encourage the use of more localised suppliers, which has to be a good step for the wedding industry, and this is with consideration for venues, dress designers and stockists, florists, photographers, wedding planners, caterers and so on…
Read all about our sustainability ethos here
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