As I explore affordable AND eco-friendly options for my own wedding gown, I have compiled a list of the best (in my opinion) companies out there for covering these two criteria. I hope it helps you too in your own hunt for the perfect wedding dress!
Affordability is very important to me as my budget is small and my budget for my dress under $300. The range in this list is a bit broader, for those brides who don’t mind spending a bit more.
Price ranges listed below are estimates and approximations, as new dresses are sometimes being added and others being removed from certain websites.
If you still haven’t decided on a budget for your wedding dress, do that first, before you begin shopping, to avoid overspending. And check out my article on the topic of whether or not expensive wedding dresses are worth the money.
For a dress to qualify as eco-friendly, I mean that either care has been taken in the creation of the dress to use natural and low-footprint materials; that it is low-impact to transport; or that it is being reused or recycled from a previous occasion.
Remember that a “worn” wedding dress has actually been worn for only a few hours… We can show love for the planet on our wedding day by valuing reuse over the wasteful value of having a “never-before-worn” gown.
Read on to learn about the best affordable and eco-friendly wedding dress options:
#1 Nearly Newlywed
Price range: Varies; Under $1,500 through these links
Want to wear a designer wedding dress but don’t want to pay 7K for it?! You’re not alone! Nearly Newlywed is an awesome, eco-friendly AND budget-friendly way for you to be able to wear the designer dress of your dreams.
They allow brides to resell their beautiful, designer dresses to other brides at a fraction of the cost. On their website, there are Vera Wang dresses and others down 60, 70, 80 percent! It’s crazy. Crazier still to think that those dresses were marked up so high in the first place.
And if you want, you can resell that dress again after your wedding and make the whole thing even more affordable and environmentally-friendly.
#2 Blush Fashion
Price range: Approx $200-$400
I can’t express my love enough for these “bohemian” style wedding dresses. Blush Fashion offers a range of affordable wedding dress styles handmaid by a small team of designers using eco-friendly materials. These dresses are romantic, soft, and gorgeous.
The head designer describes their style inspiration as deriving from “personal stories, various epochs in design history like vintage, antique, and art deco, from the dance world and from fairy tales” – Sounds good to me!
For custom-made, fair trade, eco-friendly wedding gowns, I’m quite surprised these prices are as reasonable as they are.
Price range: All
Etsy truly has something for everyone, with wedding gowns available for under $100. With the search being half the fun, you can hunt through SO many vintage and secondhand dresses that are both beautiful and environmentally-conscious.
It’s also a one-stop-shop, offering a selection of accessories and shoes as well.
#4 Wear Your Love
Price range: Approx $600-$2,000
I’m obsessed. Wear Your Love is a company specializing in “soft and dreamy” dresses, and that they are. Materials used in their gowns include “luxurious organic cotton or silky soft bamboo.”
I like their philosophy of a bride feeling like herself in her wedding dress, and embracing weddings that are a true reflection of the couple and their personalities. Not to mention, the photos on their website are absolutely stunning.
#5 Once Wed
Price range: Approx $60+
Once Wed is an online-listing marketplace for brides selling their used wedding dresses. Again, buying a secondhand designer dress has never been easier. I did a quick search just now, and found a Christian Siriano gown at 82 percent off. There are treasures to be found, people!
Fair warning: Make sure you make that budget before going on this website and falling in love with some of the more expensive options that are listed!
#6 Rent the Runway
Price range: Approx $30-$200
If you’re a very easy breezy bride, you can try Rent the Runway, which allows you to rent designer outfits online for a period of 4 or 8 days at a time.
This can be tricky if you’re worried the dress won’t fit you right, but a good option if you want something cheap and easy (and probably very beautiful!) that you don’t have to dry clean after or worry about selling back.
You simply set up your delivery date a couple days before your wedding, and they’ll send it to you, along with a free backup size in case the one you chose doesn’t fit! When you’re done, you put everything back into the garment bag and ship it back with the prepaid shipping label. No fuss!
#7 Borrowing Magnolia
Price range: Approx $350+
Long live the sharing economy! Here I’m talking about yet another online marketplace where brides can sell and buy secondhand wedding dresses! What a wonderful bunch of companies, trying to reduce our carbon footprint in this big, crazy wedding industry world!
Borrowing Magnolia is a platform like others discussed here where you can find gently worn wedding dresses of all sizes and price ranges.
I suggest looking at them all until you find something you love, not that you “have to settle for.” There are many, many options! And there will be one that you love in your price range that is also eco-friendly.
Price range: Approx $400-$800
I fell in love with the Reformation brand the first time I saw their designs. The silhouettes and materials are classic and beautiful, made even more lovely by the fact that all of their dresses are eco-friendly and ethically crafted. AND they are AFFORDABLE!
As I write this post, the Reformation website only has a select few wedding gowns available but a wide range of non-wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses (some of which are ivory-colored).
So, consider looking at non-wedding dresses available on their website as well, if you aren’t concerned so much with having a conventional bridal gown.
#9 Kiyonna for Plus Sizes (Fair Trade)
Price range: Approx $30-$300
They have dresses for the luxurious bride, the boho bride, the retro bride, the edgy bride, and even the Vegas bride! All of their dresses are manufactured in Orange County, CA and they’ve been around for over 20 years.
If you’re not particular about getting a “bridal” gown, you can search their selection of dresses for under $100! Not bad.