How to look stylish and be sustainable this wedding season

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Photo source: Reformation

The key to a stylish and sustainable wardrobe is careful and considered investment. Follow Livia Firth’s #30wears rule; if you won’t wear it 30 times, don’t get it! Now for wedding outfits, 30 wears may seem like a lot. Say you went to 3 weddings a year, that’s 10 years of weddings. So am I telling you to make sure you stay the same dress size for 10 years and wear the same outfit to every wedding you go to? No, of course not! I’m saying you should try to find items you can wear for multiple occasions. Can you wear any of the pieces to work, for a night out, or on holiday? Here are a few tips to help you find items this wedding season that you’ll wear over and over again…

1. Choose a classic style and print

Try to avoid fast fashion fads. If the shape or colour is “so in” right now, it’ll probably be “so out” next month! The sheer shawl on that dress might look cool now, but in a years time you’ll wonder what you were thinking and why you wanted a weird cape/bib thing on your dress! Opting for a more timeless look will ensure you can wear the piece over and over again. Here are a few suggestions:

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 08.05.14.pngReformationSunburst Dress in Cloud

Reformation are committed to producing killer clothes that don’t kill the environment. They have a whole collection of wedding-worthy dresses to choose from. They also monitor the environmental impact of every item. This pretty pleated dress has been produced using 64 gallons less water and emitted 8lbs less carbon dioxide than the industry average. Shop now: https://www.thereformation.com

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People TreePhoebe Dress in Grey

People Tree are well-known for there commitment to be an ethical and eco-friendly brand. The Phoebe dress is made by Creative Handicrafts, a social enterprise working to empower disadvantaged women in the slum communities of Mumbai. It is 100% organic cotton certified by the soil association. Shop People Tree now: http://www.peopletree.co.uk

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Mata TradersAfternoon Allure Dress in Red

Mata Traders partner with fair trade organisations in India and Nepal that train and employ hundreds of artisans in marginalized communities, with a focus on gender equity and empowering women. Training starts with hand sewing, moving on to simple machine patterns, like bags, and eventually mastering the sewing machine. There are also literacy classes, computer training, and regular workshops on topics like hygiene, nutrition, and parenting. Shop via Boho City now: http://bohocity.co.uk/product-category/brands/mata-traders/

 

2. Look for transformable items

What if I told you that you could spend the same amount on one outfit, but get two? Not thanks to a super sale, but to the magic of convertible clothing. Changeable garments allow you to create several different looks using one single piece, not only reducing how much you spend, but also the amount of clothing you’re purchasing. Just think of the space you’ll save! Multifunctional items are inherently more sustainable as they require fewer resources to make than their separate counterparts. According to the WWF, it takes 2,700 litres to produce the average cotton shirt. So if you buy a white shirt that reverses into a black one, you’ve used far less water than if you’d bought two! This wedding season why not try to opt for items that can be worn in multiple ways and leave your friends wondering how you always manage to look so good without splashing your cash. Here are a few examples of transformable treats:

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SynergyInfinity Dress

Synergy’s Spring Summer 2016 collection features timeless and adaptable pieces, like the infinity dress pictured. You can wear it over one or two shoulders, with a bow or cross over neck, with a scrappy back, or pinched in at the waist- it’s completely up to you! Synergy are also focused on using eco-friendly, natural fabrics. The infinity dress is made of 95% GOTS certified organic cotton and is dyed with low-impact dyes. Shop here: http://synergyclothing.com

Akris – Reversible Cotton Double-Face Zip Dress

Akris is renowned for luxury fashion that combines innovation with style to create sleek, contemporary pieces appealing to the motivated, modern woman. Albert Kriemler, who has spearheaded design at Akris for the last 30 years, is passionate about the need to create simple fashion for the complex and stressful world we live in. He makes dresses that are so delicate and beautifully cut, you’d never guess they’re 2-in-1!

LoviaAura Clutch

Lovia Collection has created the effortlessly chic Aura clutch bag, which also conveniently doubles as a laptop case. Lovia strives to be a transparent and sustainable company by making all of their products traceable and by using more environmentally-friendly fabrics. The clutch is made from recycled leather sourced from the Linda factory in Estonia. Here the workers are supported with a wage often double the average in the region, as well as training for high-quality craftsmanship. Shop now: http://www.loviacollection.com

 

3. Select staple accessories

Opt for classic clutches and simple stilettos that you’ll wear over and over again. That being said, you shouldn’t avoid statement accessories completely, just make sure they’re pieces you really love and know you will get good use of. You don’t need a matching shoe and bag in every shade of the rainbow. Two or three classic colours should be more than enough to compliment every outfit. Nude accessories are always a winner. They go with pretty much everything and anything, and are slightly more feminine than black. And if you’re an animal lover, fear not as there are plenty of ethical vegan brands around now for you to choose from. Here are some of my favourites:

Matt & Nat 

Matt & Nat are one of the most well established, sought-after vegan accessories companies. The brand is dedicated to operating in the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly way they can. They experiment with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, the company has been committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Approximately 21 plastic bottles are recycled for every bag they produce! Shop now: http://mattandnat.com

Wills London – Smart Courts in Nude

Wills London aims to bridge the gap between everyday people and ethically produced vegan shoes. It’s about getting the latest fashions at fair prices, while not hurting animals or people in the process. The entire range is free of animal products and workers are paid in accordance with European guidelines. These PETA approved Vegan heels are ethically made in Portugal. Shop now: https://wills-vegan-shoes.com

008-0077-CriDeCoeurFall2015_1024x1024Cri de CoeurPepper Ballet Skimmer

It’s never a bad idea to take a pair of pumps in your bag for later in the evening. Cri de Coeur have a variety of vegan ballet flats to comfort your soles. Named from the French expression that translates literally to “cry from the heart,” Cri de Coeur symbolises the desire to change the face of the fashion footwear by providing contemporary products that are ethically produced. The Collection consists of the highest quality vegan materials – including Ultrasuede made from recycled plastics, eco-PU that’s low-VOC, breathable and biodegradable, organic cotton, hemp and reclaimed wood. Shop now: http://cridecoeur.myshopify.com

If you have any tips on how to shop smart this wedding season, please comment below. I will be writing more wedding-related posts soon, including eco-friendly and ethical wedding gift ideas. If you have any other suggestions for future posts please comment or email me zara@theconsciousstylist.com

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