The ethical wedding guest

As we enter the summer, wedding season kicks off and with it comes one of the biggest wardrobe dilemmas; ‘how can I justify buying a new outfit, for just one wear’. The answer is simply, I can’t. So instead I’ve tried to come up with some creative solutions on how to dress ethically for weddings, without sacrificing style.

Invest in the basics
There are certain pieces that, in the long run, just make more sense to buy and wear over and over again. The industry loves to use buzzwords and phrases like ‘Capsule Wardrobe’, ‘Style Staple’ and ‘Investment Pieces’ which simply put are garments that transcend from season to season. A little black dress, a white cotton shirt or even a silk slip dress. A capsule wardrobe will look different for everyone but the key is to know your body and what makes you feel great. Finding your silhouette can take years of trying but when you find it, invest in the key pieces that you can pair with bolder, seasonal items.

Intelligent styling
If you’ve got the basics covered, approaching occasions couldn’t be easier. Neutral but perfectly designed garments can be paired with statement pieces you’ve borrowed, hired or bought. For example, a white silk t-shirt paired with skinny jeans might be suitable office attire but worn with a printed skirt and heels immediately creates a perfect wedding guest look.

Beg, borrow, steal
OK, so maybe not steal but borrowing pieces from friends or family, is a great way to feel like you’ve had a wardrobe refresh without adding to your wardrobe glut. Alternatively, there are lots of luxury rental sites like Girl Meets Dress, where you can hire a dress for the occasion without having to purchase it. For most people, there are very few opportunities in a year where you need to dress for a formal occasion, so this is the perfect way to wear something fresh without it collecting dust at the back of your wardrobe.

Know your brands
When you do buy, make sure you’re buying something that lasts and is ethically produced. That doesn’t always mean looking for the most expensive price tag, but often price can be a good indicator of a fair supply chain. Make sure you do your research. If a brand isn’t transparent on their website, it’s often because they don’t know that full production line themselves or don’t think it’s important for the consumer; it is. Cienne NY are a great example of a ‘socially minded’ brand. They locally produce their fabrics that behave as the foundation for each collection. Their clothes can take you from work to evening to occasion; it’s all in the styling. Reve En Vert is another fantastic source for ethical brands. Founded in 2013, this online boutique’s mission is to showcase the best ethical brands in luxury fashion. It’s the perfect one stop for bold updates to compliment your capsule wardrobe.

For more brands that operate with sustainability at the heart of their business, visit our brand directory.

Image Cienne NY @cienneny

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