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Guided by Green; an Approach to Making Bridal-wear More Sustainable

Green is a popular accent colour for weddings taking place in Autumn and Winter, however here at Something Borrowed Head Quarter, green is not just for those chillier months, and in fact means a whole lot more to us. Our journey started with a clear focus on how we could support brides to create less waste from their wedding day, whilst still being able to have the day of their dreams. This mission guides us in always exploring every aspect of our business to ensure we are looking for opportunities to consider our impact on the environment. Now stating that we think green, are eco-conscious, sustainable and all that can be easy to say, but we hope we can share some insights into how we put these terms into practice within Something Borrowed, so when you hire or buy your wedding dress from us, you know you can trust our ethical approach.

Our founder, Christie, shares ‘Getting married is about celebrating your journey as a couple so far, whilst focussing on your exciting future together. For me, this means that we should be considering how we can ensure a safe and clean future for our planet, so all of our dreams for the generations that will come after us, can come true. We all have a part to play, at Something Borrowed, we look for every opportunity to build this into our service.’

Washing is a huge element of our service, from cleaning pre-loved wedding dresses before they go on our website ready for rental, to the washes in between wears when one dress returns from a client before being available for the next bride to be. So one of our first goals was to uncover the best approach that would ensure our dresses are always super fresh but also cleaned in a way that is considerate of the planet. We therefore connected with, and now proudly partner with, Oxwash for all our cleaning needs. 

Oxwash is an incredible company that offer net-zero carbon emission cleaning; ‘How?’ you ask, well let’s share their approach. They advise that they use ‘state-of-the-art low-impact washing technology’ that enables them to recycle water between washes, catch over 95% of plastic microfibres, stopping them from entering our oceans whilst offering a service that successfully removes stains reducing the need for clothes to be sent to landfill due to not being wearable.

What we love about Oxwash is that they set defined goals and targets to ensure they are always working towards these statements, and aren’t just saying all the right things. They state that they are on a mission to save 32 litres of water for every 8kg of garments they wash and also remove 100million microfibres daily from the water across their various sites.

In addition to their sophisticated washing process, Oxwash go that bit further in considering the transportation of the laundry loads they handle. Their fleet of electric cargo bikes enables them to strive to reduce emissions by 6700kg of CO2 per bike compared with a van.

Our partnerships are important to us, as they enable us to deliver against our own sustainable ethos and we know that Oxwash truly understand our own goal of offering ‘a popular, greener alternative that allows you to keep up with the latest trend and not break the bank’ recognising that wedding dress rental can be the ultimate way to celebrate the age-old tradition of ‘something borrowed’.

Our consideration of how we can achieve a greener alternative in the bridalwear industry doesn’t stop at washing, every part of our range is considered to ensure it goes someway to supporting our eco-conscious values. ReWritten is the perfect brand for us to collaborate with due to their sustainable statement where they set out their mission to enable bridesmaid dresses to be worn more than once, rather than pushed to the back of the wardrobe, never to be worn again. Their carefully designed bridesmaid range, and now wedding dress capsule, offer timeless and stylish pieces that gives longevity to the garments they produce. They don’t stop at the design stage either, the fabrics used in the production of the dresses is also reviewed carefully and wherever possible recycled, quality satins, crepes and more are chosen to give a beautiful finish that supports an eco-friendly bride. You can read more about ReWritten in our journal about them here.

We are very aware of the number of dresses in circulation within the bridal industry. This realisation supported our decision to still offer made to order items but manage this sustainably by only bringing in stock when necessary so our eco-friendly brides can feel confident when buying is the best option for them.

In addition to our brand collaborations, we are very proud to give pre-loved bridal dresses a second, third, well ongoing life! We offer brides who have previously bought a dress, the option to sell it onto us, so that their dress doesn’t end up in a suitcase under the bed and instead goes on to be a very special part of another brides big day. There is a certain romance to this, knowing that brides are sharing these garments along with their best wishes, sentiments and offerings of good luck for brides who follow in their footsteps. It also means that we can help to reduce landfill waste, as ultimately we know these dresses can sadly find that to be their destination. We don’t believe in second hand wedding dresses, and instead are here to show our clients that these dresses are capable of being part of many special days and not just another source of concern for the planet’s future.

Finally, we are always looking for ways to improve our green credentials and have recently introduced local pick up. If you are local to our HQ you now have the option to collect and drop off your dress directly. This means a saving on packaging and also delivery – another way to reduce our overall footprint. 

Our goal to offer brides and their bridal party a greener and more eco-conscious approach to bridal-wear is at the heart of what we do. We aim to show that being conscientious of your impact on the world we live in, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on finding that dress that makes you feel at your very best. We are here to support you in your wedding dress hire or bridesmaid dress hire, so please get in touch so we can work together to find you a planet conscious dress of your dreams.