I don't know about you, but I love the thought that a purchase I make, can make a difference to the life of someone else.
Whether it's supporting a charity, providing a sustainable income, or helping to protect the environment, the feel good factor of a great purchase increases ten-fold.
But...in the past, these fair trade, ethical or eco-friendly purchases have not been quite my style... who wants to walk down the aisle in a hemp dress, with a burlap veil, eh?
But embracing your stylish side, doesn't mean you can't be ethical too. Making sustainable choices for your wedding, not only serves to channel some of the money spent on your nuptials to good causes, but it can also open you up to a world of gorgeous products have both substance, and style.
Check out our guide to five fabulous ideas for a ethical weddings that don't skip on chic...
#1 Celia Grace Ethical Wedding Gowns
If you're looking for an ethical wedding gown, that still boasts sumptuous textures, quality tailoring and elegant design, then fair trade fashion house, Celia Grace is the company for you. Each dress is created using handmade eco silks, crafted by a Fair Trade sewing collective, and gives a portion of the proceeds towards clean water programs. With names like Eleanor (above, after Mrs Roosevelt), Amelia and Rosa, these stunning gowns have female empowerment all over them. And not to leave out you dashing grooms, Celia Grace also offer eco silk accessories for gents.
#2 31 Bits Beaded Bridal Accessories
For beautiful beaded accessories, that not only look gorgeous, but give you a warm and fuzzy do-good feeling too, 31 Bits is a great company with a big heart. At 31 Bits, every purchase plays a part in empowering people in Uganda to rise above poverty. Gorgeous beaded pieces are created using recycled paper and crafted into pretty and unique accessories and jewellery, providing sustainable employment for Ugandan women. With a dedicated wedding collection, it's a great source for ethical wedding accessories, whether you're looking for a bespoke bridal belt, or a meaningful gift for your bridesmaids.
#3 Do Amore Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands
Engagement rings and wedding bands are the ultimate symbol of love for most couples, so why not let your wedding jewellery show some love to others too? Set up by Texas-based, Krish Himmatramka, Do Amore is a ring company committed to social change. For every ethical ring sold, two people in the developing world receive clean water, for life. So your lifelong commitment, is Do Amore's lifelong commitment too. With a stunning selection of palladium, platinum and gold bands, Do Amore's jewellery is classic, elegant and stylish, with beautiful settings and sparkling stones. Their fingerprint wedding bands are particularly unique, while each piece comes in a pretty wooden box; a special addition to your pre-wedding purchases.
#4 Choose a 'Love Gives' Way Vendor
Another way you can do-good with your wedding day is to support vendors who support great organisations. The Love Gives Way initiative is one such program, an organisation that helps victims of sex trafficking and that is rallying the wedding community to donate a percentage of their fees to the incredible cause. This means by using a Love Gives Way affiliated vendor, not only are you getting a kind, generous, and socially-minded professional, but you know that some of your wedding bill is ending-up with a fantastic cause. And with photographers, florists, jewellers, planners, musicians and dress-makers getting involved, you can add an elegant and ethical touch to your entire day.
#5 One Hope Wine
A post about ethical, inspiring wedding ideas that give back wouldn't be complete without mentioning One Hope Wine. For every bottle of wine sold this incredible company donates a whopping 50% of the profits to nonprofit organizations. That's HALF the profits, people.
Our wedding was the best night of my life and we were able to make a huge impact. Our champagne toast alone fed over 200 children fighting hunger in America - how cool is that? (Casey, a One Hope bride)
How cool indeed.
Whether One Hope Wine is being served at your wedding or being given away as favors to your guests, there is truly no better way to celebrate than by supporting a greater cause. (And, I can personally vouch for their light and fruity California Brut Sparkling Wine which I had far too much of during the Loverly secret soiree during New York Bridal Fashion Week!)
Bonus Idea! In Lieu Of Favours
It's hard not to feel guilty sometimes, planning your big day, when you're spending all this money on yourself. (BTW, don't feel guilty, you're creating a once in a lifetime celebration of your relationship and treating your guests to a spectacular day!) But, if you do want to siphon some of your spending to a good cause, why not choose one of your expenses, whether it's flowers, favours, or (at a push!) the cake, and donate the fee to a charity of your choice. Friends of mine were getting married, and after pricing favours, decided to donate the cost to a heart charity close to their, well, hearts. It was a really gorgeous and tasteful sentiment, and went down so well with the guests, that even more money was raised on the night by friends and family. An elegant way to add a personal, and charitable touch to your wedding.
These are just a few ideas for helping to make your special soiree, sustainable, social, and stylish, but help us come up with some more, what are your ideas for an elegant ethical wedding?
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