Picking out your wedding dress is one of the most memorable parts of the wedding planning process. The general consensus is that, as a bride, your dress must be show-stoppingly beautiful and one-of-a-kind. No pressure, right? But not only do wedding dresses cost thousands of dollars—they also have quite the eco footprint.
The good news is there's a way to find your dream wedding dress that's more affordable and better for the planet: shopping for secondhand options. Before we dive into places you can search for used wedding dresses online (and there's plenty!), let's dive into why shopping secondhand makes such a big difference in the first place.
The Environmental Impact of Wedding Dresses
The single-use aspect of the wedding industry is what creates the most waste. According to the Green Bride Guide, the average wedding produces 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of carbon dioxide. And, wedding dresses themselves have a hefty impact, too.
According to La Laurel, a bridal consignment boutique in Canada, there are a variety of different factors that determine the environmental cost of wedding dress production in particular, "from one-of-a-kind patterns and specialty high-quality materials made by high end producers in New York City, for example, to mass-produced synthetic gowns made overseas."
Why to Thrift for Used Wedding Dresses
While new dresses require new materials and resources, used wedding dresses are a much more planet-friendly option. For example, by selling pre-loved wedding dresses instead of new, Stillwhite—a secondhand wedding dress website—has saved 216,000 kg of carbon emissions and 180 million liters of water thus far.
Buying a pre-owned wedding dress, much like secondhand shopping for clothing, results in less waste, fewer carbon emissions, and the incredible feeling that a beautiful item of clothing is getting a new home. Used wedding dresses are also more affordable, and you can find both new and vintage styles.
While you can look at thrift stores locally, these online shops let you scroll your way to your dream dress.
7 Places to Shop for Used Wedding Dresses Online
With over 56,000 dresses by hundreds of designers, Stillwhite ensures you'll have an endless amount of beautiful options to choose from. You can easily search for your dream pre-owned wedding dress by size, brand, and budget, with many styles to look through.
The URL says it all. This site sells pre-owned wedding dresses at a fraction of the cost. Sizes are super inclusive of different body types, ranging from 00 to 36. The site also sells secondhand accessories, shoes, and bridal party gowns.
Loved Twice Bridal sells gorgeous pre-loved wedding dresses for a fraction of the original retail cost. It also has a home try-on program that allows you three days with one dress—or an option to try a few!—before making your decision.
4. Once Wed
Once Wed is all about the sustainable wedding game. Not only does this site have gorgeous pre-owned dresses, but it also shares tons of tips for adding DIY aspects to your special day, making it as eco-friendly as possible.
BravoBride has everything you’ll need for a wedding, with a secondhand twist. That means dresses, accessories, decor, jewelry, tiaras, shoes—you name it. With thousands of listings, you’re sure to find something unique to add to your special day.
6. La Laurel
La Laurel is a bridal consignment boutique that's curated for the eco-conscious bride. While it's based in Vancouver, Canada, you'll also be able to shop the collection of pre-owned wedding dresses online.
Nearly Newlywed is another excellent resource for getting a pre-owned wedding dress because it offers a try-on option. If you realize the dress isn't for you within five days of receiving it, you can easily return it. This site has used, sample, and new dresses that are sold by real people all over the world.
Hey there! Want to help us change the world every day through easy, achievable, eco-friendly tips and tricks? Sign up for the Brightly Spot and join our movement of over a million changemakers.