If there’s ever an event to warrant a new or different outfit, it’s a wedding. Of course, last season’s wedding guest attire is in the cupboard, hardly touched, but there’s just something about celebrating love that makes us want to get all dressed up in something shiny and new. We get it. Save the date and start sussing out your options for your most stylish and sustainable wedding season yet.
But first, can you rent it?
Just as good as “new” is new to you! Garment rental has come a long way since the initial peer-to-peer marketplaces went live. These days you can find most good brands that produce quality party dresses on a rental platform. The dresses are in excellent condition, washed and ready to be worn. Plus, it means you can wear your dream party dress for a fraction of the price. Before you go any further, browse our list of online platforms to rent or borrow clothes.
Adelaide-based ethical fashion label Autark ticks all the boxes when it comes to sustainability. The brand’s garments are designed and ethically made in Australia. Autark opts for quality natural fibres such as silks and certified organic cotton, and produces a limited number of its designs to reduce textile waste. The unique designs and quality tailoring make these dresses perfect for a formal event while still being relaxed enough that they can be styled casually to ensure wearability.
Sydney-based brand Ginger and Smart includes a range of wedding-worthy dresses in every collection. The brand says its sustainable purpose “is to create beautifully considered timeless pieces, designed to be worn many times and with a low impact on the global environment.” As such, sustainability and ethical practices have been embedded in the Ginger & Smart brand from its inception in 2002. They only work with manufacturers that uphold their high standards of ethical practice, which include paying a living wage to garment workers – the single most important thing a brand can do to empower their workers.
A leader of transparency in the fashion industry, Arnsdorf is founded upon values of ethical production and sustainability. I love all of this label’s pieces, which often have a unique element of colour, fabric, or asymmetrical design with a minimalist appeal. Arnsdorf is designed and made in Melbourne and certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, ensuring fair wages and working conditions for all workers in the Australian supply chain. The brand now offers an option to rent their garments instead of buying new. Perfect for those one-off occasions!
This brand prides itself on creating collections of exceptional quality and sourcing luxurious fabrics globally. The luxury womenswear features bright colours and prints, taking inspiration from current trends and the ever-changing fashion landscape. Shop for a classic, fitted party dress, or a stylish suit fit for a romantic occasion. Manning Cartell’s Australian made garments are accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia and can be found online and in stand-alone boutiques and select retailers in Australia.
Variety Hour’s unique, head turning prints are the perfect pick for a garden party, beach or casual wedding. The classic shapes and quality fabrics make the Variety Hour dresses “dressy” enough for the big event while the fun prints will ensure they become a wardrobe staple after the wedding. Variety Hour’s garments are all ethically made in Australia.
This Melbourne-based brand goes above and beyond with its ethical production, manufacturing everything here in Australia with environmentally friendly fabrics, and making efforts to reduce waste in the process. Kuwaii’s collections are highly versatile but there’s often dressy pieces which can be beautiful styled for any wedding occasion. Kuwaii goes into detail about its manufacturing, fabrics, environmental impact and more on its website. The brand also plants a tree for every order shipped.
As Cue Clothing’s sophisticated sister label, Veronika Maine stocks a range of cute and conservative outfits that fit the bill for wedding attendance. Part of the brand’s collections are ethically made in Australia and certified by Ethical Clothing Australia. Look out for natural fibres such as cotton and linen to help lighten your environmental footprint. Shop Veronika Maine for party dresses, matching sets or even a cute suit that could later join the work wardrobe.