We all know the basics of making your wardrobe more sustainable: Supporting the right brands, accepting rental fashion and shopping second-hand are good first steps to becoming more environmentally friendly. But fashion goes so much further than what’s just hanging in your wardrobe – it’s what happens before you buy an item or after you finish it, which is so important to saving our planet, which is why it is so important to get to know the life cycle of a garment.
Despite all of this information available, it can be difficult to apply these lessons to other aspects of life. Take, for example, the wedding day, which is arguably a very untenable concept. You spend a lot of money on a dress that you will only wear once, not to mention outfitting the rest of the bridal shower and investing in other bespoke decorations and wedding favors that are most likely single-use.
With more and more brides hopefully tying the knot this year, as the restrictions gradually wear off – and many of the postponed celebrations in 2020 can finally take place – how can we get greener on the big day?
The Loop, a London-based luxury bridal resale website, is committed to making the industry more sustainable by promoting circular fashion. The website sells a curated selection of desirable, popular designs for the modern bride, featuring classic bridal brands like Jenny Packham and Ghost, as well as more contemporary labels like Stand Studio and Khaite. We spoke to The Loop founders friends Grace Richmond and Abi Gadsby to learn more about their business and stay green during the wedding season.
How did you come up with the concept for The Loop?
Grace Richmond: “We have been friends for years and share a love of style, clothing and shopping in an economical, responsible and conscious way. After we both felt the effects of Covid-19 last summer, we decided to set up an Instagram account, Grace & Gadsby, to share our ideas about advocating for beloved luxury – from the bride to bridesmaids to wedding guests and cloakroom – should largely refine advice.
Courtesy The Loop
“A lot of brides wanted help, either finding a last minute registration outfit or just finding a dress for a big day. We found that brides were interested in exploring the route second hand, but something was stopping them. Most of the time, people don’t know where to look for used bridal wear, nor do they have the energy or time to look. “
Abi Gadsby: “We both believed that there had to be more of a bridge between designer ready-to-wear and bridal fashion. Our clothing line features some modern, desirable pieces with popular styles and treasures sourced from iconic brands such as Cult Gaia, Brandon Maxwell and Khaite. ”
What do you think is changing in the bridal industry?
AG: “There’s a lot of space to tie the dots between designer ready-to-wear clothing and traditional bridal wear, especially when shopping online. Then we also want to add the sustainability factor – for circularity, transparency and beloved luxury.
“Although we are small and currently only have a small selection of items, we hope that as we grow we can maintain a certain level of security to suit everyone. We want to make it an inspiring and desirable place to shop for bridal wear and to make shopping for beloved wedding dresses more mundane, less risky and a little less archaic. More and more brides are looking for something to wear over and over or dye pink or cut off the hem and turn it into a mini dress. That’s why we want to offer something that goes beyond the traditional meringue dress. “
What would you like people to know more about sustainability and the bridal industry?
GR: “Weddings are arguably one of the biggest and most monumental days in people’s lives. We totally understand why they want it to be extravagant and a day to remember. As with most events, everything is usually designed to be held for just one occasion. This means that many single-use materials are used to create bespoke and personalized decorations, table decorations, flowers and outfits – only so that they are never used again.
“It’s definitely not a wedding-only topic. So many of our daily events are wasteful. It’s about thinking more about what goes into creating a wedding – seasonal menus, seasonal flowers, less plastic, recycling the wine bottles. You can be tasteful, sustainable, and have a great wedding. “
Courtesy The Loop
AG: “That’s why we set up The Loop from the dressing perspective. Brides can consider where to buy their outfit or simply resell it to us. Put your bridesmaids in something they will wear again, rent their dresses, or buy them second-hand. We encourage the groom and groomsmen to do the same. “
You have such a nice mix of brands, why was it important for you to appeal to so many different target groups and tastes?
GR: “Women are now looking for outfits for different occasions. Weddings last longer and turn into two or three day events. With ever changing regulations, a precarious economy, and a gentle departure from tradition, many women instinctively seek something that feels practical, affordable, and responsible.
“With this in mind, we decided to deal with three main types of outfits – the big day dress, the party dress and the registry office. These were the three areas brides came to us for outfit ideas. We trust our eye for style, we are aware of what the coveted pieces might be, what the brands to be desirable, and we have a mix of styles – long, short, mini pants. We made sure we received high quality pieces that are fun, modern, and elegant. “
Abi and Grace
Do you think more brides will deviate from tradition after the pandemic to wear more contemporary dresses?
AG: “We are sure to see more brides who want a contemporary dress for their smaller weddings. We believe the mindset will change and that the grand white traditional wedding may become more of a novelty. However, after the pandemic, we will appreciate greater events more than ever. “
Why do you think some brides are not thinking of buying vintage or beloved dresses?
GR: “First, we think it boils down to experience and knowledge of where to start. It’s much harder to start than buying a new one. Even so, buying a brand new dress for your wedding day is very special. It’s the only time you can try. So why not let it be new? Why not go shopping in all of the boutiques? “
Courtesy The Loop
AG: “For us, we would like to present another room within the bridal arena to offer something different and cut the risk for brides when shopping in half. As stylists, we are both absolutely confident that by browsing hundreds of poor quality photos on resale websites that the items are wrinkled, lifeless and limp, we can find the beauty. We saw this gorgeous heart embroidered dress from Valentino and we could picture it with a floor length veil for added drama, but had you seen the seller’s photo you wouldn’t have looked twice. “
GR: “Sourcing a dress for a wedding anniversary is an incredibly exciting process and finding a used option quickly becomes part of it. No less new and no less special, sourcing a used piece is simply an opportunity to consciously add to the story of an item. As more women are looking for outfits to suit different occasions, we feel that traditional bridal wear sometimes feels outdated or inflexible. “
Courtesy The Loop
What is The Loop doing to ensure the company is as sustainable as possible?
AG: “Our mission at The Loop is to be thoughtful, attentive and responsible at all levels of the operation, from packaging to shipping to dry cleaning. We are here to develop and promote these well-intentioned concepts and most importantly to share them with the community that we also want to create.
“We are working on having a variety of sizes on our website, but since we are a small team with only a limited number of hands and hours to source all of these special clothes, photograph them and place them on the website, we can provide a range of sizes for everyone at any time you need. We strive to serve everyone and everyone. We’d like to encourage everyone to get involved in the popular luxury bridal shop. “
What’s next for The Loop?
GR: “More drops from luxury designers that were previously loved, or vintage pieces that can also be considered bridal. There’s this crazy Chanel number that we keep an eye out for. We also have a lot of popular shoes that we can’t wait to get started with. Bridesmaid dresses, looks from wedding guests and occasions for occasions are also on the list.
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