2056 Chelsea Lane
State College, PA 16801-2709
What we do
Eco chic wedding dresses and sustainable formal wear
Our eco chic wedding gowns are created from sustainable materials such as upcycled vintage wedding fabrics as well as reclaimed silk, hemp, and organic cotton. We can design your green wedding dress to your measurements for a perfect fit, or we can offer ready-made dresses that can be fine-tuned locally. You can have a truly gorgeous eco-friendly wedding dress that's made just for you.
We are also happy to provide sustainable fabrics by the metre for our DIY dressmakers.
Gorgeous green wedding dresses that don't cost the earth
Green brides needn't compromise their values to look stunning. With a Conscious Elegance eco wedding dress, you may let all of nature rejoice with you on your special day. And feel proud that you are a part of the solution.
If you're keen to monitor the progress of your dress, we offer the option of real-time private online access to our workshop logs which you can visit at any time. It's important to us that you are delighted with your gown and are included every step of the way.
Read more about Conscious Elegance
- Spotlighted in new book, "Small Business, Big Change!" - published 29 December 2012
- Emptyeasel.com: 'Five Kinds of Pinterest Boards that will Engage and Attract Art Collectors' - 10 October 12
- My Fair Wedding: 'Secondhand doesn't mean second best' - 24 September 2012
- 'Finding the Perfect Dress': Interviewed by Hudson Valley Green - 10 August 2012
Ethical Policies: Who we are and what we're about
We started from a passion: to provide beautiful, well-made, eco-friendly wedding dresses and ethical bridal wear using only the kindest, most socially responsible methods available.
Unlike many high-street chains, we remain close to our sources and can personally monitor their actions. Our green wedding gowns are sewn completely in the USA by local artists. And everything we use is ethically-minded, from our naturally-dyed eco fabrics to our certified organic cotton thread to our reclaimed zips.
We believe that we can be successful in the eco wedding business while acting honestly and giving truly exceptional service. We are a small, family-owned company and we will remain so.
Respect for our resources
We use only 100% Control Union World Group certified organic cottons, certified Fair Trade Fabrics and pesticide-free silk and hemp blends in our dressmaking. Even our garment labels are sewn on certified organic cotton and our buttons are carved from sustainable nutshells, the sale of which supports rain forest preservation.
In 2012, we expanded our fabric offerings to include reclaimed and vintage fabrics so that now we can offer 100% silk dresses ethically without creating new demand for an animal product. We feel it is most respectful to silkworms to extend the useful life of the fabric they created.
Our suppliers are also pledged to responsible practice. No underage children are employed by any of our fabric or notion sources, there are no sweatshop conditions in the mills. And our dress prices reflect a fair living wage.
Awards & Recommendations
- Conscious Elegance Eco Wedding Dresses enjoys third-party vetting and has earned the ‘Green America’ seal of approval for their eco wedding dresses. Green America is a non-profit national advocacy group that vets green businesses with a careful selection process which helps to separate truly green businesses from the greenwashers.
- Our How To video, ’How to Bustle a Conscious Elegance Gown‘ has had more than 37,000 views. We’re proud to have helped so many brides and fellow dressmakers.
- We are also thrilled to have won the Environmental Agency/North Tyneside Council Business of the Year Award. We even beat Nissan!
We use 100% post-consumer recycled materials in our office paper; our shipping materials are recycled (all but the wrapping tissue, which is preservation grade and sustainably sourced) and most of our shipping materials are fully biodegradable. We recycle our fabric scraps into swatches, elastic casings, ribbon and fabric flowers. As of the 2012 Wedding Season, we now re-use boning from vintage dresses so that we are able to support our clients beautifully without consuming new resources.
Reducing carbon footprint
We source as locally as possible for our materials and use surface-postage whenever feasible. When we relocated to the US, we used surface transit for shipment, rather than air. We were sorry for the delay in re-establishing our studio but we knew our clients would approve. We choose not to use personal cars but instead rely on bicycles, footwork and public transit for our transportation, including to and from client fittings.
Using organic products
All of our materials are sourced to be eco-friendly. Our cotton linings, lacing panel, lace trims and even our dress labels are certified organic cotton. Our hemp blends and our silks and satins are produced without pesticides or chemicals.
Using cruelty-free products
We offer a variety of plant-based eco-friendly fabric options, including organic cottons and hempcel blends. We also offer fabrics such as reclaimed silk which does no further harm to silkworms but instead honours them by extending their fabric’s useful life. By doing so we hope to minimize the need for creating new fabrics.
Supporting fair trade
We use Certified Organic Fair Trade Cotton fabrics in our garments and Fair-Trade note cards and stationery for our written correspondence. Our buttons are hand-carved from fairly-traded tagua nut, the use of which generates profits that allow craftsmen to support themselves and their families without resorting to harmful farming practices. This protects the South American rainforest, which in turn helps to preserve the ozone layer.
Supporting / working with a charity
We have a charity policy of donating 3% of our annual gross income to humanitarian and environmentally-supportive charities. Please see our website under our ‘About Us’ page under Our ethical charity and contribution policy.
Vegetarian / vegan
See cruelty-free above.
Other things we do
We offer a special service for our customers: we hand-create eco-friendly Christening Gowns/Naming Ceremony garments out of their own gowns for their future little ones at no extra charge. The garments are machine or hand washable and easy to care for and can be re-used for each child. It’s a wonderful and sentimental way to recycle!
Conscious Elegance - Reviews
The dress looks fabulous. I am very glad that I can support your business. This is such a wonderful project! Richard and I try to make a point about supporting small businesses run by committed people with great ideas!"
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful wedding dress. You did such a great job with it! It is gorgeous! The wedding went really well, no problems at all. Everyone loved the dress, but most importantly, I did. I think that the fact that I was so happy with the dress made my day much better.
I really appreciate all your help, suggestions, your patience with me, and the fact that you provided me with meaningful and useful consultations! I will highly recommend you to any future bride. "
Thank you so much for making such a gorgeous dress and for lending me the crinoline! It was my 'something borrowed'! Everyone loved the dress and the wedding was great. I got so many compliments on the dress... so many! And I am proud that the dress didn't hurt the earth or sweat shop workers to make! It was simply gorgeous!"
I was in love with this dress from the minute I put it on. Even on a 90 degree evening, I felt completely comfortable and beautiful. The organic materials were so soft, it was like wearing my favorite pajamas! You did a fantastic job of getting the dress to fit me perfectly, and unlike most traditional dresses, I was actually able to breathe in this one. Everything about this dress was perfection!"
The dress was great - thank you so much again! The cotton lining felt amazing against my skin, and it was comfortable to wear the whole day - I didn't want to take it off when it was time to leave! People were very complementary about the dress, saying how beautiful it was, and how it was just my style as well. Simple yet elegant and gorgeous! I think some people I'd told that it was coming from the US were a bit apprehensive, wondering what I had let myself in for! However, the sceptics were more than pleasantly surprised!
And my local seamstress did a good job altering the ruching to fit my chest a bit better, and she found your bustle video very helpful, and did a great job of that too. Having said that, as you can see from the final photos, it fitted wonderfully in the end. So although it did need minor alterations, I would recommend that other people from UK use you, especially if they want an ethical dress. From what I've been told most bride's have to have their dress slightly altered at some stage before the wedding, and as you hadn't had a chance to see me in the flesh and had only my measurements and the toile to go by, then you did a fantastic job!"
See reviews from Conscious Elegance's Etsy page
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