Rewash, Reuse, Recycle: Sustainability In Bridal Fashion
Have you ever thought about what you're going to do with that wedding dress or bridesmaid dress after the big day? It used to be a tradition in the US for a new bride to wear her wedding dress out on her first night as a married woman. But that's when going to the opera in an enormous gown was pretty much the norm with certain elites. Now, not so much.
However, with sustainable fashion on the rise, more and more brands are looking for ways to entice a new generation of conscious consumers. We sat down with a fashion house that's ahead of the curve. The House of Perey is dedicated to creating sustainable, reusable, and even re-washable high-fashion garments that you can take from the aisle to your next brunch date with the gang.
An Interview with Pia Gladys Perey
Why was it important for your company to make all of your products wrinkle-free and machine-washable. Is it a difficult process in terms of cost, manufacturing, etc.?
It is important to our brand since we position ourselves as a label that is made for the modern woman who is on-the-go and also savvy. We want to make things easy for her while keeping in mind that she wants to look stylish and classy. The world is so fast-paced so we know that she needs to keep up.
In our own way, we help her by saving her a trip to the dry-cleaners and a dry cleaning bill, she can travel anywhere with our dress and not worry about handling it with extra care or steaming it after a long journey.
The fabric that we use actually costs almost twice the price compared to the usual fabrics used by most mid-priced labels like us and definitely harder to manage in sewing—it requires great skill in draping and we spent time training our dressmakers to make sure they are equipped with the proper skill required to make our dresses that are hand-draped and sewn by one person from start to finish.
However, we find that these details are important in making a dress that will be a staple in a woman’s wardrobe for many years. We do not want to make a dress that will only be used once at a wedding as a bridesmaid. So, for us, investing more in fabric and manufacturing is definitely worth it.
How did your company get involved with donating extra fabric? Was that a challenge to integrate in any way, and why was that an important thing for you all to do.
We love being a part and helping the community that we are in. We love fashion and we like making beautiful clothes since we believe that it empowers people.
We do not want to make a dress that will only be used once at a wedding as a bridesmaid. So, for us, investing more in fabric and manufacturing is definitely worth it.
Clothing is a basic necessity so when we saw how much fabric can go to waste, we discussed with our staff what we can do with them and turn them into and contacted the local foundation in our area. Everyone in the company got involved, and they are all still involved in making the clothes that we donate so it was not challenging at all. If anything, we have fun while we do it.
What does the House of Perey think about the future of the wedding industry and sustainability?
We think there will be more brides who would like to have a wedding dress that they can wear again. Women now are more practical and invest in clothing that is both practical and sustainable.
If they purchase a wedding dress that they can wear again, they are lessening consumption in fashion, which has gotten quite out of hand in the past years. The same also goes with bridesmaids dresses, a woman is a bridesmaid at an average at least 3 times in her life before she turns 27, a bridesmaid usually spends $1000-1500 in each wedding for dress, shoes, makeup, hotels, flights if it is a destination wedding. Surely, they would like to purchase a dress that they can use again which is why we focus on styles that can be really worn again.
Our bestselling style is also the most worn dress on the red carpet by celebrities. That goes to show how versatile the brand is and we do hope this will be bigger campaigns in the future. After all, sustainability is not just about the fabric used in making a dress, it is also about being able to reuse clothing, maintaining it in a way that does not harm the environment, and spending money wisely on fashion that is timeless.