What is the future of wedding dress shopping?
by Wendy Hirst-Greenham
Bridalise was created as an innovative solution to a long-standing issue. What to do with all those ex-sample gowns?
Bridal Boutiques are constantly looking for rail space as collections rotate often twice a year. Historically boutiques hold a sample sale. What didn’t sell would be put onto an online marketplace for a while. What still didn’t sell would then be donated to charity. Now this, you might say is an obvious and fitting act of kindness. However, what you don’t see is that if these charities cannot sell or store the dresses then they end up on landfill.
The sustainability issue
According to WorldofWorn.com founder Annie Barker over 300,000 tonnes of fashion end up on landfill in the UK alone! (Bride Magazine October 2020). Wedding dresses have been reported to be THE BIGGEST producer of waste in the fashion industry (Buckley 2006). Each stage of the design and manufacturing process has an element of wastage. Now I’m not suggesting this figure can be entirely attributed to the wedding industry because fast fashion encourages the consumer to buy more and think less. However, if we can help to lower that landfill amount, we are taking steps to change the way the world of fashion affects the environment.
The cost of a wedding
DID YOU KNOW? Weddings are one of the most extravagant and expensive ceremonies held today. (Random History 2007) As of January 2022 when Bridebook did a survey of 5,500 couples, the average wedding dress in the UK cost £1250, up by over £200 from their survey in December 2020 where 4,500 couples surveyed averaged their wedding dress spend to be £1002.
The current cost of living crisis is affecting us all. You shouldn’t have to see yourself short on your wedding day because of it! It is forcing brides to shop around which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it does make you second guess where you are buying from.
- Are they easy to use and reliable?
- Are they affordable but without having to accept an element of risk?
- Am I compromising on quality in favour of affordability?
- Will my consumer rights be affected?
At Bridalise we can guarantee that you are covered! Every boutique that signs up with us is fully vetted to ensure they are a legitimate UK bridal retailer, selling genuine gowns from genuine Bridal Designers. We do this to eliminate the risk commonly associated with other online options. As an e-commerce store we are fully compliant with distance selling laws thereby protecting your consumer rights. With the average UK wedding reporting to cost £20,493 anything we can do to help puts pennies back in your pocket.
The guide to buying ex-sample gowns.
- They WILL be last season’s stock. Some may even be discontinued. The fast fashion world we live in generally means that even if you buy new by the time you come to wear your dress it is already a last season design.
- Many of these dresses get overlooked when they are in store meaning hidden gems often go unnoticed. They can be just what you’re looking for though so be open minded and you may fall upon an absolute diamond at up to 70% off!
- Still great quality. Remember they are just as well made as the new rail stock. They are just a different collection and have never been worn or altered, simply tried on.
- Perfect for ‘Time Crunch’ weddings.
- Be sure to look them over, they may have minor imperfections. Most will need altering, unless you are the luckiest person in the world because wedding dresses rarely fit perfectly straight off the peg.
To conclude, our vision is to reduce the impact fashion has on the environment by giving you the opportunity to save these stunning dresses from landfill. While we’re at it we want to make your dress buying experience safe and worry free but most importantly EASY and ENJOYABLE!
That’s it for our first blog. We hope you have enjoyed reading. Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment and until then Happy Wedding Dress Shopping!