Conscious Elegance: Eco-friendly wedding gowns from a cosplaying dressmaker

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If you currently find yourself getting frustrated with wedding dress shopping, allow me to re-introduce you to our longtime sponsor Conscious Elegance. The last time we gawked at these eco-friendly dresses was two freaking years ago. Since then the owner Lori has done some awesome things — new dress designs, a spiffy new website, and Lori visited the Lovesick Expo in Boston while cosplaying as Merida from Brave! No seriously, here's photographic evidence of the awesome:

Lori as Merida Lovesick

Of course, Lori made the entire outfit herself (including the arrows!), because she's a super kick-ass dressmaker. I say "super-awesome" because she's not just good at making these wedding dresses, she takes the three common anxieties about wedding dress shopping, and blows 'em out of the water…

The Melissa dress is made of reclaimed raw silk and organic cotton voile
The Melissa dress is made of reclaimed raw silk and organic cotton voile

No environmental worries

Conscious Elegance is built on zero-waste principles. They use exclusively 100% certified organic cottons, pesticide-free hempsilk blends, and reclaimed materials, offer new fabric options with the highest percentage of plant fiber, use certified organic cotton thread in all of their garments (very rare, even in eco-dressmaking!)

The Desiree dress is made from hemp, silk satin, and organic cotton
The Desiree dress is made from hemp, silk satin, and organic cotton

No dress shopping horror stories here

Conscious Elegance is LGBT-friendly, non-traditional lifestyle-friendly, plus-size friendly, and just all around friendly-friendly:

My studio and our services are a safe space, and everyone is welcome, respected, and cherished, regardless of how they self-identify or with whom they plan to spend their lives. I cannot overstate how important this is to us and to our clients, current and future.

The Evelyn dress can be made in gray and black. Lori goes out of her way to make your shopping experience incredibly positive. Whether you're agonizing over whether to have beige or honey gold on your hem, or just need a non-family member to listen and not judge your wedding choices — Lori is not just a dressmaker, but a wedding day ally!

No going broke

Not only is Conscious Elegance eco-friendly, and lifestyle-friendly… she's also budget-friendly. Lori wants her incredible, custom-made dresses to be accessible to all — not just those who have a big budget. The dress prices are based on the materials and the time required to create the dress and that's it: no mark-ups or middle-men.

In fact, this might surprise you, but her creations are priced comparably with David's Bridal. Awesome, right? A gorgeous, sustainable dress, made just for you, that's also WITHIN YOUR BUDGET!?

As if that's not enough, Lori has also thrown in a special offer for all y'all:

OFFBEAT DISCOUNT: Conscious Elegance is offering a matching pocket square for free to Offbeat Bride Tribe members. Just make sure to include a link to your Tribe profile when you place your order.

The Lana dress is made from reclaimed silk satin, vintage brocade and organic cotton.
The Lana dress is made from reclaimed silk satin, vintage brocade and organic cotton.

If you're currently searching for a wedding dress, and have any kind of anxiety around the task, my prescription is a dose of Lori from Conscious Elegance. Have an incredible shopping experience, gain a wedding ally, and get one hell of a wedding dress!

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    • Bwah-hah-haah!! My husband saw this comment before I did and I had to ask him why he was laughing his ass off. I *might* have taken a bubble bath last night and the entire house *might*, um, still smell like Lush at this very moment.

      ::sends yummy-scented hugs to Ariel and to the entire OBB team for being so very great::

      4 agree
  1. Aww, I bought my wedding dress fabric from Conscious Elegance years ago when Lori was based in the UK and reading this just reminds me of her totally infectious enthusiasm! So lovely to see her new designs, she's awesome.

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    • Hey chica! It's good to hear from you. OMG you're STILL reading Offbeat Bride how many years after your wedding?

      That's a real testimonial right there to what Ariel and her people have built. OBB Tribe peeps ain't no fly-by-night-love-'em-and-leave-ems. We're loyal and we're in it for the long haul.

      • Haha, yep, four and a half years married and still reading! As well as the philosophising and all I just love getting a glimpse of one of the happiest days in all these random, different and wonderful peoples' lives. It's a good news blog! I'm here for life ;). Much love! xxx

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  2. I just spent ages going through all the beautiful dresses and advice — so wonderful! I'm in Canada and won't be planning a wedding dress for a bit, but I've bookmarked this site so hard. (:

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    • ::squeees::

      Keep me posted on your plans, Torey!! Would looooove to make a fabulous dress for you! (hell, keep me posted even if you don't end up wanting a dress)

  3. Wow!
    I have a dress and don't live in the area at all, but this all sounds fantastic. I would have gone nuts over eco-friendly budget-friendly (and beautiful!) dresses. I am so glad there are people and businesses like that.

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    • Awww. Thankee for that. It's awesome to create pretty pretty dresses and even more awesome to work with such great people to make the magic happen. ;-DDD

  4. woe! i wish i had known you existed before i bought my gown in september 2011. :'(

    • 🙁

      Yeah, I was around; I've been designing dresses for years. I hope you loved your dress, though. Feeling beautiful on a special day is something everyone, of every gender, deserves.

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    • And it's a 2-in-1! The bottom skirt is separate and can come off after the formal-time and there's a party dress left for the dancy-time. Makes it easier to celebrate. Plus, then there's a party dress to wear again (and again) after the wedding! I totally wish I'd thought of making a dress like that when I got married…;-/

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  5. I just got married 4 weeks ago, but can I do it again to have one of these dresses please?

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  6. Lori is a personal friend and just as amazing and wonderful as she seems here. A few things to note: she is one of the best smelling people ever, that IS her actual beautiful red mane in those pictures, and she is extremely tiny. You wouldn't think so much heart and talent fits into such a wee frame, but you'd swear she was six feet tall from the personality. And bottom line, she cares deeply for "her" brides. It is not just good customer service, although she knows her business; it is her whole heart in what she does.

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    • D'awww. ::hugs the J-bear::

      Your check is in the mail That was awesome, honey. Thank you for saying all those great things.
      ;-D I wish you didn't live so far away; I'd hug you in person.

      Showerbuddies forevah!! (…how many years ago was that?)

      (Hopefully that wasn't TMI; we were at an outdoor festival and there were public showers and…like ya do…)

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  7. I am so excited to see this post on Offbeat Bride! I am an eco-friendly wedding planner here in Chicago and I love to see more dress makers out there with greener options and who are LGBT friendly. I am also in LOVE with the cosplay aspect. I am a former cosplayer myself (my business is my only hobby now), so keep doing what you do! You rock!

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    • You're an eco-friendly wedding planner? *And* a former cosplayer? How awesome is that?? Thanks for the encouraging words – it's really good to hear that people get what we're trying to create.

      I suspect that you do your planning local to Chicago, yes? It sounds to me like wedding planning might be easier to do when you're closer to the venues. I wish you lived nearer to Boston, though, I'd send my clients your way.

      Luckily, it's easier for clothing designers. Long-distance relationships are no problem. <3

      1 agrees

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