Robert James Jewellers

Bridal designer Carmen Llaguno reveals how to host a sustainable and low-waste wedding

Model wears white Carmen Llaguno dress Luxury womenswear and bridal dress designer Carmen Llaguno, who recently got married herself wearing a gown that she designed and made by hand, offers her top tips on creating a sustainable and low-waste wedding. She tells us, "Sustainability is a way of life, it means you're not thinking only about the present moment but looking out for the wellbeing of the planet. Sustainable fashion goes beyond choosing natural or recycled fabrics, for me, it relies on ethics. People need to ask themselves 'who makes my clothes and under what conditions?' When you live and shop sustainably, you think carefully about every purchase, researching each brand that you're buying from. The result is having a meticulously curated selection of clothes that you can wear over and over."

Carmen continues, "I would focus on the sentimentality and timelessness of the pieces, for example, our wedding rings were made by Daniela Kate, one of my best friends who happens to be a gemologist. We decided to have them custom made which was extremely special to me. We sourced the stones together and had the ring produced and I love knowing that I’ll wear these pieces everyday made and designed by people I love."

Carmen made her dress in her studio. "Having dressed so many brides, I never thought I’d have my wedding gown made by anyone else. I designed a piece that I’ll be able to wear for many more occasions. Creating this piece at the studio was a wonderful process, it was cut with zero waste and made by a seamstress that has worked with my family for years now. At Carmen Llaguno, we love creating custom pieces for our brides and can make any of our pieces in ivory and modify the length of the hem. Consulting with our brides about the timelessness of their pieces is always key."

Carmen recommends to shop smaller-scale and tells us, "There are plenty of fashionable bridal brands available at the moment. I personally wouldn’t recommend shopping from specific brands but suggest searching for specific pieces. A midi dress is my favorite option because the length is ideal for many different occasions and an Ivory suit is another modern choice - I’m obsessed with brides getting married in suits!"

About the brand
"At our studio, we don’t overproduce - every single piece is made to order. We supervise every order so when we’re cutting there’s minimal fabric waste. One of our cutters has such a fine eye for this! We modify our patterns, even when they’re cut on the bias, to get more out of our yardage and we have color-specific bins that we sort out the silk in, so we can keep using these pieces to make buttons or finishes for our pieces. We hardly ever have leftover fabric! When it comes to our textile mills, we ensure that they're in countries where there's guidelines regarding sustainable production. After many months of searcing, we found a mill that was not only recycling it’s water but was also making sure that the dyes used were not harmful to our skin or to the earth, since even treated water will make its way out of the factory and when this happens, we wanted to leave a clean mark.” Carmen Llaguno

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