In this blog we’d like to introduce you to Daniela Degrassi – our newest member to join the EBD blogger team. Find out what inspired her to become a sustainable fashion advocate, a sustainable wedding fashion designer and why sustainability in weddings matters more than ever. Daniela will be sharing her insights and tips for anyone wanting to create a more sustainable wedding. We are very excited to welcome her to our team and look forward to all of her blogs.
Why sustainable weddings is crucial for us all
How I ended up in the fashion industry is a long story. But I guess it kind of was in my DNA to begin with. My mom had a natural talent to construct matching clothes for my sister and I, with her old Singer sewing machine. Ultimately, I inherited her love for a minimalist style, but only after going through a few seasons of experimenting: from loving the Jean Paul Gautier masculine shapes of the ‘80s to diving into the baggy shapes of the ‘90s.
However, when I moved from Italy to California to start my career as a lifestyle photographer, I opted for comfortable clothes. They helped with all the bending and kneeling that goes into capturing a good photo. My wardrobe was mostly stocked with jeans and a lot of black items. That relationship with black was reinforced when I started shooting weddings. My eyes were hurting at the sight of raspberry and lavender bridesmaids dresses. It was beyond me why bridesmaids were forced to spend hundreds of dollars on an outfit that they would never wear again. But my cringing at those colors had deeper roots. I later realized that back then I was only developing an early reaction to unsustainable choices.
Image: Daniela at a photoshoot in Venice
The unsustainability of weddings of course, doesn’t stop with the wedding attire. It extends to high cost venues, flowers and meals, just to name a few. In 2017, for example, UK hit the all-time high for average money spent on planning weddings. The Independent quotes a survey conducted by wedding planning website, Hitched, that reveals some brides spending over £33,000 on their big day. It seems to be a worldwide accepted ancestral ritual to splurge as much as possible to make the wedding day a glamorous memory and impress guests and family. I’ve seen my share for over 15 years behind the lens.
[easy-tweet tweet=”Did you know that some brides spend over £33,000 on their big day?” template=”qlite”]
There is nothing wrong with a bit of splurging, but there must be a smarter way to celebrate a wedding without giving up on style and so much money. On this, I was reflecting, just a few years ago, while I was taking a sabbatical year, back in my native Italy.
With more time on my hands, my love for fashion resurfaced and I began thinking of starting my own label. Funnily enough, those raspberry and lavender bridesmaids dresses ‘haunted’ me for all the good reasons. They ended up being the true inspiration behind my brand Annaborgia. My new journey was to focus on re-inventing bridal attire and making re-wearable styles with neutral colors that would stand the test of time.
While I was aware that the shift in mentality towards celebrating weddings in a sustainable way is hard to implement, I also knew that change doesn’t happen overnight, and I saw myself comfortable in the role of a pioneer reinventing bridal attire.
As I was plotting Annaborgia’s sketches, another revolution was taking place within me. For ethical reasons, I shifted to a plant-based lifestyle, inspiring me to infuse my new-found cruelty-free choices into the brand as well. The research for vegan textiles opened a Pandora Box exposing the darkest side of the fashion industry, that did not just include cruelty to animals and the environment, but to human beings as well. I was soon acquainted with the terms, fair trade, sustainable and ethical fashion and also began to understand the values they stand for.
With new knowledge I developed a sense of urgency hasting me to join the Fashion Revolutionmovement and be part of the group of inspiring women who want to turn fashion around.
That’s why I joined the Ethical Brand Directory. They share those values I now cherish while elevating the 100+ ethical brands that are part of their family.
Image: Daniela Degrassi wedding photoshoot archives
I am grateful to EBD and its founder Roberta Lee for the opportunities offered to Annaborgia in the past year. Also, I am thrilled to join its blogging panel and reach its dedicated readers. I am excited to share helpful content on sustainable weddings in the future, and connect with men and women, passionately involved in changing and inspiring their communities.
Weddings are in my heart. I will forever cherish the memories I collected photographing so many couples in love in my California days. And while it’s important to celebrate something as sacred as love the way a bride’s vision desires, these new troubled times urge us to put our best efforts in building a better future with the choices we make, even while planning a wedding. From catering locally to zero-waste, from choosing edible or re-usable wedding favors or wedding attire you can re-style or upcycle, the choices are endless. Without giving up on style. Just like a true ethical fashionista.
I hope you enjoyed my first edition and I will be back with more sustainable wedding blogs to inspire you soon.
Daniela Degrassi is a lifestyle photographer, founder of ethical bridal-friendly brand Annaborgia and editor of The Kind Bride, a resource and inspiration blog for the vegan bride. Naturalized American,she now lives mainly in her native Italy, and travels to US on a regular basis. She is a passionate sustainable fashion advocate and loves writing, traveling and team work towards a more sustainable tomorrow.