The beautiful and affordable eco-chic wedding dress collection from Sister Organics
Samantha / 23 June 2016
Today we are introducing you to our new series Meet the Maker. Our eco wedding directory is bursting full of incredible independent businesses with just as incredible people behind those businesses. The aim of this series is to not just introduce you to their products but share a little bit about the people that make them what they are and why in particular our brides-to-be will love what they do.
The first person we are excited to showcase today is Natalie, who is the brains behind the organic and eco-fabric wedding dress brand Sister Organics. We love the beautiful laid-back and classic designs she creates and we are sure you will do too.
Hi Natalie, it’s lovely to get to chat to you and find out what goes on behind-the-scenes. Firstly, we’d love to know what makes Sister Organics a bit special and why should brides consider a dress from you?
Sister Organics offer affordable casual/alternative eco wedding dresses for free-spirited brides, bridesmaids dresses and party dresses. All dresses are made right here in Brighton in lovely environmentally sustainable fabrics; organic cottons, beautiful cotton laces made in England, vintage fabrics and organic silks.
My dresses are feminine, soft and comfortable to wear – they are perfect for those looking for an unconventional wedding dress.
What kind of bride do you think chooses a Sister Organics dress for their wedding?
I have to say that the majority of my customers are just the loveliest people. Some of my customers are vegans or really want an organic or eco-friendly wedding dress. Others can’t find what they are looking for in a conventional wedding dress shop or want a more casual, alternative dress for a relaxed or outdoor wedding.
If a bride-to-be chose a Sister Organics dress, what would her experience be like? What’s the process?
My dresses can either be bought as seen or adapted slightly for an individual bride. I also make a few bespoke dresses each season.
Some brides buy online, usually contacting me first with any questions. Sometimes customers will visit me to try on the different styles, so the experience can vary quite considerably. All dresses are handmade to order especially for the customer.
You mentioned that your dresses can be ordered online, have you got any advice about how to make the right choice if you don’t have the opportunity to try it on?
I have a concession in Nicole Urbanski boutique in Hove, where people can try dresses on but I mainly sell online. My advice for making the right choice when buying online would be to go for a style you know would work well for your body shape. Ask for swatches of the fabric – so you can see the actual colour and feel the cloth. I’m always really happy to answer any questions a bride may have.
I sell in set sizes or can make the dresses to measurements provided. It’s also important to check your measurements and measure accurately – ask questions if you are not sure. For an online order it is typically 3-4 weeks from ordering to delivery (longer at busy times of year).
We’ve heard about your dresses, but I’m sure our brides would love to find out more about you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a designer dressmaker, so I design and make dresses and garments in organic cotton and eco fabrics. I have to say – I feel very fortunate as I absolutely love what I do.
I live and work beside the seaside in Brighton, with my husband and our family. I love living in Brighton – there’s so much going on here and yet we are within easy reach of the beautiful Sussex countyside. When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my family – walking in the Sussex downs and taking the kids to the beach.
So how did Sister Organics start and what is the back story?
I started Sister Organics in 2013 when my daughter was very young. I worked part time and would work on my ‘project’ in the evenings. It was a way to use my skills and create an income in a way that I could fit around family life. It also gave me a creative outlet. I made a few dresses in some organic cotton prints, asked a friend to model them for me and once I had some good photos opened an online shop. To start with I made everything myself but I now have a very skilled lovely lady to help me.
I’ve worked in fashion for many years including working for eco fashion label Ciel, Traid Remade, designers and a high street company. I have always made dresses for myself and friends. Technology has made it easier than ever to start a small business – so I thought I’d give it a go – luckily people have bought what I’ve made. Initially I hadn’t intended to make wedding dresses – I made a couple of little white dresses which sold really well as alternative wedding dresses, so I continued to make some more.
Why the name Sister Organics?
I chose the name Sister Organics as I think female relationships are very important to all women; we are all daughters, mothers and sisters. I grew up borrowing clothes from my sisters’ and mother’s wardrobes. I believe that when women work together and support each other in business and society, we can create a more considerate world.
We’ve heard about how you use organic silks and eco fabrics, but why did you choose to make your business eco-conscious?
For me it’s simple – there is an abundance of beautiful sustainable and eco fabrics out there – which have little or no impact on our beautiful world. Organic clothing isn’t just about traces of chemicals in clothing and next to our skin, it’s about not poisoning the earth, water and eco-systems with hazardous chemicals and also being fair to the people who grow cotton, make fabrics and our clothes. Often these are people are half the world away and don’t have the freedom to choose alternative employment opportunities. I don’t think illness, death and dire poverty are acceptable working conditions, wherever you are in the world. I find it unacceptable to be ignorant to the results of our addiction to cheap cloth and clothing.
In what ways does being an eco-friendly business impact on your work?
The impact on my work is mainly that it takes a little longer to find a specific organic or eco fabric. Although sometimes buying organic the choice is limited in terms of fabric colours and availability the quality is usually far superior to conventional fabrics.
We would love to know more about your design process from initial sketches to the bride in her dress on her wedding day. What is your favourite part of the whole process?
Usually I start with fabrics, I try to use a few new fabrics each season from cotton lace made in England to embroidered organic cottons and organic silks. I have a real love for natural fabrics and often when I find a nice new fabric I visualise dress shapes and designs from that.
My favourite part of the process is making up new styles in the new fabrics. I also love downloading the photos from the latest photoshoot. The most rewarding part is receiving photos and thank you’s from customers all around the world – I love to see how a bride styles a dress and really makes it her own.
You mentioned being inspired by new fabrics, is there anything else in particular that influences your designs?
I am inspired by nature and organic form, which I always choose in terms or print and design. I want a dress to make the wearer feel fabulous, so good quality luxurious fabrics are essential. I love movement in a dress which is often reflected in the cut of the skirt.
Finally, if you were getting married now, which of your dresses would you choose and why?
I got married seven years ago, before I started Sister Organics, but I did make my own wedding dress. It was a 1950s style tea-length silk dress in ivory with colourful floral embroidery which was perfect for our relaxed outdoor wedding in Cornwall. If I were to do it all again and choose one of my dresses now I’d probably go for the Alice dress – it’s a classic style and the lace is just so beautiful.
Thank you so much to Natalie for letting us meet the maker and find out a little of what goes into running her business. For more in our Meet the Maker series click on the link, which will be coming soon.
Sister Organics is a recommended supplier of The Natural Wedding Company. They offer a collection of chic dresses made in beautiful organic and eco fabrics by skilled local dressmakers. They also offer a made to measure service and make one-off dresses for special occasions. Contact Natalie at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website www.sisterorganics.co.uk.
Categories: Suppliers + Products
Seasonal wedding ideas:
Browse the blog:
Brides Sign Up
Sign up and save your favourite businesses, add ideas to your wedding wish list and receive beautiful inspiration straight to your inbox