Dedicated to eco-friendly and sustainable wedding dress production, I choose each material and trim with intention and care. All the wedding dresses at Gemma Leakey are made in the United Kingdom. Local production and sourcing is at the heart of what I do and believe in. The bespoke wedding gowns are meticulously handmade by myself in the studio and the collection dresses are made through a small London based ethical manufacturer who currently make bridal wear for other high end British designers.
I prioritise using natural and organic fabrics for both the bespoke bridal gowns as well as the wedding dress collections. I am also very passionate about waste and aim to reduce waste and energy consumption where possible.
Silk is a renewable resource and 100% biodegradable with less impact on the environment than many other fabrics. I use Silk sourced from a local supplier that is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. Meaning its production has defined the strict environmental and social criteria along the entire natural textiles supply chain. Not only is the seed and farming organic, but all of the production processes, including dyeing and printing, do not use any harmful chemicals.
I also occasionally use peace silk. Peace Silk is also known as Ahimsa or "Non Violent" Silk. It is an alternative for people who love the sumptuous qualities of silk but dislike the way the conventional silk is made and harvested from the cocoons . The Silk Fibres in peace silk come from empty cocoons, from which the silk worms have been able to hatch, before the cocoon before it gets processed into silk.
I am very passionate about reducing waste and try to use as much of the fabric as possible. We have recently collaborated with the high end sustainable fashion brand Phoebe English by offering them our silk and lace offcuts and scraps. The image above shows how they have made use of these in their current collection. Any smaller scraps we have, we try to compost as they are all natural fabrics.
I source some of the laces I use from a renowned, long established, UK based lace supplier. I am passionate about sourcing locally and love the history behind this company and the fact that they are still manufacturing their laces here in the UK. The lace used in our new collection designs is from a Nottingham based lace manufacturer, Cluny Lace.
Cluny lace as described on their website, is a long established, independent, Leavers Lace manufacturer. Their purposely designed factory, built around the turn of the century to hold the specialised lace machines, is situated on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in the heart of the United Kingdom. By combining the best of old traditions with new technology the firm is able to produce a wide range of exquisite designs of Leavers Cluny style lace allovers, edgings and insertions and Leavers Fine Cotton Valenciennes style lace allovers, edgings, galloons and insertions.
I also use laces that contain recycled yarns, including recycled polyester.