Following a trend that has popped up locally, most recently with the opening of sustainable fashion boutique Hazel & Rose last year, the sustainable fashion movement has made its way into bridal wear. Beauty by Design is the Twin Cities’ newest bridal boutique, as well as the first to exclusively offer sustainable, ethically made bridal gowns. Founded by local designer Deborah Block and her husband Brady Hill, the new boutique offers eco-friendly, handmade wedding gowns by independent lines out of Vancouver, Seattle, L.A., St. Paul, and Wisconsin, as well as fair-trade designs from Cambodia and India and Block’s own custom designs.
Vancouver-based line Pure Magnolia uses sustainable fabrics, including European lace, Indian silk, and organic cotton, and waste reduction methods, such as the use of vintage and recycled fabrics. L.A.-based environmentally conscious designer Deborah Lindquist creates her dresses from a mix of recycled, sustainable, and organic fabrics, including vintage cashmere, hemp blends, and organic linen. Seattle label Cicada creates dresses using fine silks and lace with vintage details. KMK Designs, owned by a St. Paul-based mother-daughter duo, uses steel boning and traditional eyelet, lace-up corseting in their silk and cotton dresses.
The only line not made in the U.S. is Massachusetts-based brand Celia Grace, whose dresses are crafted in safe working conditions by workers paid a fair wage in Cambodia and India, and their eco-friendly, heirloom silk fabrics are made using no electricity and very little water or chemicals.
The shop is located just north of the North Loop, in the same building as the MPLS Photo Center in a spacious warehouse space with high, exposed ceilings and plenty of natural light–a major bonus for those shopping for a wedding dress for an outdoor or daytime wedding.
For the past five years, Block worked as an independently contracted seamstress and consultant for another local bridal salon. So why branch out on her own–and why sustainable bridal wear?
“I’ve been doing fashion design my whole life, and eco-friendly fashion has been something I’ve always been interested in,” she explains. “In high school, I would repurpose things, including my own wardrobe. The other thing I’ve always focused on is custom clothing. I love designing, but even more, I love creating something for someone specific.”
At Beauty by Design, Block has incorporated a sewing studio to offer customizable options and in-house alterations. (Most bridal boutiques send their alterations out to be completed, and typically take longer as a result.) Both Block and KMK Designs also offer fully custom design options.
While the shop is usually only open by appointment, get a glimpse during Saturday’s grand opening open house, which includes vegan snack, refreshments, and promotional coupons for 25 percent off a future visit.
Saturday, June 24 from noon-6 p.m. @ Beauty by Design, 2400 N. Second St., Suite 206, Minneapolis, 612-806-7927, beautybydesignmn.com