By Daniela Degrassi
Our spotlight today is all for Silviyana Bridal, online eco-indie wedding boutique, inspiring eco-conscious and ethical-minded brides with unique designs curated and designed by independent designers. I spoke to founder Seychelle Wilmouth to learn more about her company and how it helps eco and vegan friendly brides.
Photo by Elusive Photography
Seychelle, what inspired you to start Silviyana Bridal?
I have been married twice (but the back-story to that is for another day). My first ever dress shopping experience was daunting and scary. I went through the entire wedding dress shopping ordeal. At the time, I was 19 years old, just about to finish my degree in Environment and Business at the University of Waterloo. I went to three different cities – Waterloo, Kitchener and the Greater Toronto Area in search for the perfect wedding gown.
My dear best friend and bridesmaid Venus, accompanied me to every single dress fitting. At the end of it, her thumb was aching from all the zippers she had to pull up and buttons she needed to do up as I try to fit myself in these gorgeous wedding gowns. The first few try-ons at beautiful bridal boutique left me confused on the process. I didn’t know what lace I wanted, nor the neckline, nor the silhouette. I found it daunting when the bridal consultant approached me and ask me for my wedding plans or my budget.
At the time, my fiancee and I were both university students, I was okay with spending a little bit on my wedding gown as it was important to me, but I grew frustrated that there weren’t much options for an eco bride like me. I fancied the frills, I loved lace and loved intricate beading. I wanted something that looked classy, unique and different. After visiting 10 different stores, in 3 different cities, I chose one in particular by Blue by Enzoani. I paid the deposit on the dress, and secretly worried about the cost of the dress. I was a student, and this was my first dress that costed me thousands. Again, I was not brave enough to even ask the bridal shop owner, why my dress was *in my opinion* extremely priced.
So I did the whole… getting married, graduating, landing my first job, buying a car, buying a home… and rather unfortunately, getting divorced. But the upshot is that, I found myself starting two companies despite my divorce. The first company was an eco fabric business that imported eco fabrics to the bridal industry (I knew I needed to create a business that supported an eco-friendly lifestyle). And meeting amazing independent designers that make beautiful wedding gowns that I can genuinely say are unique and that I want to wear.
This is why I started Silviyana. There are just too many dresses that I would like to show brides and tell them, you do not have to force yourself into that synthetic material that didn’t fit right. Or you do not have to settle, I can make your dream dress happen. Eco-weddings do exist, don’t give up. Now, that I know more about the bridal industry and the dresses, I have built Silviyana to make sure that brides are not left stranded with unanswered questions. I strive for them to know exactly what to expect and why my dresses are priced that way it is. Finally, they can custom design a dress if they’d like to alter it ever so slightly. So, yes, come tell me about your favorite Disney character gown and let us make it a dream come true.
Photo by Michelle Ray Photography
You also offer a ‘try-on before buy’ experience to your brides, tell us how that works.
You can try our dresses in the comfort of your own home with family and friends through our Dress Box. Brides pick their gown designs, their size and we handle everything else to get it to your home for you to try in your own time, and in your own way. Once you decide on a style, our website will take care of all your customization options. Would you like a custom veil embroidery? Would you like to add beading? Add sleeves? Extend your train. You can easily do this through our website.
Brides can also take advantage of your rental program, that’s a really sustainable option!
Yes, our eco brides need not feel guilty for opting for synthetic materials in their wedding gowns went renting. Our Silviyana for Rent offering uses either dead stock fabrics or overstock wedding gowns. Our creative indie designers, recreate them to beautiful and unique creations that is a true testament to the world we would like to see – a world where products support indie artists using materials that do not negatively compromise the Earth.
You can try out the range of our eco and synthetic dresses in the comfort of your very own home. Take your measurements and contact us to find out what your bridal size would be. Bridal sizing is different to conventional street sizes, and we can assist you on properly taking your size. You have 3 days to try on all of your dress choices. Once you found the right dress, it’s time to book that dress using our online calendar.
Photo by Elusive Photography
How do you source them and what are the eco friendly fabrics used in your wedding gowns?
Our eco fabrics are sourced from our sister company, Grovea Fabrics. Grovea partners with a women’s cooperative in the Philippines. Women entrepreneurs are given looms in their homes, so that they may be with their families while earning a very decent income. We believe that economic empowerment is key to empower people to raise up from poverty. Understanding the supply chain of our wedding gown production helps us tell a story of how a bride’s special wedding gown is made. We are basically the story tellers that speak of a tale of how a bride can walk down the aisle, dressed to express their own personal values for a better world by wearing a Silviyana wedding gown. Grovea fabrics are made using a blend of recycled pineapple leaf fiber (E.N. more on this awesome green fiber on this recent article) and recycled spun silk. Our organic wedding gowns are made using pineapple leaf fiber and recycled Mulberry silk. Our eco fabrics are hand-woven by women entrepreneurs in the Philippines. The pineapple fabric, known as the ‘Queen of all fabrics’ were used as gifts to royals in the Philippines. No electricity or chemicals are used in the curating of the pineapple leaf fibers. We only used the finest spun Mulberry silk in all of our blends.
Photo by The Hendrys
Editor’s Note: Although recycled Mulberry Silk is not vegan, Silviyana Bridal has a few purely vegan options that only uses pineapple fabric, like the Catcher and Antoinette dresses we admired in our feature’s photos and at the world’s first vegan wedding fair we hosted this year in Los Angeles. It’s easy to shop vegan at Silviyana bridal, you will find all the material used info on each gown shop page. I can’t tell you how many times I fall in love with a wedding gown while browsing through bridal designers but had no clue if it was vegan friendly as there is no sign on their material content on their websites. That’s one wedding related stress you can take off your shoulders shopping at Silviyana!
An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.