“Hand-crafted for you, with you, by you.” CoopCouture
Enter CoopCouture, a sustainable new silk knitted bridal brand flying the flag for the eco-conscious bride. Created “wholly with (wo)man power” and carefully curated, eco-friendly materials, this is a bridal label you need to discover this 2019.
Powering the brand’s environmentally friendly aisle-style, is founder and designer, Gracie Cooper (the Coop in CoopCouture). I managed to grab a few minutes with the designer to talk everything from the inspiration behind the brand’s inception to her top tips for brides-to-be and the incredible (and the most-personal) couture service I have come across…
#1 What kick-started the idea of Coop Couture?
“I decided to start CoopCouture after making my own wedding dress and getting really excited by the idea of approaching bridal-wear from a very new perspective. I loved the idea of making insanely comfortable wedding dresses that were sustainable to produce and wouldn’t add to our culture of single-use fashions. I also loved the thought that creative brides could really get involved in the design (and even making) of their own unique wedding dress.”
#2 Tell us a little bit about your background…
“Having always made my own clothes, I went on to study fashion textiles at Uni in London. After graduating, I did a short spell in the fashion industry but it just wasn’t for me. I’ve always liked the making of unique clothes – not designing something and sending it to the Far East to be made, and not making something that anybody else could wear. The world of fast fashion is the antithesis of what I believe good design is all about so I didn’t see how I could work in the industry. But then I made my wedding dress and realised I could bring together all the things I’m passionate about – unique, timeless, sustainable design – and create a brand I’d be proud of.”
#3 Talk us through the unique bespoke bridal journey you offer brides…
“At the initial appointment we discuss brides’ personal style and vision for their wedding dress. They can try on samples until we find a style that really suits them which becomes the starting point for creating their unique design. Even with our demi-couture service, brides don’t ever buy something off-the-shelf. It’s always tailored to their individual style.
We also begin to get to know our brides so we can work with them on an embroidery design that’s completely unique to them. If a bride likes something we’ve done before, we’ll still put a twist on it to make sure it’s totally personal to them.
The process of making a CoopCouture design is very different to the way most wedding dresses are made. We create our fabric from scratch and shape it to fit a bride’s figure (rather than cutting pre-prepared fabric which creates a lot of waste). Every knitted silk design is also made entirely with (wo)-man power and absolutely no electricity.
Once their dress is made, we begin the bride’s unique embroidery pattern. The design is carefully pinned onto the dress before the beads are sewn on by hand. Depending on the intricacy of the pattern, this can take anything from a few hours to a number of weeks.
At this stage we offer one of our most unique bridal experiences. We invite our brides and their bridesmaids to join us for a fun afternoon in our studio, where we teach them the fine art of embroidery. Once they’ve mastered the techniques (and under my very watchful eye!) brides have the chance to apply their new skills to the embroidery pattern on their own wedding dress!”
#4 I love that Coop Couture is eco-friendly and uses sustainable materials. Talk us through the importance of this for you as a brand.
“It was always important to me that I made CoopCouture an eco-friendly brand. I think all designers have a duty to make their work sustainable – especially in an industry known for its excess and waste. That goes for everything we do – from the materials we use and the way we produce our designs, to what happens to your dress after your wedding day.
I can’t believe how many people leave their (still dirty!) wedding dress in a wardrobe for years after their wedding day. That’s why we like to work with our brides after their wedding, to make sure their dress doesn’t add to our culture of single-use fashions. Whether we dye it another colour or mount it onto canvas to become a unique piece of art, we want every CoopCouture design to have a long and illustrious life.”
#5 Where would you love to see the brand in 5 years time?
“I love the idea that CoopCouture could play a role in changing our cultural approach to bridal-wear (and fashion in general) by inspiring more women to buy into sustainable, quality, timeless design. If I saw some of the first CoopCouture brides still wearing their wedding dresses in 5 years (as evening gowns – not because they’re getting re-married!) I’d be absolutely chuffed.”
#6 If you could have any celebrity or person to be your brand’s face, who would it be? Who embodies the brand in their personality and approach?
“Emma Watson. I love her integrity when it comes to the things she believes in – particularly sustainable fashion. She always looks super cool, effortlessly elegant and sexy in an understated, down-to-earth kind of way.”
#7 What would your top tips be for brides?
“Wear something comfortable. It always amazes me how many people say they wish they’d worn something more comfortable. I heard one woman say she didn’t care how uncomfortable she was as long as she looked good. I think that’s absolutely bonkers – you’re never going to look your best if your uncomfortable!”
Discover more from CoopCouture here and get inspired.
Dresses: CoopCouture (@coop.couture)
Photographer: Kat Antos Lewis (@katantoslewis)
MUA: Frey De Paoli (@freydepaolimua)
Hair stylist: Emma Kim (@emmakimhair)
Shoes: I am Florence (@iam orence1912)
Paper flowers: PomPom Factory (@pompomfactory)
Jewellery: Esoteric (@esotericldn)
Love CoopCouture and want the perfect pair of shoes to go with a CoopCouture dress? I know just the thing! Click here.