Introducing ReBride: Ireland’s new wedding dress resell platform
24th Jan 2023
Founded by Irish fashion stylist Isabel Gleeson, ReBride allows brides to buy and resell their wedding dresses online, offering a more sustainable alternative to single-use bridal wear.
As a bride-to-be myself, I know all too well how unsustainable a wedding can be. With such faff around one day, many affordable, single-use items can easily fill up the day. And while eco-friendly choices like biodegradable flatware and dried flowers (which can last for years!) can make an impact, it seems such a waste to leave our gorgeous wedding dresses in the wardrobe for years to come.
So, when an Instagram follower messaged fashion stylist Isabel Gleeson about buying her wedding dress after her big day, she jumped at the chance to lengthen the life of a piece dear to her heart. That’s when the first seed of ReBride, Ireland’s new wedding dress resell platform, was planted in Isabel’s mind.
After years in the fashion and styling industry, flitting between London and Dublin, Isabel drew on her experience to found the sustainable resell platform for brides. Here, she shares more about ReBride and how she plans on growing it beyond a green marketplace into a strong community for Irish brides to find support, advice and inspiration.
What inspired you to start ReBride?
“I got married in 2021 and the next day, I sold my dress straightaway on Instagram and I didn’t really think about it. I had all the pictures and memories and I was never going to wear it again. It was the best decision and I was delighted to get back some of the money that went into the wedding and the dress itself, as well as spread the joy.
“I was also living in London for about six years as a fashion buyer and then started my styling and colour consultancy business during Covid in 2020. I noticed from doing all of my styling reports through Styled by Isabel, how many outfits people need for a wedding and how much goes into it.
“Both of these things led me to set up ReBride. Also, living in London, I felt like they were a little bit further ahead than us in Ireland in terms of buying pre-loved and renting. So, I definitely feel like it’s the future for Ireland, and I really want to be a part of this next step.”
Have you always had a passion for sustainability?
“Yes, I love clothing and I love fashion, so when I’m shopping myself or when I’m working, I definitely try to buy from smaller brands. Also, I just feel like investing in things you can style in multiple ways and focusing on cost per wear is really, really important.
“When I’m doing my styling reports I suggest buying pieces like a new pair of palazzo pants, which can be worn in loads of different ways and become a true wardrobe staple. I also buy and sell things on Depop and find other ways to be more sustainable.”
How exactly does ReBride work?
“It’s very easy to use; you just go on the website and upload all of the information about the dress – the designer, the style, images of the dress and whatever price you want to sell it for. If you’re not sure on the price, I would usually recommend 50 to 60% of the purchase price.
“The uploading fee is just €20. I will review the information and in a couple of days the dress will appear on the website as its own listing and I’ll give it exposure on my Instagram. The platform is a hub of inspiration for pre-loved wedding dresses and if you are looking to buy one, there are loads of choices there already.
“It’s been less than two weeks since we launched and I already have about 100 more dresses to put up this weekend. There are lots of different sizes too. It’s so exciting for people to know that their dress can go on to live another life and have another trip up the aisle. I really feel like it’s going to become a lot more popular going forward.”
How do you see Rebride growing in the future?
“Something I would love to venture into soon, which I’ve had a lot of requests for, is veils. And it makes sense to purchase a pre-loved veil because they also come with quite a price tag.
“In the long run, I really want ReBride to be a hub of inspiration, for it to be the first destination brides go to when they get engaged to see what wedding dresses are out there. My most asked question is ‘where should I start looking for a wedding dress?’
“I’ve done wedding planning reports for people and right now, it’s just word of mouth when people find out about different designers and boutiques to go to. So, I want ReBride to be a really helpful page, to keep expanding and be that place in Ireland, where you go to when you want to find your dress, to talk with like-minded people and create a real community.”
Can people outside of Ireland use ReBride?
“Yes, so as long as you’re willing to ship to Ireland you can list your dress on ReBride.”
Tell us more about your bridal styling service.
“I do various kinds of events and filing reports, and a lot of brides come to me looking for an outfit to arrive at the hotel in, for the rehearsal dinner, for breakfast the next morning. The number of outfits needed is endless and I feel like there’s so much pressure to have this newness in your wardrobe.
“So, I think renting for those occasions is great – Happy Days and Greens Are Good For You are paving the way in that space. There’s obviously so much waste buying things you’re not going to wear again. So, it would be great if you’ve got some pre-loved items in your wardrobe during that time.”
What bridal wear trends are you loving at the moment?
“A lot of feathers are really coming in; they are going to be really big this year. I’ve loved them for years, so I think that’ll be great. And then a big trend for spring/summer will be having an interesting, asymmetric shape, which I’m already seeing on the website. Also, unusual silhouettes and cut-outs are going to be coming through.
“In terms of accessories, we’re seeing people do pops of colour, like having something blue in a bridal look, especially with shoes. Brides are going against tradition a lot more. During Covid when people had smaller weddings they opted for more of a Day Two look for a smaller ceremony with midi dresses and the like – that’s definitely filtered through.”
What are your favourite bridal boutiques in Ireland?
- The One, Rathmines – It’s amazing! If I’d been living in Ireland, I definitely would have purchased my dress from there. They have such a stunning array of dresses, and they also do sample sales if you want to get something at a lower price.
- Alice May Bridal, Foxrock & Kinsealy – I was really impressed by this boutique and a couple of my friends have gotten their dresses there. It’s really homely and in a lovely location.
- The White Gallery, Newry – I was looking at this one in Northern Ireland when I was getting married. It’s great and it stocks Halfpenny London, which I adore!