Sustainable Weddings Get A Celebrity Stylist Twist As Karla Welch Collaborates with Resale Giant ThredUP

4 Mins Read

Karla Welch is a Los Angeles stylist who has worked with some of the biggest names in show business. Her looks have adorned supermodel Karlie Kloss, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and tennis legend Serena Williams, to name a few. Alongside her keen eye for the perfect ensemble, she has been a staunch sustainability activist for years. Now, she is combining her two passions and offering the general public help, ahead of wedding season.

Working with US-based thredUP, one of the largest global online thrifting platforms, Welch has curated a collection of wedding guest outfits available to view and buy through the site’s wedding portal. All themes and occasions are covered, from location ceremonies to rehearsal dinners. The initiative was launched to help combat single-use fashion during one of the busiest times of the year.

outfit suggestions for sustainable weddings
Photo by thredUP.

Secondhand clothing for weddings?

Surveys conducted by thredUP revealed that one in five millennials were planning to buy a totally new outfit for a wedding in 2022. Following the Covid-19 outbreak that saw millions of weddings postponed around the world, this has had a significant impact. In the U.S. alone, 2.5 million ceremonies are predicted to take place before the end of the year. This equates to around 42 million new outfits that stand to be bought and only worn once.

The fashion industry is thought to account for up to 10 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. On top of this, it uses vast amounts of resources, particularly water, while contributing to water pollution with toxic dye run-off. Reducing the amount of clothing produced has to start with a drastic slash in demand from consumers. This is why secondhand items are being touted as a solution, with no event exceptions. 

Sustainable weddings, funerals and graduations are becoming evermore fashionable due to their lower environmental impacts. Online resale platform Poshmark claims that demand for secondhand wedding dresses has never been greater, especially for those costing $500 or less. 

Photo by Mitchell Orr at Unsplash.

How Welch plans to showcase secondhand style

Welch has handpicked entire outfits, which are displayed within thredUP’s wedding portal. These can then be recreated using items that are in stock and near-identical in aesthetics. Searches can be customised to account for different budgets, wedding styles, dress codes, and personal vibes. The experience is designed to demonstrate how glamorous preloved clothing can be.

“I’ve been a longtime fan of thrifting because it allows me to find the most unique pieces for my clients. The fact that it’s a better choice for the planet makes it a win-win,” Welch told Brides. “Sustainable fashion brands can often be more expensive, so thrift is such a great way for anyone to participate in shopping more sustainably, no matter your budget.

“If you have multiple weddings this summer, the easiest thing you can do is embrace re-wearing and repurposing your clothes. You can even wear the same dress to two weddings and change up your makeup to make it feel new again”

Photo by Al Elmes at Unsplash.

The rise of resale

Secondhand clothing is a growing sector, with brands increasingly keen to get in on the action. Controlling their own resale allows brands to retain their consumer base while protecting their IP by authenticating items that are being sold. It maintains value in the original company and creates revenue in a new way that doesn’t require endless collections to be released. How brands tackle entering the scene varies.

Earlier this week Washington’s  Recurate announced it has closed a $14 million Series A to expand its resale platform. The company has created an integrated release solution that can be added to brands’ own websites, to create a peer-to-peer marketplace. It has the functionality to identify what customers have bought previously, verify what they are selling and help sellers with their asking prices. 

Earlier this year, Paris-based Vestiaire acquired fellow resale platform Tradesey. Together, the two will have a combined consumer base of more than 23 million, with five million items listed for sale, totalling more than $1 billion in gross merchandise value.

Lead photo by Karla Welch via Instagram.


  • Amy Buxton

    A long-term committed ethical vegan and formerly Green Queen's resident plant-based reporter, Amy juggles raising a family and maintaining her editorial career, while also campaigning for increased mental health awareness in the professional world. Known for her love of searing honesty, in addition to recipe developing, animal welfare and (often lacklustre) attempts at handicrafts, she’s hands-on and guided by her veganism in all aspects of life. She’s also extremely proud to be raising a next-generation vegan baby.

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