Maison M’Elise, a cultural bridal design house where every woman becomes a muse. Her background a source of inspiration. Beautiful creations uniquely tailored just for you …

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SUSTAINABILITY

SUSTAINABILITY

Maison M’Elise an ethical, eco-friendly, Slow fashion bridal wear brand.

Banner Our Vision

Hello! I am Maaike Elise Stofferis, the founder and designer of Maison M’Elise, a Netherlands-based sustainable bridal brand. Working in the fashion and bridal industry, I continually notice that most established bridal brands do not produce wedding gowns that are made sustainably and with thought and care for the environment. The bridal industry is an industry just like any other, and increasingly it has expanded even more into the realm of how “fast-fashion” is manufactured, greatly increasing stress and pollution on our planet, not to mention the exploitation of textile factory workers around the world.

Our designer Maaike Elise Stofferis in our atelier.
Our designer Maaike Elise Stofferis drawing.
Our vision for Maison M’Elise is to build the brand into one that distinguishes itself from existing bridal brands as a company known for its luxurious and eco-conscious bridal gowns that brides can feel wonderful wearing, inside and out, on their special day.
Branding Maison M'Elise
We want to create looks for brides from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and brides of all shapes and sizes, and give them extra personalised handmade design touches on their dress.
Team Maison M'Elise

We are also striving for Maison M’Elise to be a brand that employs and empowers female talents of diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. We aspire to one day build our own production facility to offer and provide steady work opportunities and career growth to the talented artisans who collaborate with us on our pieces. Women who excel at the traditional handicrafts and techniques used to create our custom designs. Fair and equal wages, working honestly and transparently so our customers can feel good knowing exactly where their gown is made and how.

Heading Short Summary

Making a change in how products in the garment industry, and more specifically bridal wear is produced, is something that I have been focusing on for quite some time now. Bridal gowns are a purchase you make that tend to be one of the least sustainable in the world as they are only worn once! You might think that the production of wedding gowns doesn’t make a huge impact environmentally because of this very thing, as a wedding dress isn’t something you would buy every season for yourself, but the bridal industry is BIG business just like any other facet of the garment industry. And the world is full of couples wanting to marry! It adds up to a whole lot of dresses being made every year.

So many wedding gowns these days are manufactured or source their materials from China, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan for example, where a safe, healthy, and fair work environment are not afforded to the workers producing these products. Whether it’s the fabric that is sourced from there, or the entire finished gown itself, the manufacturing processes are rarely eco-friendly and lower quality materials are used to cut costs.
Clothing waste
Workers are expected to produce materials at an extremely rapid pace for maximum output. Waste from textile and dyeing factories severely pollute the rivers and oceans near these factories as well using massive amounts of water in the process.
Embroidered cultural lace.

We work with European fabric and lace manufacturers that produce sustainably, and all of our garments are made in Europe. We employ skilled artisans locally to create the intricate beaded and embroidered embellishments that will adorn a garment. This is an art that needs to be protected and utilised or it might sadly disappear altogether in time. Our brides can choose there perfect gown with customised finishing touches. Details like ‘storytelling’ lace incorporating the wedding couple’s initials, or a special motif or floral design that is custom-made to the bride’s wishes, or hand-embroidered or beaded trims on a veil or gown.

Embroidered, beaded, and embellished story telling lace
Heading Estimated Cost

The dream is that Maison M’Elise could evolve into the first sustainable bridal Dutch fashion brand. Known for its integrity, artistic design, and the ethically responsible creation of bridal wear. Providing an empowering work environment for skilled women where we can share ideas and help minimize the impact that the bridal wear industry has on the planet. The starting capital will help us towards:

  • Producing an initial collection of 16 sample bridal gowns 
  • Lace Machine
  • Rent of the Atelier
  • Wages
  • Artistic development
  • Marketing
  • Sustainable textile research and semi-finished materials
  • Video and Photographic content 
  • Creating strong local partnerships  

We plan to launch four different styles of gowns from the new collection each month in different local spots around the Netherlands in February, March, April and May. These various styles and silhouettes from the Maison M’Elise collection will be released accumulating with a virtual fashion show in spring 2022 in Rotterdam that will encompass all 16 styles. This show will be live-streamed in collaboration with Rotterdam Wereldmuseum.

Maison M'Elsie fashion show behind the scenes.
Heading Slow Fashion

We hope to one day be an integral part of the ‘Slow-Fashion’ movement and really be able to make a difference in how we buy and produce clothing. Maison M’Elise works together with Spanish and Turkish textile factories that produce sustainable and natural fabrics with a low-impact on the environment, such as silks, bamboo, and organic cotton. The finishing touches on our dresses, the embroideries and hand beadwork, are all crafted here in the Netherlands. We also use recycled paper stock and environmentally-friendly inks for our tags, and do not use plastic packaging in the delivery of our gowns.

Drawings of two dresses with story telling lace.
Drawings of two dresses with glass beads from the Czech Republic.

Looking at it from a glass-half-full perspective, it is quite exciting to start a business with unique attributes such as this from the ground up in a field that is already well-established regarding manufacturing processes. We have the advantage of starting out with a clear and ethical goal that we intend to stick to, whereas it can be much harder for a huge conglomerate to make the necessary changes after working and producing in a different and easier way for their entire existence. We can say ‘no’ to fast-fashion with the hopes that clients will also be happy to finally have another option, an ethical one, when choosing their wedding gown.

Drawings of two dresses for a beach wedding
Our team here in the Netherlands consists of women from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, working together bringing each of our individual strengths and talents into the fold. We love giving input and advice to each other, and it’s been a great way to bring us together to learn from each other and share ideas.
Hands from our diversity team at Maison M'Elise

All of these attributes are extremely important to me and to our team as a whole, as we all strive to help change the way the garment industry functions. To create pieces made with care and respect for the planet, the people, and the desire to help preserve age-old artisan handicrafts and techniques that are dying out. Making a difference and producing ethical fashion, specifically bridal wear, is something that is extremely close to our hearts. There is only one planet and one human race, but there will always be people falling in love and celebrating that by getting married and having a celebration! We just hope to be able to offer an alternative to brides and to dress them beautifully in a sustainable and ethical way.

Bridal Veil Maison M'Elise