Glo Bridal’s Molly Wolfberg Swarttz Brings Sustainability to Local Wedding Fashion
Molly Wolfberg Swarttz is on a mission to help brides find responsibly made wedding wear.
When Molly Wolfberg Swarttz began planning her own wedding in 2018, she was surprised by how difficult it was to find a sustainably made wedding dress in Boston. “I was open to buying something used or on consignment, but everything that was around here just didn’t have any modern designs,” she says. “I wanted to be able to fill that portion of the gap.” Wolfberg Swarttz decided to buckle down and write up a business plan for Glo Bridal. After finding some sustainable indie designers to work with and building inventory with a mix of new, sample, and pre-loved garments, she opened the bridal boutique of her dreams in Newton in June 2021. “It’s fun getting to have this exciting experience with people, day after day,” Wolfberg Swarttz says. “I always have a smile on my face.”
How did you come up with the name Glo Bridal?
Glo Bridal is named after my grandmother. We used to call her G-Lo, which was like a joke name. Her name was Libby. She talked about her wedding any chance she had, and when I was thinking about the concept of the store, trying to work in vintage elements, I was inspired by her wedding photos and figuring out a way to loop in something I cared about. Everybody says to a bride “You’re glowing,” so it fit really well.
What made you want to open a wedding dress boutique now?
One, I was like, “I just went through this, so it’s fresh in my mind. I feel like I can innovate on this bridal shopping experience and try to figure out a more modern but relaxed way.” And then I was like, “Sustainability is really picking up, especially in the fashion industry—and if I don’t do this now, I’m sure someone else will.” I figured because people were changing their wedding plans and pushing things a year, eloping, having these micro weddings, and not ending up wearing their original dresses, it was also a good time to build inventory as people’s ideas of what their wedding would look like in 2020, 2021, and even into 2022 were all shifting. So it felt like a really opportune time.
How far in advance should a bride make an appointment at Glo Bridal?
Half of our inventory is off the rack, so you come try it on and you could walk away with that dress that day. There are opportunities to buy something quickly if need be. Right now, the wedding industry suggests that you start shopping at least a year before your wedding [for made-to-order garments]. Because we work with all North American designers, our turnaround time is faster than a lot of places who work with manufacturers and designers overseas. I usually will say six to eight months is a good length of time, hovering more toward eight months, just because alterations are really backed up.
How do you select your designers?
We do like to keep folks as local as we possibly can. I want to make sure that our designers are prioritizing things that I care about, that people who come into our store care about, so they’re focused on fair labor with the creation of their dresses and materials; they are prioritizing making patterns that have less wasted fabric. We definitely ask a lot of questions when we’re trying to figure out who we want to work with. One of the first we started carrying is a designer based in Brooklyn, Loulette Bride. Marteal [Mayer], the lead designer, really understands shapes that work and make people feel good and are easy to customize. Another designer I love working with is Megan [Lawrence] from the Law. She’s in Philadelphia and again focused on a really high level of craftsmanship, beautiful but simple shapes with lots of movement.
What are some bridal trends that are popular right now?
The square neckline. It’s a nice balance of classic and modern—a lot of our designers are really leaning into that neckline. And the silk slip dress is still very popular. Whenever we have those in the store, they fly off the racks.
72 Langley Rd., Ste. 23, Newton, 617-861-8861, globridal.com.
You’ve found a partner who checks all your boxes. Make sure your wedding dress does, too, using Molly Wolfberg Swarttz’s tips for sustainable shopping and garment care.
Number one, in my opinion, is to look for an ethical and sustainably minded designer. And buying locally or [a garment] made in your country is always a great way to prioritize sustainability.
Dig up an old family heirloom
Work a family heirloom into your wedding look, whether that be a veil or accessory or your rings or jewelry—something that you don’t need to purchase and that is also special to you.
Keep it green when you clean
There are green dress cleaners and preservers, so if you are going to hang on to your dress, look for a place where you can feel good about the impact on the environment.
Resell or Repurpose
Consider selling or consigning your dress after your wedding. You’ll make a little money back and know that it will get used again. Or work with a tailor to repurpose your dress into a wardrobe staple.
Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.