In the digital age, shopping for maternity dresses for your upcoming photoshoot has never been easier. A quick browse through popular online marketplaces like Amazon, AliExpress, Lukalula, Shein, Yewen or Wish presents an array of budget-friendly options that can be tempting for expectant mothers. However, before you click "add to cart" on that seemingly affordable maternity dress, let's delve into why it's crucial to reconsider your choice.
1. Low Quality, High Disappointment:
In the past I've heard from mums who booked a maternity session with me and who were super excited about buying "this amazing dress" they've seen online to wear to our session. The photos in the online store looked brilliant, the shop reviews seemed decent and the price was just too good to be true... Well, you've probably heard the saying, "You get what you pay for," and when it comes to maternity dresses, this saying often holds true. Low-priced dresses often come with very poor materials and craftsmanship, resulting in uncomfortable fits, seams that unravel after a few wears, fabric that doesn't breathe & looks so sheer that it leaves you feeling naked. These issues can not only make you feel uncomfortable but also compromise your confidence during a time when feeling beautiful and comfortable is essential.
2. The Dark Side of Intellectual Property Theft:
Many of the low-cost maternity dresses available on these platforms are knock-offs of designs created by small, independent designers and boutique businesses. This practice is not only ethically questionable but also illegal in many cases. Those shops steal photos from maternity photographers and small business owners without their knowledge or agreement and post them along with their low quality products. The delivered item usually looks nothing like what was advertised and leaves you disappointed, sad and frustrated. As those shops are usually operated from overseas there's little a photographer or designer can do to protect their intellectual property as suing those companies is very expensive. When you purchase these knock-offs, you unknowingly support the theft of intellectual property, undermining the hard work and creativity of designers who pour their hearts into crafting unique maternity fashion.
Gypsy Two Piece -Set from the Boho Shed, a small business based in Australia
3. Inhumane Working Conditions:
Behind the allure of low prices lies a harsh reality: the factories that produce knock-off dresses often subject their workers to horrendous working conditions. These factories prioritize low production costs over employee welfare, leading to long working hours, inadequate pay, and unsafe working environments. Supporting such practices inadvertently contributes to human rights violations.
4. Environmental Impact:
The environmental footprint of cheaply made, disposable fashion is enormous. Low-quality materials and manufacturing processes often result in clothing that wears out quickly and ends up in landfills. Investing in higher-quality, sustainable maternity dresses may cost more upfront but can ultimately reduce your carbon footprint and save you money in the long run.
5. The Importance of Supporting Small Businesses:
When you choose to invest in maternity dresses from local boutiques or ethical brands, you're not only getting a superior product but also supporting artisans and businesses with a passion for their craft. Your purchase helps these entrepreneurs thrive, and in turn, they continue to offer you unique, thoughtfully designed options.
In the world of maternity fashion, it's crucial to consider more than just the price tag. Cheap maternity dresses from online marketplaces like Amazon, AliExpress, Lukalula, Shein, Yewen or Wish may seem like a steal, but the hidden costs often outweigh the apparent benefits. From low-quality materials and intellectual property theft to the exploitation of factory workers and environmental impact, these purchases come with a high ethical and practical price.
Instead, consider investing in high-quality maternity dresses from reputable boutiques and brands or rent your dress. If in doubt, ask your photographer. We know most of the well known designers and dress rentals and can tell a knock off store from a small business designer.
To make things easier for you, I have handpicked a few maternity dress designers that produce high quality gowns that I am more than happy recommending:
Mii Estilo -https://www.mii-estilo.com/
Bloom Maternity -https://www.bloommaternitygowns.com.au/
The Boho Shed - https://www.instagram.com/thebohoshed
Katharina Couture - https://www.kh.fashion/
Silk Fairies - https://silkfairies.com/
Reclamation Dress Company - https://www.etsy.com/shop/Reclamationbytrista?ref=condensed_trust_header_icon_items
Sew Trendy - https://www.sewtrendyaccessories.com/
There are a couple of fabulous dress rentals in Australia and New Zealand that I highly recommend.
Mama Rentals https://mamarentals.com.au/ is a zero waste and plus size friendly dress rental business, operating out of Sydney, Australia. They have Australia's largest collection of maternity dresses to create the feminine, timeless and romantic look that is perfect for any special occasions during your pregnancy.
Renting out to New Zealand will be considered on a case by case basis.
Lend me the dress https://lendmethedress.co.nz/ is New Zealand's first sustainable dress rental for maternity, events, girls & more.
You are also more then welcome to use any dress from my client wardrobe for your session when you book with me.
Your comfort, confidence, and conscience will thank you. By making mindful choices, you can celebrate your pregnancy journey with fashion that respects your body, supports creativity, and contributes to a more ethical, sustainable industry and better future world for your unborn child.