As the hopes of brides-to-be are buoyed by the promise of a successful Covid-19 vaccination restoring some normality to weddings in 2021, one of the industry’s leading figures has launched an innovative new platform today that will help them to reduce ‘wedding waste’ and limit the impact of their nuptials on the environment.
Rock My Wedding’s founder Charlotte O’Shea has pledged to help make weddings greener, greatly reducing the landfill created by weddings by 2022, with a new re-sale initiative named ‘Recycle My Wedding’.
The platform will sit in a new space on the Rock My Wedding app, where users can buy and sell pre-loved wedding items. The site covers everything from wedding dresses, bridesmaid gowns and accessories, to bunting, place settings and signage, all of which can be sold and purchased.
So many items involved in weddings are single-use - outfits are worn just once, and decorative items are often disposed of; these are the fast-fashion equivalents of the wedding industry. For the launch month, it will be free to list items on the platform, and from January 2021 wedding outfits can be listed for just £10. For every item listed, Recycle My Wedding will also donate 10 per cent of the listing fee to Trees for Life, a charity working to re-wild the Scottish Highlands.
“As an industry we cannot stand-by and watch the monumental landfill created by weddings continue to expand,” says O’Shea, “It’s time to facilitate a change in attitude and practice.” An average UK wedding can create as much as 14.5 tonnes of C02 gas, and with approximately 250,000 weddings in the UK every year, that is a staggering 3,625,000 tonnes of C02 gas being emitted per annum.
For every 1000 dresses sold via Recycle My Wedding, 166 trees will be planted, which would in turn offset 27.6 tonnes of C02 emissions. If 1000 brides choose to purchase their wedding dress via Recycle My Wedding, then the platform will have saved nine million litres of water and 12 tonnes of C02 gas emissions - startling and stark figures for those planning lavish celebrations.
Imogen Read, who leads sustainability and environmental initiatives at Rock My Wedding, says that this greener outlook should ideally extend to new purchases, too. “Our ethos has always been ‘your day your way’, and we completely respect those couples that wish to buy new, not to mention the positive effect this has on the economy,” she explains. “What we do hope to instil is that couples can still choose to host a greener, more sustainable celebration. We encourage our brides and grooms to buy from brands that prioritise sustainable practices and to ask them about their supply chain, materials and energy usage.”
By the beginning of 2022, the company hopes to have raised enough contributions to plant over 1600 trees, and its projections for the ensuing years are ambitious but much needed in these uncertain times.
“Wedding postponements are sadly so rife in the current landscape, so we are seeing even more wastage as plans have to change,” explains O’Shea. “We hope we are giving couples the opportunity to do something to reduce the environmental impact of that.”
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