Reuse your wedding dress to join the fight against fast fashion

The issue of fast fashion is likely something that you’ve heard of. The media have been covering a lot of it recently, and it’s clear to see why. In fact, one report revealed that around 300,000 tonnes of clothing is thrown away each year in the UK. Unfortunately, the rapid rate of fashion consumption is having a negative effect on the environment, from the increased amount of water that is being used in manufacturing to the amount of toxic chemicals that are involved with the making of garments.

In addition to buying less clothes throughout the year, there is something else that you can do to reduce your input to the issue of fast fashion. Repurposing your wedding dress is something that many of us don’t consider, but it can play its part in helping the environment. And, your wedding dress isn’t the only thing that you can reuse from your wedding day, read on to find out more:

Repurposing your wedding dress

Many brides enjoy having elaborate dresses, it’s a big part of the day and something that all guests look out for. So, it’s no surprise that a lot of fabric goes into making them. Considering all of this, it’s often only worn once!

The waste of fabric isn’t the only issue either. The search for the perfect dress can take months! It’s one of the biggest parts of wedding planning and choosing the dress can turn into a family affair for many brides. Then, after the big day is over, the dress usually gets hidden away in a box for years to come. But there are other things to do with your dress rather than letting it contribute to the growing issue of fast fashion.

The first thing you can consider is donating your dress. This reduces your impact on wastage and may deter someone from buying a new dress that they’re only going to wear once too. Considering that the average wedding dress in the UK is estimated to cost £1,385, it’s no surprise that some brides-to-be opt for a second-hand dress. You can take it to your local charity shop, or to specialist online second-hand bridal stores such as Bride2Bride and Bridal Reloved.

If your dress was made with masses of fabric, why not create a keepsake out of it? This doesn’t have to involve destroying the full dress, you could make something special out of the train or spare embroidery. Before you do this, dry clean or wash your dress so that you’re working with clean and stain-free material.

Create a keepsake out of your dress, something you can keep forever and put on display. One example is creating a pillow out of the material; you could use jewels and beads from the dress and attach some of the details and embroidery. Keep it on your bed and be reminded of your special day as soon as you wake up!

Other suggestions include: creating a christening gown for your child, using the embroidery to make a lingerie set, and using the lace and beading to form a keepsake teddy bear.

Preserve your bridal bouquet

As well as the dress, choosing the flowers is another big part of the wedding planning process. In many ways they sum up the day, as they often complement the theme of the wedding and include some of your favourite varieties. But how can you keep your flowers looking pretty and have them on show as a reminder of your big day?

It’s no surprise that we want these to last as long as possible. Thankfully, there are some techniques out there that can help you save your flowers and prevent them from drooping or going brown. You probably won’t have time to do much with them on the days following your wedding so in this time, keep them somewhere they won’t be knocked and out of direct sunlight. After this you have a few options for how you want to preserve your blooms:

  • Flower pressing — Select the flowers that you’d like to keep and place them on parchment paper, you can rearrange them later so don’t worry too much about this. Then, lay the parchment paper and flowers inside a heavy book and cover with another layer of parchment paper. Weigh the book down with something heavy and leave to dry out for seven to 10 days. You can then rearrange the flowers and get them framed to put on display. Why not create mini frames to give to your bridesmaids and mother as a keepsake with their bouquets in?
  • Flower hanging — this is one way of drying out your flowers to keep them for longer. To do this, you need to gather the stems and tie them together with string or an elastic band. You then hang the bouquet upside down in a dry area, such as a hallway. After a few weeks your bouquet should be completely dried out, you can add more flowers to the bouquet as you go too.
  • Using epoxy resin — You can do this yourself with epoxy resin and a spherical mould, but it could be better left to the experts. This is where your flowers can be created into a clear paperweight, something that you can look at for years to come.

Your wedding ring

For some people, a wedding signifies the next chapter and therefore they replace their engagement ring with their new wedding ring. But getting engaged is a heartfelt occasion too and there are ways you can merge the two moments together.

There are jewellers out there that are able to fuse your engagement and wedding ring together. This can reduce the wear and tear of the rings as if you were wearing two separate rings on the same finger they might rub against each other. It also means that your rings are aligned at all times and you can match the diamonds up on each ring.

Decided that you just want one ring? You could take a diamond from your ring and insert it into your wedding band to merge them together.

Other extras

It’s no surprise that you find yourself left with a few other things too at the end of your wedding day.

Have you considered creating a scrapbook or memory box? This could include; spare invites, party favours, your cake ribbon and anything else that sums up your day. This is great to have to look back on, and also to show family and friends in the future. If you still have wedding stationary leftover, make sure that you recycle responsibly.

You could save your party favours and reuse them as stocking fillers too. If they contained sweets, you can put them in small purses or bags and give them out to children around Christmas, or hand them out around work.

Avoid throwing anything away or hiding it in a cupboard! Think again about how you can repurpose your wedding dress in the fight against fast fashion!

This article was brought to you by Angelic Diamonds, retailer of marquise diamond rings.