Your big day comes around once and then your wedding dress gets packed away in your wardrobe where you might look at it every now and then with fond memories. But imagine if that gorgeous dress could end up doing something great for the planet after you’ve danced up a storm in it?
New York grad student, Erin Smith, created the idea of Growable Gowns as part of her thesis project. These gowns are wedding dresses that are made from fungi, bacteria and biodegradable materials. How the dresses are made is that they are created from panels of snow white – this is a fungus that grows within approximately a week. When these panels have grown substantially, they are baked before being shaped into form-fitting gowns. Once worn, the dresses can then be thrown onto the compost pile where they can enrich the earth.
The compost dress might not be every bride’s dream, so there are other ways in which to make your wedding gown much more sustainable.
1. Upcycle it
You’ve probably heard the tip that you should upcycle your wedding gown into something you can wear, and this is a viable solution. However, you don’t have to wear the gown again – you could use parts of the dress as cushion covers (this is especially good when it comes to lacy material), you could turn the dress into a christening outfit (that is a really special way to pass it down to your babies), or you could use sections of it to make jewellery pouches to store your special bling.
2. Rent it!
If you know you’re not going to be upcyling a wedding gown, perhaps a better idea than buying a new one is to rent a wedding dress instead. There are many local places where you can find pretty dresses that lower your waste. Check out Bridal Room where you can browse through many wedding dresses and rent any of the gowns that are available in store, for 60 per cent of the purchase price.
3. Sentimental Style
Choose a wedding gown that has been passed down in your family as this serves a double purpose: it prevents you from having to buy a new dress while paying homage to your family tree.
4. Pay it Forward
Another idea to make your wedding gown more sustainable is to donate it to a place that will make great use of it. The Princess Project is a wonderful initiative that donates wedding gowns (as well as other party dresses) to the less privileged.
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