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Urban mine honeymoon, why not?

I can’t be the only one who has witnessed something of a baby boom these last few months. With lots of friends and family members having received or about to welcome a bundle of joy (is ‘lockdown baby’ already an official term?), I’m expecting the autumn season to be full of weddings. That got me thinking…

There are an estimated 115 000 weddings taking place all over the world every single day. Couples in the US spend the most money on their special day, shelling out almost US$ 30 000 (EUR 25 000). Spain is a close second, with people spending about US$ 23 500 (EUR 19 800) on the event.

Grace Loves Lace wants to put recycled dresses on the map.

A wedding has become pretty much synonymous with lots of food, decorations, costumes, gifts etc. In fact, statistics say that this happy occasion is known to generate around 180kg of waste.

Ways to avoid this include organising a small and intimate gathering, ordering a wedding cake that doesn’t reach the ceiling and putting together a menu rather than a buffet to reduce food waste.

And let’s not forget about the outfits. I’ll admit I don’t mind an excuse to buy a pair of new heels and a fancy dress – but I’m sure I could find something beautiful to wear if I re-examine my wardrobe. I feel some relief knowing that more and more brands are creating fashion made from recycled materials. Yes, even wedding dresses, veils and accessories to match.

Fast forward to today. 2020 brought a new reality to our doorstep. Millions of face masks are discarded across the world on a weekly basis. UK designer Tom Silverwood has found a way to hit two birds with one stone: by creating a unique wedding dress made from end-of-life face masks to call attention to this modern-day waste stream.

Indeed, while the good news is that UK couples can now get married without any COVID restrictions, the bad news is that people everywhere are still mindlessly throwing away their face masks in the middle of the street. In an attempt to curb littering, some big cities have decided to install special drop-off collection boxes at supermarkets and stores.

High fashion thanks to… face masks

Finally, renting an outfit for your wedding or the wedding of your loved ones isn’t frowned upon anymore. This certainly allows you to cut costs (options are typically in the range of EUR 100-500) while also activating the urban mine and reducing pollution.

This kind of investment is a far cry from the funds you’ll need to acquire the world’s most expensive wedding dress, which is worth US$ 12 million (EUR 10 million). The couture gown claiming the Guinness World Record in 2006 was created for the Luxury Brands Lifestyle Bridal Show held at the Ritz-Carlton on Rodeo Drive in California. It is adorned with 150 carats’ worth of diamonds.

Spanish brand Sophie et Voila has developed a line of wedding dresses that are all custom-made from 100% recycled fabric.

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