By Ashley R. Cottrell
Planning a zero-waste wedding? Keep it going after the ceremony! Did you know that the average wedding gown is only worn once? Instead of leaving it in storage or a closet, you can donate your wedding dress! There are plenty of great reasons, both environmentally and ethically, to pass your dress along to a new owner. Let’s explore a few!
1. Reduces Toxic Greenhouse Gases
Did you know that clothing production contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions? By encouraging brides to donate their wedding dresses after their wedding, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and conserve energy.
2. Conserves Water
The production of new clothes and textiles also uses hundreds of gallons of water daily. We can help reduce water use by simply shopping for preowned wedding dresses. This will help keep our rivers full and the environment healthy.
3. Prevents Pollution
Unfortunately, some unwanted wedding dresses eventually make it to landfills. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the U.S. generates about 25 billion pounds of textiles per year. Only 15% of it is recycled or donated. The other 85% goes to landfills, which also pollutes our air.
Not only does donating a wedding dress help the environment, but also a bride in need. There are several amazing charities that accept wedding dress donations. Many of them send a portion of proceeds to causes such as breast cancer awareness, disaster relief, and more. Here is a list of a few popular charities:
- Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring
- Brides for a Cause
- Brides Against Breast Cancer
- The Brides Project
- Adorned in Grace
Other Fun Ways to Repurpose your Wedding Dress
If you love crafts and DIY projects, you can use platforms like Pinterest for inspiration on items to create from your wedding dress. Here are a few fun ideas:
- Home decor– Use the fabric from your gown to sew as decorative pillows cases, tablecloths, or curtains.
- Jewelry– Remove the sequins from your gown and use them as earrings or necklace additions.
- Cocktail Dress– Hem your gown into a shorter dress that you can wear for parties and formal events.
We hope these ideas were helpful! Be sure to visit our blog for more eco-friendly inspiration and zero-waste tips on all things wedding!
Ashley R. Cottrell is a freelance writer, vegetarian, and an enthusiastic minimalist. Throughout her writing career, she’s had the pleasure of writing for wedding websites, including Zola and Virginia Bride Magazine, and telling stories that resonate with readers. When not writing or advocating for sustainable living, she’s exploring the many beaches of Puerto Rico.