Every year, the United States sends 21 billion pounds of clothing waste to landfills. It’s an alarming statistic when you consider that much clothing is left to rot, contributing to our carbon emissions as it breaks down and the fibers from this clothing may be washing into our oceans and being consumed by ocean life.
In addition to the waste we get rid of, there’s also a considerable amount of waste in our closets. It’s been suggested that, on average, only 20% of the clothes people own are worn in regular rotation.
As you plan for your wedding, keep this in mind. There are a lot of opportunities for you and your wedding guests to buy new clothing to wear to all of the happy festivities. But, there are other opportunities if one looks, to think and act more sustainably when it comes to wedding fashion
Here are some tips to help you incorporate recycled fashion into your wedding:
Recycled clothing can be met with some hesitation. People get to know and love certain brands for their styles, the way they fit, or their quality and they think it would take more work to find what they’re looking for if they decide to shop their local thrift shop. Innovative companies are encouraging the fashion industry (hello- Poshmark, Rent the Runway!) to think in different ways about recycled clothing, so finding good quality recycled clothing is now becoming much easier! With a subscription service like Le Tote, you can find designer labels that are often out of reach for most, and sport the perfect high-end dress to your engagement photos, bridal shower or rehearsal dinner. Renting is a great way to ensure you don’t have a closet full of clothes you’re not wearing but that someone else can get lots of enjoyment from.
Brands You Love
Certain brands come to mind when you’re thinking about getting dressed up for wedding-related celebrations. Free People for the whimsically chic girl, Ann Taylor for the sharp-dressed woman, or Torrid for beautiful ladies looking for a wider variety of sizing options. These pricey labels would all be great to buy for any wedding event you’re shopping for, but consider finding them secondhand. Online consignment store, thredUP has a list of quality control measures making sure they sell clothes that are in great condition, some even still having the original tag on them. This way, while you buy clothes throughout your engagement, you’re not perpetuating a cycle of fast fashion that gets worn for one season and thrown away.
Once you got engaged, it’s likely it didn’t take long until you began envisioning yourself saying “yes” to the dress. While this dress may be the most sentimental of all the dresses you’ll wear throughout all your wedding celebrations, it’s also the one that makes the most sense to recycle. You’re getting it for this one magical day but it doesn’t need to sit in a closet taking up a lot of space. Unless of course, the women in your family have a dress that gets passed down and re-worn by younger generations. If this is not the case for you, consider rental boutique Lending Luxury to find the dress of your dreams without keeping it crammed away in a closet for years to come or paying to have it preserved and boxed.
Your Friends & Family
Another way of recycling fashion that has become very popular is the clothing swap. Some people arrange these swaps on a small scale while others get a large group of people together to get more sizes and style options. Either way, with all of the different events coming up on your road to I Do, you and your girlfriends can decide how to run the swap. Then you’re spreading the spirit of recycled fashion beyond yourself by getting your friends involved.
What a great way to do a little for our home planet AND save some money at the same time!