ADVICE - 4 Sustainable Jewellery Tips for Your Low-Waste Wedding
Published on: 12th February 2019
14th February 2019
What better day for the relaunch of GREEN UNION - I hope you love its new look as much as I do. My grateful thanks to Rachel at Made By Rae Designs for ever-so patiently bringing my rebranding ideas to life; and to Jon and James at Alacrify, for making the process of the redesign entirely painless.
Please allow me to introduce myself as the new owner/editor of Green Union. My name is Gwenda - I live in Kent with my new-ish husband (married in May 2018), my not-so-new daughter (currently 15), and more cats than anyone probably needs. Although I’m new to blogging, I’ve been involved with the wedding industry for 8 years as a floral stylist, and I’ve worked with over 200 couples. I know the value of fostering a supportive network of like-minded individuals, and I see this reflected in the GREEN UNION community of loyal Partners.
Like most creative types, I’m always on the lookout for a new challenge, and when the opportunity to take over GREEN UNION presented itself, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Since buying my first home aged 21, I sought out eco-friendly cleaning products and have recycled fastidiously. Over time (20 years, in fact!), seeking out products and materials which are earth-conscious and cruelty-free has become much easier, and there’s a host of eco-ethical lifestyle solutions. I’ve become vegetarian (with vegan aspirations); I use an ethical bank (www.triodos.co.uk), and electricity from 100% renewable resources (www.bulb.co.uk); I use vegan cosmetics and beauty products; I buy a good percentage of ‘new to me’ clothes; I’ve cut down on plastic; and I even use a search engine that gives back (www.ecosia.org).
On a personal level, it’s been relatively easy to reduce my impact, but professionally (especially in an industry that is synonymous with luxury, excess and waste), it was beginning to sit uneasily. Sure, I’d taken some steps (only using the newest biodegradable floral foam where absolutely necessary, and prioritising blooms sourced from local growers over wholesale imports wherever feasible), but I was conscious that the industry as a whole has a very long way to go, and that I would love to be a small part in promoting sustainable wedding solutions. Moreover, I firmly believe that such eco-ethical choices should be the natural choice for everyone planning their wedding day - not some ‘quirky alternative’.
I certainly have a mission, but fear not, I’m acutely aware that I’m a million miles away from ‘perfect’. While I’d love to support more sustainable clothing brands, my pockets aren’t yet deep enough for much of that (although I’m always watching out for their sales!). The same goes for an electric car (lottery win, anyone?). I still get seduced by some of the latest tech, and a spot of retail therapy - and until I find a vegan cheese I can stomach, pizza will remain my undoing.
You might wonder why on Earth I’ve indulged in the personal overshare — well, the answer is simple; just as my lifestyle choices are personal ones, which I have to balance with my conscience and my wallet, so is your wedding day to you! At GREEN UNION, we will never be doctrinaire - weddings are full of compromises and variables that have to be taken into account, and it’s not our job to make the process more difficult. On the contrary, we are a non-preachy, non-judgmental inspirational resource, here to help wherever we can with whatever you need.
Our directory is filled with businesses who are proud to wear their eco-ethical hearts on their sleeves, and are dedicated to helping you achieve your sustainable wedding goals. Looking forward, I hope that many of them will share their sector-specific wedding tips and secrets with all our readers. In the meantime, there’s lots of information to be found in our Planning Advice pages. I have to confess to a small addiction to Pinterest - why not check out our many inspirational boards here: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/greenunion/boards/. Our GREEN UNION Partners are a constant source of real-life inspiration, and I’m proud to share their work on Instagram - so why not also follow our feed here: https://www.instagram.com/greenunion.co.uk/, too!
(Image courtesy of Cristina Rossi)