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Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose: Wedding Gowns Find Second Life!
June is the month for brides so does that make July the month for bridal leftovers?  Even the most eco-friendly wedding will still have some items waiting to be stored, reused or recycled, namely the wedding gown.  Modern brides are certainly choosing more sustainable materials such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton.  Many are even choosing to be vintage brides and wear classic styles of dresses.

For the bride-now-wife not storing their dress and who cannot truly recycle their dress, here are some options on what to do with a wedding gown:

Trash that Dress:  While the idea is outlandish, it is become a hugely popular wedding trend to find creative ways to destroy wedding gowns.  Brides are doing everything from running through the mud, starting food fights at their receptions and even turning themselves into a canvas for their guests to paint.  However, while this may give a bride something to do with her dress, the destruction of a dress still takes the path to trash and landfill.

Repurpose a  Gown:  After its special day, give the gown new life by tailoring it into a cocktail gown, evening gown or even a sweet nightgown.  If the dress has beading, embellishments or sashes, consider picking those out and using them to accessorize existing outfits.  For more versatility, remember that the dress doesn’t need to be white anymore – have some fun dying it!

Donate a Gown:  Share a special dress for someone else’s special day.  Goodwill, the I Do Foundation, the Bridal Garden and Brides Against Breast Cancer all accept wedding gown donations to benefit local brides or local charities. If you have an active community or school theater nearby, consider donating the gown to their costume department.  Or contact a local boutique to see if they know of a bride in need.

Get Crafty:  Good with a needle and thread?  Turn a wedding gown into a wedding quilt, a ring pillow for future generation’s weddings or into a christening gown for the family that follow the wedding.  Or be like my mother who turned her gown into fabulous curtains for the home – get practical and create a dust ruffle, bedspread, tablecloth or purse from the gown.  Some brides have even turned dresses into Christmas Tree skirts to make married holidays more memorable!

Resale, Recoup:  Weddings are expensive so why not earn a little cash back for a gown?  Sell a gently used gown to local boutiques, consignment stores or secondhand clothing shops.  Or look online to ebay or RecycledBride to find a buyer.