Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

How to wear a bit of history down the aisle:

We don’t all have a cartier tiara to borrow from the grooms Granny, but a piece of reworked or vintage jewellery will be full of past and memories and can make just as grand a satatement.

Elizabeth from Made-New has found a way of reworking tired, forgotten or broken jewellery into decadent pieces – necklaces, bracelets and acessories.

“Jewels with a history, a life of intrigue, with love’s memories or sad regrets, carelessly cast aside, sleeping at the bottom of a tired drawer,  discarded, forgotten, pieces of life’s metal, are twisted and woven, beautifully created, sole links are partnered again, and made-new, to please and to charm, give hope and experience, reborn and released in to a brand new creation …”

Have a rummage in your jewellery box or accessories drawer, and get your mum to do the same… If you find some tired or broken chains, pendants, brooches or watches that you want to be reborn into stunning wedding acessories then contact Elizabeth so she can work her magic. Then you will not only have a new piece of jewellery, but it will be full of your own memories too.


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Plants in glass jars

We love this creative and cheap favour idea from Daisy & Ben via Emma Case Photography.

Loads of plants self seed, creating more little plants than you can handle and spreading halfway across your garden, or your parents, or neighbours… Get them to plant up herbs, flowers or any spare seedlings into clean jars of various shapes and sizes and coordinate them by tying a ribbon round the neck. Et Voila!

Image via Emma Case Photography

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Charity shops may not have been at the forefront of your mind when deciding where to get some new lingerie, but Mary Portas’ Living & Giving shops in London will be distributers of certain lines of luxury designer underwear Rigby & Peller.

At exclusive evening events on Thursday 10th February at the Westborne Grove and Primrose Hill Living & Giving stores, Rigby & Peller will be donating designer samples and end-of-line pieces to the stores to be sold to raise funds for Save the Children. Also available are one-off made-to-meaure items as well as pieces worn by A-list celebrities at photoshoots around the world.

Mary Portas came up with the initial concept for the Living & Giving stores during her TV series reinventing the charity shop to encourage people who hadn’t previously to donate clothes they have become bored with rather than throw them out, giving them a new lease of life, including designer lables and high end goods. The concept has gone from strength to strength with a pop-up store at Westfields London last year and two boutiques opening in fashionable West London districts and another in Edinburgh.

So not only can you own designer luxury lingerie, but know that the price you paid has gone stright to charity – double bonus!

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Hold back the tears on your wedding day as more than just streaking mascara could be at stake if you are wearing a new conceptual dress designed by sudents of Sheffield Hallam University.

Don’t worry about the rain (which brides usually do due to our unpredictable British weather) as the dress doesn’t dissolve completely, but morphs into new outfits.

Fashion and engineering students have formed an unlikely marriage, coming up with elaborate designs for a wedding dress that could be dissolved after the wedding to transform it into five new fashion pieces. The parts of the dress are made from polyvinyl alcohol, an odorless nontoxic polymer that breaks down in water without harming the environment. The image above shows the dress during it’s five stages of the transformation, currently on show at the University gallery.

Jane Blohm, a lecturer on the fashion design course at Sheffield Hallam, said: “The students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once and aimed to explore modern society’s attitudes towards throwaway fashion.

“The project is a union between art and technology which explores the possibilities of using alternative materials for our clothing. The wedding gown is perhaps one of the most iconic and symbolic garments in humanity’s wardrobe and represents the challenges of ‘throwaway fashion’.

“In order to reduce fashion’s impact on the environment, the fashion industry must begin to challenge conventional attitudes and practices. The exhibition demonstrates what could be possible when design and scientific innovation combine forces.”

The issue the students were exploring stemmed from recent developments in the textile industry. As the price of clothing in the UK has dropped by up to 25 per cent with the rise of ‘value retailers’, the amount of clothes we buy has increased by almost 40 per cent to more than two million tonnes a year. As a result, textiles have become the fastest-growing waste product in the UK. About 74 per cent of those two million tonnes of clothes we buy each year end up in landfills. Listen to Gok Wan ladies – ‘buy less, wear more’ – and if you fancy a change of wardrobe, get together with your mates and have a big swishing party…

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Ok, so we have looked briefly at how to choose the ring design, focussed on diamonds, and looked at ways to make the ring more personal, so today we will look at gold…

The best quality rings will be gold or platinum, and like diamonds there are many environmental issues brought to the fore.

Open pit mining uses cyanide to blast open the rock revealing the precious metals. Not only do these large mines make a massive scar on the landscape, but the poisonous chemicals eek into the ecosystem of the area. According to Friends of The Earth, to make a single gold ring, 5 tonnes of water must be used and 20 tonnes of mine waste created.

CRED jewellery (right) is made using platinum and 18ct fair trade gold sourced by Oro Verde, the world’s premier supplier of ethically sourced precious metals that is produced without mercury or cyanide. As with their gold, CRED’s precious stones are traceable from mine to retail.

Although there is currently no official certification for Fairtrade gold, CRED are working closely with the Fairtrade Foundation to get something going…

For details of Ethical Gold Retailers and Suppliers visit www.nodirtygold.org

But you don’t need to have gold fresh out of the mine.

Recycled gold

In the previous post on vintage we also though about ‘upcycling’ old rings. Following the idea of melting down your own jewellery to make the rings, there are also companies who exclusively use recycled metals.

Ethical jewellers Leblas (left) make all their jewellery from recycled silver or gold as they have not found a supplier of gold that meets their strict ethical and environmental policy. Their engagement ring collections are set with conflict-free Canadian diamonds. The jewellery is all made by skilled artisans in Spain, and designed to encourage use of traditional techniques and pass these on through apprenticeships.

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Vintage wedding ideas are becoming more popular. Why not have a wedding with a tea party theme…

Personally Tea has been part of my heritage as my Dad is a tea taster for a major brand, and my parents are from Yorkshire and drink gallons of the stuff. Between our wedding and reception we held a tea party in the church hall so we could invite a larger number of people. Friends and family brought a plethora of cakes and we were served tea by the Mothers Union.

Vintage Tea Party Wedding IdeasIdeas for a tea themed wedding:

This table setting from Country Living (1) could be easily created with rented tea sets, flowers from the gardens of friends, and a selection of cakes and cucumber sandwiches!

Extend the party by giving your guests tea favours – fair trade of course.  The bags from Fair Trade Teas (2) are a special wedding blend in a silk bag.

Hire vintage sets from the vintage tea company (3) for an elegant picnic or tea party theme.

Tea was introduced into Britain in the 1650’s and since then has played an important part in British tradition and culture. Made fashionable in 1660 by Queen Catherine of Braganza, tea very quickly moved from luxury to staple. Ladies of leisure in Victorian England used ‘afternoon tea’ as a means of filling the gap between luncheon and dinner by inviting friends over, and this soon heralded manufacturers to create elegant designs for the occasion.

Vintage Tea ideas for your wedding gift list

There are some gorgeous tea sets and accessories available that you can add to your gift list:

Ester Coombs creates decorative cake stands (1) from vintage tea cups and saucers and then illustrates them with graphic patterns.

Juliette at Home create scented candles and soaps (2) inspired by the English tea party. We love the rhubarb and custard kitchen candle.

Vintage cake forks can be found on Ebay – for the full tea party experience!

Try more exotic teas such as blooming jasmine from Emeyu teas (3)

Tea cosies (4) can be made from recycled fabrics and yarns to complete the set.

Kaoru designs ceramic tea sets (5)specifically to keep specialist artisans in business. The ceramic industry has been in decline in the UK as manufacturing moves overseas, but these designs keep skilled workers in trade so they can pass their skills to the next generation.

You can easily add any gifts to your wedding list with the new Wedding Notebook gift list service that will be launched soon, so you can create a new home as independent as you are!

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wedding magazinesSave money & recycle:
I love wedding magazines and it is so tempting to want to buy them all – so many gorgeous ideas and style tips…plus you get to ogle at the amazing dresses…

But do I really need the most recent issue? Surely the ideas behind the features are timeless – plus, if I am planning an Autumn wedding in Spring I am limited on ideas that are not for basked-in-sunshine weather…

So save money for the actual day by picking up back issues of magazines from friends who got married last year – especially if you have a long engagement – get your soon-to-be-married friends to save their wedding magazines to pass onto you when they are done with them…

If you have a shorter deadline, or dont know any soon-to-be-brides, then you can still pick up back issues on ebay, or put an ad on freecycle (WANTED: wedding magazines). You can still get really recent issues – here’s one on ebay for a March 2009 issue (ends 26th April 7pm) – it will have current news and releases in – but the looks and ideas are timeless! Just remember to tot up the price plus the postage to make sure you are getting it for cheaper than buying new…

There is also an online community dedicated to magazine swapping, so if you have loads of magazines you’d like to swap then hop onto magcycle.com and start swapping!

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