Eco-Absurdity: The Water-Soluble Wedding Dress

What a dilemma: say you’re a greenie bride, and you’re tortured because, after your big day, there’s no recycling outlet for your wedding dress. And it’s not compostable, either! Reuse is out, as no one you know can fit into the overly (large, small, tall, short) size.

This is a complex problem requiring collaboration between great fashion and engineering minds and YES, a solution has been devised!

From, with gratitude to Emily Green for the tip (you DO read Chance of Rain, don’t you?),

Fashion and engineering students at a British university have come up with an answer about what to do with wedding dresses after the big day: dissolve it in water.

Students at Sheffield Hallam University developed a wedding dress with seemed (sic) with joints that will dissolve, transforming the dress into five new pieces that can be used after the dress is worn, according to The Telegraph.

Used for what, I wonder? What would the happy newlyweds do with five pieces of fancy white poly-something?

The dresses are the focus of A Sustainable Marriage, a new exhibition at the university.

Gayle Leonards wedding dress in basement storage

Proper wedding dress disposition: the author’s wedding dress, properly stored in the basement, ready for her daughter to refuse to wear on her wedding day.

Oh you silly kids! This is what you do with your wedding dress: get it expensively and professionally cleaned and wrap it carefully in non-acidic tissue paper; store in your basement or attic for many years so that your daughter can one day wear it. Which she won’t. Because it’s ugly and yellowed and old fashioned, and doesn’t fit. However, then it becomes her burden legacy to keep it and continue to store it. Because she can’t throw it away as it’s become a “family heirloom” which she can burden pass along to her daughter.

“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,” fashion design lecturer Jane Blohm said in a release . “The wedding gown is perhaps one of the most iconic and symbolic garments in humanity’s wardrobe and represents the challenges of throwaway fashion.”

All jokes aside…this story makes me laugh and cry, because I can’t shake the symbology as related to today’s throwaway marriages. More than half of you will be able to dissolve your eco-wedding dress with buckets of your own tears when your marriage falls apart and heads for divorce court. Get ready, because “A Sustainable Marriage” has nothing to do with green fashion, and will require a lot more from you than an environmentally-friendly dress. Congrats, and good luck!

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