Today’s couples are particularly interested in adding meaning beyond their union, making choices that reflect their concern for our planet. When couples ask the right questions they use their power to change how the wedding industry moves toward better practices.
Three Questions To Ask Your Vendors
"ARE ANY OF YOUR PRODUCTS OR SUPPLIES
REUSED OR REPURPOSED IN YOUR BUSINESS?"
This is a softball for vintage rental companies. Our vintage goods are definitely reused and are the most obvious way we are participating in loving this big blue marble. Our treasures have been rescued from an inevitable trip to the landfill. They are found in thrift stores, garage sales or estate sales where they are slated for the trash if no-one picks them up and loves them. Part of the joy of setting a table with vintage rentals is knowing that this plate, this glass, this fork, is given new life and purpose once again. Sure, heirloom sets of dishes are passed down from generation to generation. Sadly, this happens only rarely. With limitations for using the dishwasher and microwave in daily life, even good intentions fall away to better convenience. As rentals, our pieces are being used more than ever before, and for the happiest of occasions.
Of course not every vendor has built a business on reusing items from decades ago. But there are other opportunities in daily operations to conserve materials. One example is re-using printed paper for scratch paper.
"WHAT KIND OF CHEMICAL LOAD DOES YOU BUSINESS CARRY?"
After discovering how cleaning products and personal products were contributing to a personal health matter, I have made changes to reduce the chemical load in my body an in our home. I am happy to see this trending now as consumers are learning more and demanding options. The practice of reducing chemical load has extended to my business. Although you may not subscribe to the extreme measures I take (look up No-Poo for hair care), you may be happy to know that the surfactants we use to wash the dishes and polish the silver are environmentally friendly. Our grey water is friendly! Think about the products that will be used before, during and after your event. There are so many things that have to be laundered, mopped, washed and shined. So it’s reasonable that you ask that the event clean up be greened up.
Thanks to COVID19, I am compelled to add a note about today’s virus scary world. The CDC has approved options that are not chemically laden. Is there really a virus that is either “kind of dead” or “a lot dead”? The point is that bacteria and viruses are dead and we remain alive and healthy. (Give me a hand, my dear, to help me down off a soap box before I write a whole other editorial. Thanks! Whew! Ok.. moving on.)
"WHAT DISPOSABLE PRODUCTS ARE YOU USING OR NOT USING?"
We are continually improving the way we pack our orders. Our plates and teacups have been packed up with cleanable and reusable felt circles for years. We lovingly refer to them as our “pinkies”. And this year we have added the same waste reduction to our method for delivering glassware with felt squares. (They are turquoise… so maybe “turqies”?) Our goal is to continue with development of processes so that we can claim zero waste in 2021. Delivering a clean, sanitized product is important, but at what cost? This question may help us all think about the wads of plastic scooped up every time deliveries are unpacked.
AND ONE MORE NOTE ABOUT DISPOSABLES We have noticed that our DIY brides often don’t have the “staff" to care for real china. And if they did not rent from us and use our services, the other option would be disposable plates and flatware. Even if you are considering bamboo or other compostable goods, you are still consuming products that used energy and resources to manufacture. There are so many pretty dishes and forks in the world, that we would never have to fire up a manufacturing plant again to set our tables, if we were all willing.
Please let us know on our social accounts any other ideas you might have for our industry to make changes that are evergreen and everlasting. Let’s keep this conversation going until we are blue in the face so that we will have all the oxygen humankind will ever need.
Photo Credit: Julie Haider Photography