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Up-cycling

In April wedding fever peaked. Whether you are a Royalist or not, you couldn’t help but get drawn into the whirlwind created by the largest wedding occasion to greet us for decades!

There were the fashion successes (Kate Middleton’s breathtakingly beautiful Alexander McQueen wedding dress), and fashion disasters (mentioning no names!), and of course who could forget the nation’s new obsession with Pippa Middleton’s bum!

On this wedding theme, I got married last year and recently made the decision to sell my wedding dress and use the money to commission a special piece of jewellery that I would wear and remember the day by.

This can be described as a form of “Up-cycling”; the definition being: “the goal of up-cycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones”. Up-cycling is not a new concept, in fact it has been around since the 1990s, but the concept continues to evolve as we do. Gone are the days of wearing old computer keyboard keys around your neck, we are now looking for innovation in design that is not only stylish but also genuinely interesting and relevant.

I was deliberating what to do with my dress, which for the past six months has been hung in my wardrobe taking up far too much space and gathering dust. There was always the option of dying it another colour or even cutting it short, but to be realistic I will probably never wear it again and end up just ruining a beautiful Jenny Packham dress. So, I bit the bullet and posted it on to the website www.sellmyweddingdress.co.uk. The website does exactly what it says in the title! Sells wedding dresses! After a few time wasters, some lovely brides-to-be and not so lovely bride-zillas, I managed to sell the dress to a wonderful bride-in-waiting and I hope she gets as much joy out of wearing the dress as I did on my wedding day.

So now to the fun part! Armed with the proceeds I am now deciding where to go shopping. Do I go bespoke and have something designed especially? Or opt for a collector’s item such as Sevan Bicakci or Lydia Courteille. Do I choose antique and go for a beautiful old Sotheby’s piece. Decisions decisions! Mind you, I’m not complaining, I’m getting into the spirit of “up-cycling”. In fact, what else can I sell?

Alex Gregory-Peake is director of specialist jewellery consultancy; Auric www.auriclondon.com

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