For Wedding Planning, End-To-End Sustainability Is An Untapped Niche
by Abdul Aziz Mondal Business 14 March 2023
Sustainability is the name of the game when it comes to the modern American business; and yet in the wedding industry, the climate impacts of tying the knot remain huge. A report by the New York Times estimates that the average wedding will emit 57,172 tonnes of CO2, from getting down on one knee through to driving to the marital hotel at the end of the day itself. The main challenge in making weddings more sustainable comes from the diverse range of factors involved – it can seem impossible to have every aspect of the wedding process become environmentally positive. In this, there’s an opportunity for startups.
Introducing Sustainability To Rings
The first step of the wedding journey is the proposal – and with it, one of the most contentious areas of discussion concerning wedding sustainability. The engagement ring, as Green Matters highlights, is something that has historically been bedded in unethical and environmentally unfriendly practices. However, there are now plenty of ethical and sustainable options available when picking an engagement ring – but more needs to be done to help ethical vendors reach consumers.
It’s important to note that classic designs such as diamond rings can be ethical – and, similarly, synthetic diamonds can be unsustainable, too. As such, there is a real niche to be exploited by startup businesses that have a real passion for research. Putting the time and effort into investigating what the real sustainable options are in jewelry can have a huge and positive impact.
Paper Or Waste?
Consider the solid waste produced at weddings. Even eco-friendly features, such as disposable invites, second-hand decor, and the minimal use of one-use products have an environmental cost, as Fortuner magazine explores. As always, the emphasis on sustainability is through cutting through the chaff and marketing to establish what truly is sustainable – which partner companies have a good track record with producing eco-friendly products, and which are simply engaging in greenwashing.
Providing that knowledge in the niche will help to enable truly sustainable weddings and enable those couples who want to have a fully eco-friendly wedding to achieve that dream.
The Catering Factor
Another part of the wedding story that can be enormously wasteful is catering. According to The Guardian, conservative estimates find that 10% of all wedding food will be thrown in the trash, a huge amount of waste and one which will contribute significantly to climate change. There are options out there for proper disposal and/or recycling but, again, the average caterer does not have the networks to make use of that. Startups that look to automatically link these partners together could be enormously useful.
Sustainability is key, and every company will make some claim or another to meet sustainability aims. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to see where value can be found. In that, there is a niche for the right startup to operate, as a connector and verifier of important sustainability information.