Using sustainable ribbons and fabrics in your wedding decor - the how and why?
This week on the Blog we have a guest blog from Carole Tallontire from Laik Style. Carole creates beautiful sustainably produced ribbons and fabrics which can be used in everything from wedding stationery, bouquets, table decor, backdrops, the list is endless. All created specifically for your wedding or event, designed to match perfectly with your other decor. I have used Carole's products many times and they always look amazing and her customer service is impeccable. So grab a coffee and have a read! Sam x
Hi, my name is Carole and I run Laikstyle, where I create hand dyed ribbons and fabrics using natural dyes and organic and sustainable fabrics. There are two types of couples that approach me to be involved in their wedding preparations, those who are attracted by the array of unique colours that I can create, and those that are attracted to the environmental credentials of my business. As the relationship develops both types of client come away with an appreciation of both sides of the business, which is an added bonus!
When you look at a typical wedding day there’s often a lot of fabric involved in the decoration, from the ribbons tying your invitations together to your table décor, I’m determined to help make those choices more environmentally friendly without impacting on the look my clients want to achieve. To do this we need to look at what fabrics we are using and where they come from. With that in mind I only use organic fabrics such as organic cottons and organic bamboo silk, both plant based fabrics and therefore also suitable for Vegans.
“Organic farming is the only system which eliminates highly toxic substances from the environment and instead works holistically, for the long-term benefit of people and the planet.” The Soil Association.
With regards to silk, I use organic cruelty-free or peace silk. This type of silk allows the silkworm to continue its life cycle into a silk moth rather than being boiled, as in the traditional silk process. The silk I use is also produced in the UK, so less airmiles too. The fabric does takes longer to produce and is more expensive, but the quality is unmistakable.
As you would imagine ribbons are the most popular part of my portfolio, from bouquet ribbons to ribbons around wedding cakes, invitations and other stationery items and also for hand-fasting ceremonies. All ribbons can be made bespoke to clients exacting needs, the colour, length and, as it is all hand-torn, any width is available, this also creates less waste. The whole experience from start to finish is very personal to the client.
First discussions with couples or wedding suppliers centre around their chosen colours for the big day. I can create most colours so that they beautifully match your styling, these can be colour matched from photos or ink colour on your invitations to your choice of flowers for the bouquet. My extensive library of sample colours alongside their individual recipe means that even if your colour hasn’t been created yet, I have the knowledge to create it with natural dyes. These samples are then sent to the client for approval. The beauty of ribbons and fabrics dyed this way means it is virtually impossible to clash colours. Naturally dyed ribbons sit harmoniously together due to the colours originating from the same base dye plant.
One of the many interesting aspects of the creative process is often that the colour choice has other sentimental significance, for instance one couple were marrying in Scotland and I produced some ribbon for their hand-fasting ceremony which used Scottish seaweed as a dye source, which then all becomes entwined in their personal love story.
The dyeing process does take time, some barks need to soak for a week to release their dyes, but most colours can be created in 3 weeks if not sooner. Any dye left is kept, very little is ever thrown away and is continually being recycled into other dye pots and any waste (such as leaves and flowers) is always composted. Waste fabric pieces are given to friends who are felt makers to incorporate the colours and textures of my work into theirs. As the business is so bespoke my dyeing is not just for ribbons but also other areas of wedding decor such as chair drapes, napkins, table runners and back drops, and this can all be coordinated with you or your stylists ideas. Many of my clients have then gone on to create other items with the fabric i’ve supplied, continuing the life of the item. It's lovely to see what can be created.
The final step in the sustainability journey for my business is to make sure that all orders are packaged using recycled tissue and packing along with plastic free tape and of course secured with ribbon!