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The Green Life: Tackling Wedding Waste: One Woman Aims to Redesign the Industry

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November 18, 2011

Tackling Wedding Waste: One Woman Aims to Redesign the Industry

reEvent repurpose display

Recycle, resale, redesign. That's the theme this weekend in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, where Anne Kelly Acock, a florist, event designer, and green innovator, will welcome hundreds to the reEvent, a consignment sale inspired by the special-event industry’s clutter. Out of growing frustration with wastefulness and poor purchasing for special events and weddings, Acock decided to share her “think before you toss” philosophy with a broader audience.

Q: What is the reEvent?

A: The reEvent provides florists, event designers, brides, and others the ability to clean out those basements and sell event items that they no longer need or use. Rather than collecting dust, these items find new homes and new purposes in the hands of people who do have a use for them.

Q: What inspired the reEvent? 

A: It came from seeing so much waste with events. People buy so many things they don’t need, often for the “big day,” and then toss it or store it in basements. I try to get people thinking about their purchases in a different way. If it can’t be reused, redesigned, or resold, then maybe it’s not a good purchase.

Q: How many reEvents have there been? How did previous ones go?

A: The first reEvent was this past spring; this weekend will be the second one. My plan is to hold it twice a year in spring and fall. Spring tends to be more wedding-oriented, while fall tends to draw those looking to buy holiday decor. The first time out of the gate, we had a hard time defining what this was to the public. But word is getting around and people are starting to understand and love the concept.

Q: You have workshops at the show?

A: We have some amazing workshops about everything from jewelry-making to upcycling and even how to turn beer and wine bottles into works of art.

Q: What types of items can people get?

A: Generally only decor items, like vases, chargers, linens, ribbons, planning materials, and some fashion items. Someone even consigned vinyl records that had been repurposed into bowls!

reEvent jewelry repurpose demoQ: Is this type of event helpful to brides and event professionals, and are others invited?

A: Everyone’s invited! The first reEvent in April was geared more to the engaged crowd searching for green-thinking vendors, but we really did draw shoppers who were searching for home decor items as well.

Q: If they can’t organize a giant resale event, how can others begin to make a difference?

A: Take baby steps. People should feel good if they can get in a groove with recycling simple things like glass and plastic. Then when they can make another habit, add one more thing, like cardboard, and then another thing, like using mason jars for food storage, and then another. Before they know it, they’re super green without much planning or effort. I make a note to do something new and put it on my calendar. Then when it becomes a habit, I take it down and put up another one.

--interview by Carolyn Cotney / photos by Rachel Holt of Salt and Light Photography and Anne Kelly Acock

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