Sustainable Wedding Alliance

Sustainable Wedding Summit 2021

The first Sustainable Wedding Summit took place on Thursday 6th May. 


Home » News & Events » Sustainable Wedding Summit 2021

Sustainable Wedding Summit 2021

Thank you to all those that joined us for the 2021 Sustainable Wedding Summit. It was an amazing few hours.

We’ve made the summit available to watch on our YouTube channel for the rest of the month, so if you missed out, please do jump over, watch it back and let us know your thoughts. 

“Very inspiring to hear all the wonderful ways businesses are exploring the possibilities of growth and protecting the planet. Well done all involved” Amy Jacksonsavage

“I just wanted to say I found the summit last week incredibly informative and I would like to thank you for putting it together.”  Charlotte, Everlasting Events

Sustainable Wedding Alliance

Our Speakers

Joining us for the first Sustainable Wedding Summit we had an awesome line up of speakers. We talked about how you can make your business more sustainable and looked at the a few topics in detail, including carbon offsetting, measuring and understanding your website footprint, sourcing a sustainable supply chain, and ethical marketing. 

Scroll down the page to read more about our speakers, their background and their thoughts on sustainable weddings.

Chris Zair

Chris Zair is Head of Partnerships at The Future Forest Company, working with partners on their sustainability journey. From authors planting trees based on book sales and purchasing offsets to create a Carbon Neutral book launch, all the way through to international brands planting 25,000 trees each year, Chris and FFC will help you find the right approach based on your business focus.

The Future Forest Company are a UK-based environmental project focused on removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as possible to help fight climate change. Buying up degraded UK farmland and planting mixed deciduous woodland, we’re aiming to plant 50 million trees in the UK by 2025, trees that will not only sequester thousands of tonnes of carbon, but will also play host to thriving ecosystems and support continued wildlife regeneration. We are growing through partnerships with individuals and organisations at all stages of their sustainability journey.

Our tree sponsorship allows you to have a first hand impact on the growth of these new forests, from individual trees to entire forests. Each time we plant a tree, we record rich data such as the geolocation and species, taking a photo of the sapling. Once you sponsor a tree, you get your own e-certificate and can come up and visit your own tree, as all our forests will be open to the public.

For those on their Net Zero journey and looking for high quality offsets, from late 2021 we will be able to supply biochar offsets from our UK biochar facility on Mull, where carbon is locked up for over 1,000 years.

“creating a ripple effect”

To steal a quote from Anne-Marie Bonneau, @ZeroWasteChef, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”. The same can be said for all areas of sustainability, we all have a responsibility as individuals to educate ourselves and to make the right choices, even if they are not always the easiest ones. By doing this, we make a small direct impact ourselves, but in doing so we influence those around us, creating a ripple effect which reaches far beyond our own individual sphere.

Why is the Sustainable Wedding Summit important?

“Every aspect of our lives has an environmental impact, but by having access to the key information at the right time, this impact can be reduced with the right choices and countered with positive environmental action. The wedding industry is no different. As influencers within the wedding industry, you have the opportunity to show the key decision makers that the ‘perfect wedding’ and a ‘sustainable wedding’ are not mutually exclusive, and that the perfect day should be the day that also leaves the world a greener, healthier place.” Chris Zair

Vineeta Greenwood

Vineeta is a Co-founder of Wholegrain Digital. She champions digital sustainability and maintains relationships with clients and team members. Her true passion is living sustainably and setting a good example of a good life whilst living sustainably.

Wholegrain Digital is the UK’s first WordPress web design agency. Wholegrain specialises in creating a beautiful user experience for each of their client, whilst ensuring their websites have lower carbon emissions than the industry standard. Wholegrain is also a proud certified BCorp and 1% for the planet contributor.

“Sustainability is applicable to all parts of your personal and professional life.”

“find the best path”

Act now, start where you are, do what you can! This is the decisive decade. Sustainability is applicable in each part of your life, find the best path for yourself and make progress.

Why is the Sustainable Wedding Summit important?

“I believe that your wedding is a real opportunity to show your loved ones, how you want to live your life and truly embrace your principles with your life partner. I want people to feel empowered to make positive choices and set a standard of how they mean to go on from this new day!” Vineeta Greenwood

Russ Avery

Russ Avery is an eco entrepreneur and a specialist marketer for sustainable businesses. He has been working in different areas of sustainability since 2010, gaining experience in a range of different sectors, including ocean conservation and extensive experience working with corporate sustainability consultancies in the UK and Europe.
Russ heads up Avery & Brown with his friend and business partner, Tim Brown. Avery & Brown is a young but rapidly growing digital marketing and creative agency which puts people and planet on par with profit. The agency works specifically with ambitious sustainability-focused businesses and is already making waves. Russ is also a co-Founder and Director of Elodie GmbH, which is a hybrid sustainability consultancy and creative communications agency based in Berlin and London.
Avery & Brown is a UK-based digital marketing and creative agency which puts people and planet on apr with profit. We work with ambitious sustainability-focused businesses to help them overcome their marketing challenges and exceed their growth objectives. We also walk the walk, and have our sights firmly set on becoming a truly regenerative business – e.g. one which gives far more back to society and the planet than what it takes from them.

Creating positive change for people and planet

Around the world, we rapidly need every business in every industry and sector to start taking sustainability seriously. Businesses have played a huge role in the climate crisis and the degradation of the natural world. But they can – and will be – a major part of the solution. It’s so great to see a huge sector like the wedding industry looking to step up to the mark and create this positive change for people and planet.

Abena Poku-Awuah

Abena is the Managing Director of Legacy Events, a sustainable events agency and consultancy that helps companies run events that are better for the environment. She also runs the Legacy Marketplace, a one-of-a-kind online platform that connects event organisers to suppliers of event products and services that reduce the environmental impact and contribute to positive social change. 

Abena is a Chartered Scientist and has been working in sustainability for 15 years. Her areas of expertise are energy and low carbon technologies, water use, materials, social impact and understanding sustainability metrics and data. Legacy represents the next generation of events and experiences, transforming the old ways and creating a market shift towards sustainable events. With her team, Abena is on a mission to revolutionise the way events are planned and run, demonstrating that sustainable events can be beautiful, engaging and inspiring.

“be an entirely positive occasion”

Weddings should be joyous occasions and by carefully considering your venue, catering, dress and other choices, you can considerably reduce your environmental impact when planning your day. Going down the sustainable route doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing quality or luxury, but it does mean that your wedding can be an entirely positive occasion for you, your loved ones and the planet.

Kate Atkinson

Kate is the founder of Bridal Reloved.

She joined the wedding industry in 2013, when she launched her first Bridal Reloved boutique in East Yorkshire. Due to the demand from customers looking for more sustainable options when wedding shopping, they have now grown to 20 stores nationwide. Alongside Bridal Reloved Kate also runs Social Twerk, a company to help brands with online audits, social media agreements and mentoring.

“I just happened to fall in to a gap in the market when I joined the industry. I was looking for ways to reuse my own wedding dress. I didn’t want it to just sit in a bag in the loft for years to eventually be taken to the tip because it was dated, and having limited sewing skills to repurpose it, I decided to sell it whilst it was still current. I couldn’t find any specialist stores locally and the ones I did find were full to capacity… So I opening my our boutique.”

Kate is also one of our Ambassadors and a champion of sustainability for our industry.

“slowing it down”

“During my experience over the last eight years in the bridal industry it became very apparent to me that there is a problem with production, in both the way wedding dresses are produced and the sheer amount of dresses that are made.

The other huge factor is that these garments are made to be worn just once! The largest, most expensive item of clothing you can buy is also one the fastest forms of fashion there is. We are passionate about slowing this down.”