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Something Borrowed: a lending library for brides-to-be

mason jar with flowers

Do you need to own a copy of every book you’ve ever read? Every film you’ve ever watched? Every tool you’ll ever want to use? No: in most cases, borrowing or renting these items from a traditional library, another lending or rental outlet, or someone who already owns them works just fine for everyone involved, and gives our natural resource base a bit of a break. We want the use of these items; we don’t have to own them to get that.

That mindset often doesn’t carry over for one of the biggest days of our lives: our weddings. The bride’s family shells out big bucks for items that will be used exactly once, and then stored away in a basement somewhere (if not thrown away). When planning her own wedding, Lane’ Bigsby (who was unemployed at the time) recognized all the money ultimately spent on waste, and decided there had to be a better way. Not only did she put together her own wedding “for ~100 people, for roughly $3000, [and]  one small grocery bag of trash,” but she also founded Something Borrowed, a “wedding goods and decor lending library where items may be borrowed free of charge by Portland [Oregon] brides-to-be focusing on the DIY bride.”

If you want a traditional formal wedding, Bigsby’s collection of decorative items won’t be much help; if you’re planning something a little more hip, funky, or just unique, her collection of Mason jars, milk glass, chalk boards, bird cages, and other items may fill out the details for your big day. For a $50 deposit, a couple gets access to the complete collection. Bigsby’s mission is “to build a greater sense of community, promote thoughtful consumption by sharing, and provide brides-to-be of all income levels the opportunity to have the wedding of their dreams while staying within their means.”

Of course, if you’re not in Portland, you’re out of luck – for now: Bigsby tells Shareable that she’d ultimately like to provide a model that gets copied in other cities. No reason it couldn’t work: the “collaborative consumption” model has already hit the wedding dress market, so why not other items that will only be used for the ceremony or reception?

Know of other services for helping a bride save money through reuse? Let us know about them in the comments.

via @Earth911

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Image credit: hello-julie at flickr under a Creative Commons license