Manchester Arndale create ‘plastic bottle’ dress in honour of royal wedding

By Kathryn Cummings

Kate Middleton may have an unexpected wedding decision on her hands due to Manchester Arndale.

The city centre shopping complex has chosen to mark the Royal Wedding in an unusual way with a wedding dress made up of plastic bottles.

‘Green with Envy’, a unique re-used and up-cycled creation was unveiled at Manchester Arndale earlier this month.

With all the hype surrounding the future queen’s choice of dress for the big day, this could be a unique option for Miss Middleton.

Local eco designer, Michelle Brand, was commissioned by the shopping centre to create the wedding dress which has taken her and her volunteers 3 months to make.

The dress was made from 1,110 bottle bases, 6,512 bottle tops and 9,440 tags which fix it all together, the creation is believed to weigh around 10kgs.

Michelle, explaining the concept behind the dress, said: “Green with Envy is a celebration, it’s a proposal of opportunity to see mass produced everyday objects differently.

“It explores how we can make sense of the green issue of sustainability – what does it mean to people on the street?

“There’s a lot of talk but here we seek to put in place something sustainable by showing the unseen beauty of everyday mass produced objects, giving them an up-cycled second use.

“One of the aims of my work is to dispel the misconception that designed art objects made from ‘found’ or ‘re-used parts’ lack a certain je ne sais quoi.”

The dress was created at Stockport Art Gallery, where Michelle is resident eco designer, she also consulted with Manchester Metropolitan University textile artist Janet Bezzant and local dressmaker Di Faukner on the dress design.

Michelle added: “This has been a very time-intensive project, and not without its challenges especially as I normally create up-cycled chandeliers, not wedding dresses!

“The work and support of the volunteers has really helped me to design and create a fabulous piece which I hope will make people stop and want to learn more about the process of how it was made.

“If it does this, then it has done what it set out to achieve which is to bring the idea of sustainability to the everyday consumer in a creative and thought provoking way.”

The dress was modelled at the shopping centre by Kate Middleton look-a-like, Kate Bevan from Stafford, she then changed into a number of ‘going away’ honeymoon outfits selected by Manchester Arndale’s style advisor, Debs Hatfield.

The dress was the centre piece of Manchester Arndale’s ‘Think Green’ event over the weekend which was all about getting people to understand more clearly their impact on the environment and how everyone could help.

Manchester Arndale’s general manager Glen Barkworth, said: “We hope our off-the-wall idea of creating a wedding dress out of plastic bottles re-used and up-cycled from our shopping centre, will capture the public’s interest as we gear-up to the Royal Wedding, and people will want to come and view ‘Green with Envy’ in its Manchester Arndale home for the next few weeks.

“Praise should also go to our retailers who have been fantastic in supporting our environmental event by offering customers a ‘green’ alternative to plastic shopping bags.”  

The ‘Green with Envy’ wedding dress will be on exhibit at Manchester Arndale within Arndale House reception for the two weeks leading up to the Royal Wedding on April 29 and over the bank holiday May weekend.

The dress will also be on show at Stockport Art Gallery from May 14 for a month and then will be going out on loan at other art exhibitions in the UK and the USA.

A GREEN WEDDING: The eco dress being modelled


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