From the simple, yet elegant lines of the bodice to the train covered with more than 400 handcrafted flowers, Bella the Bride is an exquisite wedding gown—with a surprising twist. It is made of discarded DuPont™ Tyvek® for medical packaging.
Unveiled at the Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East Expo and Conference held in New York City in June 2016, Bella the Bride quickly became a major topic of discussion among attendees, helping to raise awareness about reducing the amount of healthcare packaging waste destined for the landfill or incineration.
Bella the Bride’s journey began when Beacon Converters, Inc., commissioned Nancy Judd, an artist and environmental educator who creates couture fashion from trash, to make this unique wedding gown from healthcare packaging waste. The name Bella was chosen to honor the wife of William Francis Daly, the founder of Beacon Converters.
Beacon Converters also invited members of the healthcare industry to make flowers for Bella the Bride and hosted flower-making workshops during AORN 2016 and a sewing circle event during CleanMed 2016.
The response was incredible. Hundreds of healthcare industry professionals from hospitals, manufacturers and educational institutions across the United States participated in the gown’s creation by making handcrafted flowers from discarded Tyvek® for medical packaging. These beautiful, one-of-a-kind flowers were sewn on the train of the gown or used for the bouquet.
“As a founding member of the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC), DuPont applauds Beacon for helping to advance the mission of inspiring sustainability for plastic products and materials used in the delivery of healthcare,” said Marc Bandman, marketing manager, Americas, DuPont Medical and Pharmaceutical Protection. “And, we are pleased that Tyvek® is playing a key role in showcasing what can be done when healthcare packaging is repurposed into a wide variety of different products.”
Raising awareness that there are viable alternatives to sending tremendous amounts of healthcare packaging waste to landfills was the driving force behind the creation of Bella the Bride.
“Healthcare is a large sector of our GNP and statistics published by non-profit Practice Greenhealth show that between 20 to 30 percent of a hospital’s overall waste is generated from the operating room,” said Terri Shank, sustainability officer/director of IT & Marketing Practices, Beacon Converters, Inc. “As an industry, we need packaging to provide the highest level of protection and to maintain sterility, but after product use, there is an enormous opportunity to rethink the value of the discarded materials as a resource and look for new channels for recovery,” explained Shank.
Bella the Bride’s journey—and mission of raising awareness—didn’t come to an end at MD&M East. It will become the latest addition to the Recycle Runway Collection of sculptures by Nancy Judd that will be on exhibit at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2017.
For more photos of the Bella the Bride project, check out the Facebook page.