Planning a Sustainable Wedding? A Wedding Cake That Donates to Charity

Reduce Negative Impact, Increase Positive Impact - Sustainability

There are two sides to being a sustainable wedding supplier:

  1. Ensuring that I have the smallest impact possible on people and the planet (reduce negative impact)
  2. Directly and indirectly contributing to projects that will benefit other people and the planet (increase positive impact)

Ultimately, I want to have a net zero or even positive impact on the planet whilst creating beautiful, luxury wedding cakes. In practice, this means selecting ingredients responsibly, making cakes in an environmentally friendly way and financially supporting sustainability projects.

For every wedding cake booked with Love from Lila, I will donate 1% of the cake’s value to a charity or project that benefits people and I will donate another 1% to a charity or project that benefits the planet.

Minimum Impact for More Sustainable Wedding Cakes

A lot of the pages on my website detail the decisions I make to reduce the impact I have on people and the planet. Through the ingredients that I select and processes I use to make your wedding cake, I’m confident that I’m in a good place already. This means selecting ingredients like local, free-range eggs that haven’t travelled excessive miles to reach me, and where I know the welfare standards are really high. When it comes to making cakes, it can be as simple as storing cakes in boxes or with parchment paper, to reduce over-reliance on single-use plastics. However, I do continue to experiment and research to make sure that I’m continually reducing my impact. There is much more detail here about a sustainable wedding cake by Love from Lila.

Stokes Farm Free-Range Chickens

Indirectly Impacting Sustainability Work Through the Supply Chain

Some of the ingredients I select and suppliers that I support through social media collaborations have been chosen not only because the ingredients themselves meet certain sustainability standards e.g. Fairtrade, but also because they contribute to sustainability projects. Currently, I use two ingredients that meet both of these goals: ethically produced vanilla from Littlepod and sustainability sourced chocolate from Callebaut. Both of these suppliers re-invest some of their funds into projects that benefit people and the planet. Littlepod contributes 10% of online shop sales to the charity Blue Ventures that works to build more sustainable coastal communities (conservation, health and education, and economies). Callebaut runs its Cocoa Horizons Foundation in cocoa producing communities so that farmers can run independent, profitable farms – this includes empowering female and young farmers which I personally think is really important. I hope to add more of these suppliers in the future, so watch this space!

Chocolate Farmer Planting Sapling

Directly Supporting Sustainability Projects

Cartoon School Children and Cartoon Planet - 1% Charity Donation Concept

As well as reducing impact, and indirectly supporting projects through the suppliers I use for my business, I also want to make a more active contribution to projects around the world. For every wedding cake booked with Love from Lila, I will donate 1% of the cake’s value to a charity or project that benefits people and I will donate another 1% to a charity or project that benefits the planet. This adds no additional cost to your booking, it is a way of re-investing the business’ funds, and it means your purchase directly contributes to greater sustainability in communities and environments. There’s also no funny stuff or shady calculations – if your wedding cake costs you £450 (cake cost, delivery cost, and hire costs excl. discounts and breakage deposits), I will donate £4.50 (1%) + £4.50 (1%) to the chosen people and planet organisations respectively. You get to enjoy an amazing wedding cake and contribute to charity at the same time – it’s really the easiest way to organise a more sustainable wedding with little extra effort!

1% for the People

I am very lucky to have received a fantastic education, partly because the British government provides such a high level of education for free, but also because my family have supported and pushed me to achieve. The sky’s the limit for me, and I know it’s a really important part of my journey to become a businesswoman. And also probably why I’m so keen to step up and be the loud voice needed to promote a more sustainable wedding industry.

However, I know that the same cannot be said for all women, especially in other countries. Partly because there isn’t such a strong (free) educational infrastructure elsewhere, but also because of cultural values and norms that don’t encourage women to get an education and pursue their chosen career.

Therefore, the ‘1% for the people’ funds will go towards an organisation that helps to educate and empower women in countries around the world. Some research suggests that a woman with a higher educational level will earn 25% more salary per earn, she’ll be 3x less likely to become HIV-positive, she’ll marry later and have a smaller, healthier family, she’ll support her own children through education, and she’ll avoid gender based violence. I already live in a world where that is a given, so I’d like to help create that environment for other women. I also know that diversity in British industry creates innovative, rewarding businesses that achieve amazing things, so it’s something that should happen everywhere.

I have decided to support CAMFED – the campaign for female education – for the 1% for the people donation. I keep coming back to this charity over my other options as the way they’re structured and the opportunities they offer to women will, in my opinion, make such a huge difference. Some of the aims and projects of CAMFED focus on supporting girls through education (with supplies, funding and mentoring, for those who would otherwise miss out due to poverty), training young women so they can be financially independent and empowering local leaders/mentors to create change in their local communities e.g. adopt more sustainable farming practices. They are working to the UN’s sustainable development goals, spend over 94% of their funds directly on the work they do, and are working on something that I think is really important.

1% for the Planet

Britain is home to some amazing flora and fauna, from beautiful coastlines to dense ancient forests and a broad array of wildlife. Not only do they look all beautiful, but they also play a big role in the air that we breathe and the continuation of our outside spaces. Bees for example play an important role in pollinating our crops and flowers. Without flowers, the countryside would be a far duller place and without bees, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy beautiful, naturally grown British flowers at our weddings.

Therefore, the ‘1% for the planet’ funds will go towards an organisation that helps with vital flora and fauna conservation work in the UK. The more we can protect our native landscapes and animals, the more we can enjoy them, not only for weddings but also more generally. Not only that, but we can also make sure that future generations have the same (or better) spaces to enjoy.

I’ve chosen CPRE – the campaign to protect rural England – for the planet donation as they’re doing a few different things that relate to how I work. Some of their aims and projects focus on sustainable farming, climate change (incl. zero waste), protecting green belt land from development and helping everyone discover and enjoy the countryside. 79% of their funds go directly towards their work (on the higher side for many of the other organisations I considered) and they’re a small to medium sized charity where your funds can really make a difference (again, unlike some of the other options I considered).

Small Print

There isn’t much to say here as it really is everything I’ve said with no funny business, but just in case you wanted to check the details:

  • I will donate 1% and 1% of your cake cost to the chosen people and planet organisations respectively, so if your wedding cake costs you £450, I will donate £4.50 (1%) + £4.50 (1%)
  • This includes the final cake cost – so the actual cost of the cake and decorations, delivery and setup costs, and stand/styling hire costs. It will exclude discounts, e.g. if your cake costs £462.50 before discounts and £450 after discounts, I take the £450 figure as that’s what you actually pay. And it also excludes breakage deposits as this isn’t a fee that I keep, it’s an amount that you will receive back (less any amount required to fix damages)
  • You will not be charged any more for a wedding cake, and prices are not increasing to cover this donation. A £450 cake before the initiative goes live will still be £450 once the initiative launches
  • The donation is not a cost associated with your purchase, therefore won’t be recouped via your deposit/payments should you cancel your cake booking. You will also not be able to reduce the price of your cake by opting out
  • The donation will not be made until the week of your wedding and where possible, I will make the donation in your name. I will provide email confirmation or printed confirmation before, on the day of, or after your wedding of the donations made
  • I will prioritise the organisations listed on this page, but will happily consider another organisation(s) that you would like to support
Cake Being Decorated with Purple Buttercream