Women We Love: Jenny Palmer

Brides do Good is an ethical and sustainable bridal boutique based in London. Brides do Good offers a new and preloved collection of designer wedding dresses at up to 65% off! We had a chat with Jenny, the Business and Commercial Director at Brides do Good, and learned more about sustainability in the wedding industry as well as the NPOs they support. Read what she had to say below:*You can purchase pre-loved Catherine Deane wedding gowns at the Brides do Good boutique in London. Book your appointment here and get your dream wedding outfit at a much-reduced price, while also supporting a good cause.

What drew you to the Brides Do Good idea of sustainability within the wedding industry?

Most of my career has been focused on helping female-focussed charities and social organisations grow, and I’ve been involved in recent years there in the explosion of conversation around what we can and should be doing better as individuals and businesses to be kinder to our planet. At the same time, it’s widely recognised that giving women and girls equal access to education, health care, work, and representation fuels sustainable economies. So what I love about Brides do Good is that it marries these two things together. By promoting product sustainability in the Bridal industry, we are creating funds to support women so that we can achieve greater sustainability globally. It’s a great example of the type of innovative solutions that we need to really make a change.

What has been some beautiful outcomes you’ve seen at Brides Do Good?

Working in Bridal I get to see a lot of happy moments, both when Brides-to-be find the dress of their dreams, and when I see the funds from that dress ensure a girl child can stay in school to learn, play, and make her own choices about her future. The really special moments have been watching one dress make multiple dreams come true. We recently had a gorgeous Catherine Deane two-piece outfit that had originally been purchased from Brides do Good donated back to us after the wedding, and then go on to be resold. Catherine Deane’s generosity allowed one dress to be a part of two separate wedding days, help fund 1,260 refugees to attend school for a year at our project in Ethiopia, save 20 years of drinking water for 1 person, and keep 20 additional kilos of CO2 out of the air we breathe. When you think the difference just one dress can make – it really makes you stop and think. It's a wonderful thing to be a part of.

What are some quirks of your kittens?

I surprised my partner Ed with two kittens during lockdown, we have a black and white lady called Luna, and her sister Lily is a long-haired tabby. I didn’t realise two little sisters could be so very different! They adore each other and are always playing and snuggling, but they have very separate personalities. Luna likes to sleep on me at every opportunity, and I’m often woken up in the night as she’s snuck so close that her little nose-breaths on my face wake me up! Lily is more independent but a real chatterbox. When I get home from a day at work she sits on the stairs and has a good shout to tell me off for staying away so long!

What is your future vision for Brides Do Good?

Growth! I’ve found the reception from brands and designers that we reach out to incredibly positive. There is such an opportunity for Brides do Good to be the go-to solution for brands who are looking to contribute to sustainability and women’s empowerment with their samples and excess stock, and for brides-to-be looking to make a positive impact with their wedding – as well as looking great! Our challenge is always how much can we do with a small team. So investing in growth, and expanding our reach is a must for us, so that we can work with more brands, on a wider range of products, and reach even more women.

How do you get in touch with NPO's to help raise visibility for Brides Do Good and get the word out there for some more support?

I spend a lot of time talking to people! Which is lucky as it’s something I love to do. The bridal community is surprisingly small, as is the charitable community, so there is always someone to make an introduction to who knows someone who can help. Our brand partners are entrusting as with their donations, which is something we take very seriously. It’s my responsibility to understand where our funds are being spent, and to be confident that they are being invested responsibly to create change. It’s important that we can be totally transparent with our audiences and our brands about the impact that all of our supports help to create. Our partners know they can trust us, and that’s the reason we can continue doing what we do. So much of my role is about building and maintaining those relationships. When people understand and have faith in what you’re doing, they’re happy to help.

What does a typical weekend look like for you and your partner Ed?

Ed and I have quite different interests, and we’re both very independent people. At the weekend he tends to run and play rugby, whilst I will take some time out to do something by myself like yoga or wander around the pre-loved and local boutiques I like. I juggle a lot of balls during the week, so it’s important that I get some time to myself to switch off and breathe! We’re both foodies, so we love to head to one of our favourite restaurants or try somewhere new at the weekend – sushi is our current favourite! When we’re in the house together he’s usually tinkering with his laptop as he has an online business, and I pick up one of the 8 books I usually have on the go! Both of which are usually interrupted by the kittens.

What is your ideal Date night?

I love an activity that gets you talking about something new. We went to see 2:22 and Witness for the Prosecution at the theatre recently, both of which were fantastic, and we’ll have a drink afterwards and chat it through. Our first date was indoor crazy golf, which involved rather a lot of wine – and I won, of course.

If you had one super power what would it be?

I’d love to be able to teleport. Can you imagine popping over to Italy for your lunchbreak, or a quick dash to the Bahamas for an hour of sun to perk yourself up? My first stop would be a wine bar in Cape Town with the South African-based Catherine Deane team, of course.

Are you a cheese and wine kinda gal, or tea and biscuits lover?

It depends how much wine I’ve had the night before…! Joking aside, I do love a good cup of tea and a biscuit to be nice and cosy and calm when I’m working, but nothing beats a cheese and wine night with the girls! Ed’s brother-in-law makes wine in Burgundy, France, so I’ve learnt a lot more about wine since we’ve been together! We’re heading there for a holiday soon, and I doubt there will be much tea involved…

What are your personal goals for 2022?

Like so many of us, I found it hard to divide my time between work and personal life during the various lockdowns we experienced. It was so easy for work to become a 24/7 activity when there was so little else to do, and there was a lot of pressure at Brides do Good with a reduced team due to the pandemic. I need to practise putting those boundaries back in place and make time just for me again, without feeling guilty! Ed and I are also taking the leap and moving out of London. We’re moving further North to Cheshire where his work is based, so settling in, finding my new wine and coffee spots, making new friends, and learning to live a new pace of life is on my list too! I’ll still be with Brides do Good though, you couldn’t drag me away!