If you’re thinking about donating your wedding dress, there are several ways you can do so. Not only is it a great way to declutter your closet and find new use for your wedding gown, but it also helps you feel good about making a difference in someone else’s life.
Donate your wedding dress to a charitable organization
There are many charities that accept wedding dresses, so do some research to find one near you. Once you find an organization that interests you, make sure to follow their instructions for preparing your donation. It will ensure that your dress gets to the right person and that you’re able to get a tax-deductible donation receipt.
Brides Do Good* – Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this non-profit bridal boutique accepts donations of all sizes. The proceeds from their sales help support projects aimed at empowering and educating vulnerable young women.
Cherie Sustainable Bridal – This Maryland-based store sells donated gowns to help a nonprofit called Success in Style, which provides professional clothing and job skills training for low-income women. The shop doesn’t require you to have your gown professionally cleaned before dropping it off or mailing it in, but they do accept bridal dresses less than five years old and a few other types of dress.
Adorned in Grace – This Washington-based organization has been in business for over a decade. They work to raise awareness about human trafficking and provide resources for survivors. You can donate wedding dresses, formalwear, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, veils and belts that are no more than five years old to this cause.
A Gown for a Baby Who Lost Theirs in NICU – This unique program turns donated wedding dresses into funeral gowns for infants who have lost their lives. It’s a simple way to do good and help a grieving family.
Angel Gowns – This program in New York takes donations of pre-owned wedding dresses and turns them into burial gowns for babies who have lost their lives. These dresses are made by volunteer sewers. They’re then sold at a reduced price to raise money for the charity.
Another great option is a local angel gown organization, such as Angel Gowns of the Capital Region in Albany, NY. The group collects wedding dresses from both individuals and commercial boutiques and then creates burial gowns.
The organization is part of the Cancer Support Community, which raises about 30% of its funding through this project. It’s a small but effective way to create a revenue stream that supports its mission and allows it to serve more people.
Other organizations that accept wedding dresses – and other types of clothes – include a handful of thrift stores, including Goodwill Industries. These shops have an array of programs for job seekers, veterans and more. They also accept other items that are in need of a second life, like clothes and electronics.
The best thing about donating your wedding dress is that it’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and recycle an item that you no longer want or need. According to GreenDrop, the production of new clothes and textiles uses hundreds of gallons of water, and releases 10% of global carbon emissions into the air. It’s important to consider the impact your actions have on the environment when choosing a nonprofit to donate your wedding dress to.