If you recently got married or are planning to divorce, your wedding dress doesn’t have to end up in the trash. Instead, consider donating it to charity. Several nonprofit organizations take dresses and resell them at affordable prices to benefit women in need. You may also be eligible for a tax deduction, according to Zola. Additionally, recycling and donating your clothes helps reduce the amount of waste created by producing new garments from scratch, which creates a lot of carbon dioxide and other toxic fumes.
Goodwill is probably one of the most well-known charitable institutions in the United States, and it accepts almost any type of clothing item. That includes wedding dresses, which are sold in their thrift stores at a discounted price and the proceeds are used for various charitable programs. However, it’s important to know that the dress must be less than three years old and in excellent condition with no major rips or tears. It’s also a good idea to have your dress dry cleaned before you donate it.
Brides Against Breast Cancer is another nonprofit organization that raises money for breast cancer awareness and prevention by reselling donated wedding gowns. The company’s website provides a list of local branches that offer pick-up services, but you should contact each branch first to see what their specific policies are regarding donations.
If you’re not sure where to go with your dress, you can always donate it to the Salvation Army. The company’s branches resell the wedding dresses and other items they receive to help people in need, and the money raised helps fund the nonprofit’s early detection education and research programs.
You can also give your dress a second life by donating it to NICU Helping Hands, which refashions wedding dresses into burial gowns for families who lost a child in the hospital. The organization has 180 seamstresses around the country who painstakingly remake the wedding dresses into gowns for grieving parents to use for their infants’ final journey. The organization accepts wedding and bridesmaid dresses, but you should check with your local Salvation Army branch before bringing it in.
Alternatively, you can donate your wedding dress to Gift of a Wedding, which helps terminally ill patients and their family members create a memorable wedding day. The charity supports 3,100 people every year in Worcestershire, and it costs nearly PS10 million a year to operate.
Another way to donate your wedding dress is to give it to Adorned in Grace, which sells pre-owned wedding dresses and other formal attire at its boutiques across the country. The proceeds from the sales help support sex trafficking awareness and other social justice initiatives. The store offers pick-up and drop-off services, and it accepts both new and gently used dresses.