Donate Wedding Dresses to Charity

donate wedding dresses

After a couple’s wedding day, their dress can become an item that collects dust in the back of their closet. Rather than putting it on display, a bride could donate the dress to a charity that can give it another life. Many charities and thrift shops accept wedding dresses for resale and even allow donors to receive a tax deduction, though some may impose restrictions on what’s accepted.

Donating a wedding dress is not only environmentally responsible, but it also helps people in need. The production of new clothing and textiles produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other toxins, according to GreenDrop. When old garments are discarded, they also contribute to the waste problem, clogging landfills and polluting waterways. The best way to help the environment is to reuse old clothing and other household items, instead of throwing them away.

One of the biggest charities that accepts wedding gowns for resale is Goodwill. It has locations across the country and sells donated clothes in its thrift stores at a discounted price. The proceeds are used to fund various charitable programs. It is important for women considering donating their wedding dress to check with their local Goodwill store first to see what their policies are. Each location has its own pick-up services and donation guidelines, so it is best to call in advance.

Similarly, the Salvation Army accepts wedding gowns and other items for resale. The dresses are sold in its stores at a discounted price, and the proceeds are used to support its various charitable programs. Some of these include breast cancer awareness and detection, helping women overcome addictions, and providing education for families of young children with disabilities.

The Emma and Evan Foundation repurposes wedding gowns and other bridal gowns into infant burial gowns, bonnets, and keepsake items for families that have lost an unborn or newborn baby. It accepts wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and other formal wear. The organization will also repurpose flower girl and pageant dresses.

While donating to a nonprofit organization is the most common option for a wedding dress, there are also for-profit bridal consignment shops that can take your dress and other bridal accessories. Some of these organizations have online portals that can make the process easier, and they also provide receipts for each sale so that you can claim a tax deduction.

When donating your dress to any charity, it’s important to research the organization in advance. Some will have strict guidelines about what is acceptable, such as requiring that the dress be professionally cleaned and in good condition. It is also a good idea to label your box with information about the dress, including its size and original cost, so that it saves charity volunteers time when sorting through donations. This will also prevent mistakes and confusion. Also, if the charity requires a cleaning fee, be sure to factor that into your overall donation amount. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some dresses and accessories can develop mold if they sit too long in storage.