Where to Donate Wedding Dresses

Whether you wore a brand new dress or something vintage, it’s always a good idea to donate your wedding gown. This not only helps others who are less fortunate but also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, reports PEOPLE. Plus, many charities offer tax deductible receipts. The key is to find the right place to send your dress. Some require certain specifications. For example, Fairy Tale Brides on a Shoestring will only accept dresses that are in “like-new” condition and no more than five years old. The nonprofit bridal shop also wants the dresses to be clean before accepting them, so you might want to take your gown to a cleaner that specializes in wedding dresses.

Several thrift stores also accept dresses for donation. One of the most well-known is Goodwill Industries, which sells donated clothing and other items in its locations across the US. The proceeds go to support various charitable programs, including job training and housing for veterans. But if you’re considering Goodwill, Chapman advises you to research the company first and confirm that its mission aligns with your own.

Another option is to donate your dress to a local charity that rents dresses to low income women for special events. For instance, a local group called Cinderellas Closet does this, as does a nationwide organization called Project Prom. Some of these groups are open to receiving gowns during COVID-19, but check their websites first to make sure.

You might also consider donating your dress to an organization that creates memorial gowns for infants who died at birth or shortly afterward. These are known as Angel Gowns. These are handmade by talented seamstresses who work with families to provide them free of charge. There are a number of them in the US, and they typically reopen to receive new donations when their inventories are full.

There are also places that provide free wedding gowns for military brides, first responders and health care workers. These are called Operation Wedding Gown, and since 2008, the nonprofit has outfitted more than 26,000 women with their dream dresses. Currently, the organization is rebuilding after a flood devastated its warehouse in North Andover, Massachusetts. The flooding destroyed thousands of dresses and other supplies.

Other organizations that accept wedding dresses include Brides Against Breast Cancer (which supports the fight against early cancer detection) and Wish Upon a Wedding, which helps terminally ill couples realize their dream of a wedding or vow renewal ceremony.

You can also donate your dress to a nonprofit bridal boutique that supports local high school girls interested in the fashion industry by giving them reduced price wedding gowns and accessories. Brides for a Cause has locations in Seattle, Washington, Portland and Sacramento. It will accept a variety of dresses and bridal accessories, but asks that they be in good condition, in the current size and no more than five years old. The company offers online forms to make donations and provides specific instructions for shipping the dresses in their boxes.