Why Donate Wedding Dresses?

While it is common to keep a wedding dress in storage after tying the knot, you can also give it a new life by donating it. Donating your gown is not only a great way to help others, but it is also environmentally friendly. According to GreenDrop, the global textile industry has a significant impact on the environment, with clothes and shoes occupying the biggest portion of landfills, contributing harmful carbon emissions.

When you donate your wedding dress, it helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, as 70% of discarded clothing ends up in landfills. Furthermore, donating your wedding dress will help to reduce the amount of water needed to produce new dresses, as well as the number of harmful carbon dioxide emissions caused by the manufacturing process.

If you don’t have the time or desire to resell or repurpose your wedding dress, there are several charities that accept used gowns. For example, Brides Against Breast Cancer resells pre-owned wedding dresses, with proceeds benefiting breast cancer awareness and detection programs. Additionally, Brides for a Cause is a nonprofit bridal store that collects and resells donated dresses, with the funds benefiting local and national women-focused charities.

Many wedding dress donation organizations have specific vetting requirements, such as accepting only dresses that are under two years old and in good condition. Additionally, some have specific deadlines or require a professional cleaning. Fortunately, most charities have easy online forms to fill out or a client service team that can walk you through the process.

As a bonus, donating your dress can be a tax deduction. The IRS considers any donations of money or goods a charitable contribution and will allow you to claim the amount on your taxes.

One charity that accepts wedding dresses throughout the year is Adorned in Grace, a faith-based organization with a mission to fight human trafficking. The proceeds from sales go towards sex trafficking prevention mentoring, anti-trafficking publications and more.

Another option for a wedding dress that doesn’t meet the criteria of some of the more popular charities is to turn it into a unique piece of home decor. For instance, you can use the fabric to make a tablecloth or curtains, turn it into a sash for your next baby bump or make a unique ring bearer pillow for your future wedding day.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, some charities and thrift stores are unable to take in dresses for donation due to safety concerns. However, some organizations are continuing to operate and are open to receiving dresses by mail.

To find out more about donating your wedding dress, check out the websites of these five charities that have been operating during the pandemic. They will provide all the necessary details on how to prepare your dress, what types of dresses they accept and their vetting requirements. Additionally, you can contact these organizations by phone or email for further information.