Wondering where to donate your old wedding dress here in the UK? You are certainly not alone.
Whether you are recently engaged and planning ahead, or have an old wedding dress in your wardrobe collecting dust, there’s no denying that a wedding dress is an iconic piece that holds enormous sentimental value.
Sadly most wedding dresses are only ever worn once.
This means brides looking to be more eco-conscious are faced with the question, what should I do with my old wedding dress?
It’s never easy to part with something you’ve made so many special memories in.
If you do decide to part ways, you want to make sure it is going to be repurposed and re-loved.
There are always other options. If you are feeling creative, you can repurpose your old gown yourself. A quick search will provide countless examples of wedding dresses being turned into jumpsuits, christening gowns, or even small homeware pieces to decorate your house.
Alternatively you could sell a used bridal gown. This does keep it out of landfill, and might give someone a more cost effective alternative to buying new. We will briefly touch on this at the end of this article.
Donating bridalwear is a planet friendly approach. An old wedding dress can be put to good use through a range of charitable organisations.
So where can you donate a wedding dress in the UK?
This list of where to donate wedding dresses covers a range of locations across the UK, so you will always find somewhere near you. It will also keep your old dress out of landfill, and benefit the charity you are donating to.
Here is our list of charitable ways to donate your wedding dress in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Where: UK wide
How to donate: Donate in store within opening hours
Why: Humanitarian work in areas of crisis
The Red Cross is one of the first stores that come to mind that are local to you. They accept all wedding dresses in a good condition, along with mens wedding suits, jewellery and wedding veils.
Simply drop off your bridalwear within opening hours. Donations go towards helping those in the UK and overseas in crisis. This could be supporting people facing hunger to caring for sufferers after a natural disaster.
How: Contact online or donate in store
Why? Supporting local communities
A bridal boutique with a second-to-none service. Octavia Foundation offers brides-to-be a chance to buy their dream dress at a discounted price, through a unique personal styling consultation at a dedicated bridal store This is a first-of-a-kind for the UK.
From new gowns to samples, pre-loved to vintage, all items have been donated from a selection of famous designers, local outlets and members of the public. So you know your old dress will be cherished by someone new.
With 15 stores, Octavia has been praised by high fashion experts from Vogue to Cosmopolitan. Better yet, every penny of profit goes to supporting the local community. This could mean building inspirational projects for young people, employment and training for local residents, or social activities for older, isolated members of the community.
Where: UK wide
How to donate: In store within opening hours
Why: Overcome Global Poverty
Oxfam is another easy store where you can donate your wedding dress. Again they’ll accept all wedding dresses, accessories, and menswear. Simply take it to the store and drop off within opening hours.
Oxfam has over 700 stores UK wide, so you are bound to find one close by. They also have 8 bridalwear specific stores across the country.
The goal of the charity is to fight global poverty, so you know your donation will be put to good use.
How: Sign up to their waiting list, post or deliver to their shop in Dover
Why? Provide beautiful funeral gowns for babies
Cherished Gowns creates funeral clothing for stillborn babies, miscarriages or babies who have passed away shortly after birth.
They work with grieving families, supporting them through some of the toughest periods of their life. Beautiful gowns are made for those babies that have passed away from donated wedding dresses. This includes booties, cloth nappies, blankets and hats. The organisation supplies its items to UK hospitals.
To donate a dress, it must be under 10 years old and white/ivory. It must be in excellent condition.
They also run a bridal boutique in Kent, where bridalwear can be donated all year round. Brides to be can purchase pre-loved dresses with proceeds going to running Cherished Gowns.
How: Donate online, but they collect from your door
Why? Empowering women and ending child marriage.
Bridges do Good is an ethical and sustainable bridal brand from London. They donate 1/3rd of profits to charity projects that work to end child marriage and empower women worldwide.
Bridges Do Good is a boutique that offers both new and preloved collection of designer wedding dresses at up to 65% off. One dress can provide support for as many as 10,000 days of education for girls.
How do you donate to their store? First you need to fill out an online application. Your dress will then be carefully reviewed. Once accepted, it will be collected from your door at no cost and at a convenient time for you.
Why: Weddings for those with terminal illness or life threatening conditions
Gift of a Wedding helps those facing terminal illness create a memorable wedding day.
Sadly not everyone has the luxury of good health on their wedding day, and founder Patricia discovered this when a young 27 year old man with brain cancer approached her for help. This inspired her to start Gift of a Wedding.
They help organise and fund wedding services, including providing the dresses that brides wear on their special day. To date, they have helped create over 200 weddings for those with life threatening illnesses.
Why: Burial gowns for stillborn babies
Dresses for Angels is an incredible organisation that turns your wedding gowns into funeral clothing for babies. The charity also accepts bridesmaids dresses.
Dresses for Angels was created shortly after the founders gave birth to a stillborn girl. This drove them to start the charity, which they have been dedicated to ever since.
Where: Stockport, Greater Manchester
How: Contact the organisation
Why: Supports St Ann’s Hospice
St Ann’s Hospice works to help those suffering from life-limiting illnesses.They do this by helping meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs free of charge at all stages of their illness.
They have a range of specialty shops, including a bridal store in Stockport that has both new and pre-loved wedding dresses.
Every purchase made in the store helps fund St Ann’s, so you know your donation will improve the lives of someone suffering from terminal illness in their last days.
How: Online, and the charity will organise a courier
Why: Fund and organise weddings for those with terminal illnesses
Wedding Wishing Well Foundation helps those suffering from terminal illness to plan and pay for their dream wedding.
The story started in 2012. Naomi desperately wanted to marry her fiancé Graham after being together for 3 years. With the burden that cancer brings to a family’s finances, this seemed like a distant dream.
Fortunately in 2011, a local wedding planner offered to help organise the wedding and find suppliers who would work for free. The following year, Naomi was determined to help others in a similar position.
By donating your dress, 100% of the proceeds go to funding the organisation’s work.
How: Contact the charity to donate
Why: Support Kemp Hospice
KEMP has a dedicated bridal floor of its charity shop in Kidderminster. Donating your wedding gown will mean another bride could find her dream dress.
KEMP provides vital support to patients, families and carers of those suffering from life-limiting illness and bereavement. Through buying from KEMP, shoppers choose sustainability as well as affordable wedding dresses, all while supporting the local Hospice.
How: The Website
Why: St Catherine’s Hospice - patient and community care
St Catherine’s Bridal store offers a selection of pre-love and new gowns, all of which have been donated. They are therefore seeking regular donations from those looking to give their wedding dress a new life.
Each wedding dress sold goes to supporting in-patient and in-community care. This means that support is given to those with life-limiting illnesses in the Chorley, Preston, South Ribble and wider Lancashire areas.
Where: Worcester and surrounding region
Why: Care for patients with life-changing illness
St Richard’s Hospice provides free of charge care for patients as they face life changing illness. They help improve the quality of life for their patients from diagnosis, treatment to their last days.
Each year the hospice supports 3,100 patients, family members and bereaved people around Worcestershire. That costs almost £10m a year. Donations that your dress raises are guaranteed to go to a good cause, and it’s a way to create an incredible memory for a new bride.
Look out for their bridal pop ups, along with their dedicated bridal department in Mealcheapen Street.
Where: Leighton Buzzard & Milton Keynes
How: Drop off in-store
Why: End of life care
The Willen Hospice provides end of life care for patients around Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. They have 170 dedicated staff and 600 volunteers who help carry out their vital work. Your dress will certainly be used for good.
Their main bridal shop is full of preloved and new dresses, located in Leighton Buzzard. You can also find a selection of bridesmaids outfits along with other accessories. It’s a great way to reuse and recycle your old gown.
Where: Based across the UK
Still wondering where to donate your wedding dress? There are hundreds of charity shops based across the UK which will willingly accept your old wedding dress.
By donating your old dress, you’re giving it a chance to be reworn and make someone’s perfect day. It’s also a sustainable solution to keep old dresses out of landfill (or simply collecting dust in your wardrobe).
What’s more, there are hundreds of charities across the UK which can put your old dress to great use. This means you will always find one near you. So why not donate today?
Whilst we have focused on donating your old wedding dress, there are still a few alternatives to stop it ending up in landfill.
It’s possible to sell your wedding dress and make a few pounds. Afterall, it’s likely you’ve spent a lot of money on your big day and are looking to save the pennies.
You have the obvious options to sell through online platforms like eBay, Depop or Vinted. But there are other ways specific to brides where you can sell an old wedding dress.
Here are two store suggestions where you can sell your old wedding dress.
Where: UK Wide
How: Online or in store across the country
Bridal Reloved is a little different. They are the UK’s largest bridal chain and the world’s only chain of pre-owned wedding gowns. It gives you a chance to sell your dress, whilst also ensuring your dress gets a new life.
They sell high end pre-owned wedding dresses from their small boutiques across the country. They also have an online presence where you can post photos of your old dress.
Wedding dressing can be brand new, ex-sample or pre-owned. They also sell accessories to ensure each bride can create their perfect design.
This means couples spend less on their special day without compromising on design, style and class.
Where: UK Wide
How: Online or in store across the country
Stillwhite is the UK’s largest online wedding dress marketplace. Stillwhite is for brides who are looking to pass on their wedding dress to someone new, and hopefully make a few pounds in the process.
It’s a marketplace for sellings just like you, with thousands of brides selling their old gowns. The variety and range are unmatched, a great way to also help those looking for the perfect dress.
If you think we’ve missed anything, please do let us know in the comments section below.
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