Where to donate a wedding dress in the UK: 9 great options

Where to donate a wedding dress in the UK: 9 great options

Bride in donated wedding dress UK

Wedding dresses are iconic and sentimental pieces of clothing, yet they are pieces that are often only worn once. As brides are taking a more eco-conscious approach, many are repurposing their dresses or researching where to donate their wedding dress in the UK.

While the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly had a significant impact on the wedding dress market, business is booming again. The bridalwear sector is expected to reach over US$79 billion by 2027.

However, despite the often hefty price tags, brides can be left wondering what to do with their wedding dresses after their special day is over. Some brides are choosing to repurpose their gowns. There’s a growing trend of turning dresses into jumpsuits, christening gowns, or even keepsake homewares.

Another popular choice is to sell used bridal gowns. While selling or re-purposing dresses helps to keep bridal clothing out of landfill, donating bridalwear offers an even kinder approach.

As well as providing an eco-conscious approach, wedding dress donation platforms support a range of charitable initiatives. This helps to give an even more meaningful second life to wedding dresses.

Donated wedding dress in the UK
Photo by Daniel Moises Magulado

Where to donate wedding dresses in the UK

So, you want to give a gift of love after your nuptials and have decided to donate your wedding dress to charity. Good for you! Here are some of the great causes in the UK making that possible.

1.

Red Cross

Based: UK-wide (Edinburgh bridal store)
Charitable concept: Humanitarian work
How to donate: Donate in-store

As well as local Red Cross stores where bridalwear may be available, Red Cross also has a specialist bridal charity shop in Edinburgh. The charity accepts wedding dresses, shoes and accessories, as well as other wedding attire such as men’s wedding suits and mother-of-the-bride outfits.

Red Cross helps people suffering crises and disasters from a range of causes. The humanitarian organisation’s work includes supporting those facing everything from hunger to natural disasters to conflict globally.

2.

Brides Do Good

Based: London
Charitable concept: Empowering women and ending child marriage
How to donate: Contact the company website to apply to donate your dress

A sustainable bridal boutique, Brides Do Good supports the funding of projects to end child marriage and empower women. While the organisation has both new and second-hand dresses, the company’s sustainable outlook challenges the over-consumption mindset of the fashion sector.

A third of profits go to supporting charity projects. Brides Do Good has worked with organisations including Plan International UK, Sanitation First and Huru International. The purchase of just one dress from Brides Do Good can help to fund 10,000 days of education for a girl.

3.

Cherished Gowns

Based: Dover
Charitable concept: Creates funeral clothing for babies that are stillborn, miscarried or that have passed shortly after birth
How to donate: Contact the company (current pause due to high number of donations) – bridal shop donations are still open
To note: Accepts dresses that are in good condition, under 10 years old and in white or ivory. Unable to accept dresses with full tulle skirts.

Working to support grieving families, Cherished Gowns makes beautiful clothing for babies that have tragically passed away. Gowns are made from donated wedding dresses and each gown comes with booties, a cloth nappy, a blanket and a hat, all free of charge. The organisation also supplies UK hospitals.

As well as making these gowns, Cherished Gowns also runs their Preloved Bridal Boutique in Kent. Here, brides-to-be can purchase pre-loved wedding dresses and other wedding items with proceeds going to the running of Cherished Gowns.

Donated wedding dress fabric
Photo by Katy Duclos on Unsplash

4.

Dresses for Angels

Charitable concept: Creates buriel gowns for babies that have passed away
How to donate: Contact the organisation to donate

When donating your wedding dress to Dresses for Angels you are supporting the work of this valuable organisation. Dresses for Angels also turns donated wedding gowns into funeral clothing for babies that have sadly passed away. The charity accepts other wedding attire, such as bridesmaid dresses, that can be turned into angel gowns.

To donate your dress, for more information on dress requirements or to find out how you can get involved, contact them through their email or website.

5.

Wedding Wishing Well Foundation

Based: Devon
Charitable concept: Organising and funding weddings for the terminally ill
How to donate: Contact the charity for a courier collection

Started in 2012, Wedding Wishing Well Foundation exists to support those suffering from terminal illness to have their dream wedding. The organisation assists with the planning and funding of weddings.

When dresses are donated to the organisation they are either gifted to a bride in need or sold with 100% of the proceeds going into funding the organisation’s work.

6.

Gift of a Wedding

Based: Greater Manchester
Charitable concept: Wedding services and vow renewal to those with terminal and life-shortening illness
How to donate: Contact the company (current pause due to high number of donations)

Having gifted over 200 weddings, Gift of a Wedding also helps those facing terminal illness to enjoy a happy and memorable wedding day. This lovely charity provides, sources, and funds wedding services and items, including wedding dresses for those in need.

While the organisation is not currently accepting wedding gown donations due to high donation levels, it is a worthwhile charity helping everyone to have the wedding of their dreams.

Donated wedding gown hanging on a tree UK
Photo by Liz Martin on Unsplash

7.

KEMP (The Wyre Forest Hospice)

Based: Kidderminster
Charitable concept: Supports the KEMP Hospice
How to donate: Contact the organisation to donate

With a dedicated Bridal Floor at its charity shop in Kidderminster, KEMP’s Coventry Street Charity Shop makes pre-loved wedding clothes accessible. Donated wedding clothes are made available for sale through the store with proceeds supporting the valuable work of the KEMP Hospice.

When you donate a wedding dress to this UK organisation you help to make the wedding sector more sustainable. You also help to support the important work of the Hospice across the Wyre Forest.

8.

St Ann’s Hospice

Based: Stockport
Charitable concept: Supports St Ann’s Hospice
How to donate: Contact the organisation to donate

Making a difference in the lives of those impacted by life-limiting illness, St Ann’s Hospice is a very worthwhile organisation based in Greater Manchester. The organisation hosts speciality shops, including a bridal department in Stockport that hosts a range of new and pre-loved gowns and attire.

Purchases from the store help to fund the activities of St Ann’s, making this somewhere to donate wedding dresses in the UK that helps to improve the last days of someone’s life.

9.

Charity Shops

Based: UK wide
Charitable concept: Various charitable initiatives
How to donate: In-store (contact the specific shop if required)
To note: Dresses generally have to be in good condition, unfaded and with no or minimal marks or staining

When wondering where to donate a wedding dress in the UK, the first port of call for many will be local charity shops. Most charity stores accept wedding dresses that are still in good condition. As there are charitable organisations supporting a range of initiatives and causes, you can choose one that you feel strongly about supporting.

By donating to charity stores, you are helping to give a new life to your dress, supporting a worthwhile cause, and keeping clothing out of landfill.

Some stores to keep in mind include: Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, British Heart Foundation

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Should I donate a wedding dress to charity?

What you do with your wedding gown after your wedding is a very personal thing. Some people want to keep their dresses or turn them into memorable keepsakes. However, if you want to give your dress a second life, donating it is a great option.

Donating a wedding dress to a UK charity is an eco-conscious and meaningful decision helping to provide some joy and comfort to those that need it most.

If you’re interested in donating or recycling other items from your wardrobe you can have a look at our articles on donating your old bras, recycling underwear, shoes or running shoes too!

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