Where to donate a wedding dress in the UK: 21 great options

Bride in donated wedding dress UK

Where to donate a wedding dress in the UK: 21 great options

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 we’ve listed some of the great causes right across the UK making that possible, so you are sure to find somewhere to donate your wedding dress near you or for a cause that you believe in.

Contents

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 wedding dress 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: UK – 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: UK – 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.

If you would like to donate your wedding dress for babies that have tragically passed away, Cherished Gowns works to support their grieving families by making beautiful clothing for their little ones. 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

Based: UK
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: UK – 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.

Donations of wedding gowns to the organisation are either gifted to a bride in need or sold with 100% of the proceeds going into funding the organisation’s work.

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

6. Gift of a Wedding

Based: UK – 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.

7. KEMP (The Wyre Forest Hospice)

Based: UK – 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 sells second hand wedding dresses and 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: UK – 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. Something Borrowed

Based: UK  
Charitable concept: Reducing waste in the wedding attire sector  
How to donate: Fill out the form on the company’s webpage to get started  

Offering a sustainable solution to acquiring a beautiful wedding dress that would otherwise likely only be worn once, Something Borrowed offers a high-class wedding dress rental service. The brand promotes a more circular and affordable approach to the wedding clothing market, giving an eco-friendly option for brides to be. 

Something Borrowed is happy to accept high-quality preloved wedding dresses into its curated collection. These dresses will then be available for brides to rent out for their big day. The platform also accepts donations of bridesmaid and mother of the bride dresses.  

engin-akyurt-bride in donated wedding dress looking out to sea
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

10. Oxfam Bridal

Based: UK  
Charitable concept: Global poverty alleviation  
How to donate: Items can be dropped off at your local charity shop or sent in via courier 

Oxfam is a well known organisation in poverty alleviation efforts. The platform has programmes in areas as diverse as providing clean water for vulnerable communities to tackling issues of gender violence and climate change around the globe. Funds generated from Oxfam’s preloved platforms go towards supporting its vital poverty alleviation work. 

The organisation has a dedicated bridal boutique, selling a variety of preloved wedding attire and formal wear to suit any style. As well as gowns, other wedding clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as bridesmaid dresses, can be donated.  

11. St Richards Hospice  

Based: UK – Worcester  
Charitable concept: Hospice care and support 
How to donate: Drop off in-store  

Funds from the St Richard’s Hospice charity store go towards the organisation’s important work of supporting patients and their families across Worcestershire. The preloved bridal boutique, located in Worcester, is open seven days a week and hosts a variety of pre-loved wedding styles. 

To donate a wedding gown to St Richard’s, the organisation asks that it is in a clean and undamaged condition. Donations can be dropped off to the store, however it is recommended to call ahead first to ensure the organisation is open to the specific donation you are making.  

12. Tenovus Cancer Care 

Based: UK – Bristol 
Charitable concept: Cancer care and support 
How to donate: Call or visit the store to arrange donation  

Located in Bristol, Tenovus Cancer Care Bridal Department is the home of beautiful pre-loved wedding attire. As well as wedding gowns, the charity store also hosts a range of other wedding outfits, including mother of the bride outfits, bridegroom suits, and bridesmaids dresses. 

Tenovus Cancer Care offers support and advice to those living with cancer and their loved ones. In the last year, the organisation has supported over 1,000 people through its Benefits Advice service and delivered nearly 2,000 treatments through its mobile support units.  

Girl in bridal boutique
Photo by photo nic on Unsplash

13. St. Catherine’s 

Based: UK – Surrey and Sussex  
Charitable concept: Hospice care and support 
How to donate: Drop dresses off in store 

Supporting those suffering with terminal illness and their families, St Catherine’s offers a vital service to the people in Sussex and East Surrey. The St. Catherine’s bridal shop helps to support the organisation’s worthwhile work. The preloved bridal boutique is a great place for brides-to- be to find the wedding dresses of their dreams. 

When donating a dress to St Catherine’s, you are not only saving an old wedding dress from gathering dust and preventing needless fabric waste, you are also supporting those facing extraordinarily difficult times. You can find the organisation on social media or visit the bridal shop in Horsham.  

14. Octavia Foundation 

Based: UK – specifically London 
Charitable concept: Supporting social initiatives in and around London 
How to donate: Items can be dropped off at your local charity store or contact the organisation to arrange a collection  

Helping over 3,500 people every year, the Octavia Foundation exists to support those facing issues such as unemployment, social isolation, and ill health. The organisation has everything from programmes to enhance opportunities for young people, to befriending services to support socialisation for the elderly. 

The Octavia Foundation has charity shops around London selling a variety of preloved styles, including vintage wedding dresses. Making wedding planning a special time, the organisation offers a bridal boutique experience. 

15. Willen Hospice 

Based: UK (Leighton Buzzard)
Charitable concept: Hospice care 
How to donate: Items can be dropped off at the shop 

Located on the high street of Leighton Buzzard, the Willen Hospice Bridal Boutique has a great range of wedding styles. Preloved gowns range from £50 to £600, offering a more affordable option than many traditional wedding dress retailers. As well as gowns for the bride, the store also has a range of bridesmaid, mother of the bride and party dresses on offer. 

Willen Hospice gives care and support to patients at the end of their life. The organisation’s vital work is supported by projects such as the Bridal Boutique. These programs assist in ensuring Willen Hospice can continue providing compassionate care for those when they need it most.

Wedding dress on shoulder
Photo by Thomas AE on Unsplash

16. St Barnabas House 

Based: UK (Worthing)
Charitable concept: Supports those with life limiting illness
How to donate: Items can be dropped off at the shop 

With a variety of stunning preloved styles on offer, the St. Barnabas House Wedding Shop is offering a sustainable approach to finding wedding attire. As well as giving quality wedding clothes a new life, choosing a style from St Barnabas House  helps to support the organisation to provide free care and support to those living with life limiting conditions. 

Gowns and other wedding attire donated to the charity need to be in good and saleable condition. While dresses can be donated in store, it is advised to ring first to ensure the boutique still has capacity for new donations. 

17. Rock My Wedding

Based: UK 
Charitable concept: Promoting a circular market and supporting rewilding  
How to donate: Sign up to the platform to make a listing  

Having created a platform to simplify the sale of second-hand bridal wear, Rock My Wedding offers an eco-friendly approach to wedding planning. The platform provides a way to earn some extra cash and help out the environment. 10% of every listing fee is donated to Trees for Life, and quality garments are given a second life with a new owner.  

Rock My Wedding’s Recycle My Wedding platform is disrupting the modern wedding market. The organisation is working to transform an environmentally destructive industry into one that can be a force of good for the natural world.  

18. The Bride’s Project 

Based: USA (accepts non-local donations)  
Charitable concept: Supporting those impacted by cancer  
How to donate: send gowns in to the organisation  

With a bridal boutique located in the United States, the Bride’s Project offers a sustainable and ethical option for wedding dress donation and purchase. Funds generated from the organisation go towards supporting those impacted by cancer in the local area. Donated dresses are sold in the bridal boutique offering a budget-friendly and ethical option for brides to be.  

Participating in the Bride’s Project not only prolongs the life of a wedding dress but also supports a good cause. Wedding gowns must be no older than five years.  

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

19. Cancer Research UK 

Based: UK 
Charitable concept: Cancer research 
How to donate: Donate in-store 

Preloved wedding dresses that aren’t marked or torn can be donated to Cancer Research UK. Preloved items, including wedding dresses and other formal attire, are then sold through the organisation’s online platform or its bricks and mortar charity stores. It is easy to get involved through simply dropping items off at one of the organisations many charity stores around the country.  

Cancer Research UK helps to fund vital cancer research, and supports those affected by cancer. Discoveries supported by the funding of organisations including Cancer Research UK have been instrumental in saving lives  

20. St Oswald’s Hospice  

Based: UK – Tyne and Wear  
Charitable concept: Hospice care 
How to donate: Contact the organisation to book a collection 

The pre-loved charity store run by St Oswald’s Hospice supports the vital work of the organisation, caring for people in their time of need. St Oswald’s is committed to providing compassionate and high quality hospice care for adults, children and babies across the North of England.  

St Oswald’s, of course, asks that all items donated are in good condition and are unmarked. However, any items donated that are deemed unfit for sale are recycled rather than sent to landfill. As well as a physical store, the organisation also has an online preloved platform. 

21. 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 local thrift 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

Wedding dresses hanging up
Photo by Dan LeFebvre 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 or a cherished family heirloom. However, if you want to give your dress a second life, donating it is a great way to create a positive impact.

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, jeans or running shoes!

We’ve also compiled a list of organisations that recycle clothes for cash.

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