It's goodwill bargain hunting as fashionistas shop online
IT'S a fashionable sign of the times as Ireland's first online charity dress shop launches.
Times are tough for Irish charities as they struggle to pull in the euro, but the Buy My Dress concept proved such a success for the Down Syndrome Centre in Dun Laoghaire that they have transformed their one-day annual frock sale into a 365-day shopping spree.
Over 4,000 donated dresses were sold at sales in Dublin, Cork and Galway last May, raising more than €60,000 for the funding and expansion of the DSC's liaison nursing service, which provides guidance and help to parents of Down Syndrome babies.
The first of these nurses is funded out of the Adelaide and Meath and the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, and the Down Syndrome Centre plans to fund a second nurse out of Cork University Hospital in the coming months.
Building on the recessionary trend to 'shop your closet' and sell on or donate, the Down Syndrome Centre took the concept of turning one lady's donation into another woman's bargain buy and developed buymydressonline.ie, with support from Kellogg's Special K.
"Buy My Dress has been a phenomenal success for us, thanks to the generosity of Irish women, and the annual sale will take place again next year at the end of May," said chief executive Sheila Campbell.
"However, for those who cannot attend those sales, the website provides an opportunity for anyone to get their hands on some great dresses at very reasonable prices, with Down Syndrome Centre benefiting from it.
"We believe many women have hidden treasures in their wardrobes and we are encouraging ladies to look through their closets, root out what they no longer wear and consider donating their old favourites."
All dress donations can be sent Freepost to the Down Syndrome Centre, 62/63 Lower Mounttown Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, or can be dropped directly to the charity's offices. Personal viewings can be arranged on request.