Worn once and only once in a lifetime, then left in a wardrobe, the wedding dress is essentially the least eco-friendly item of clothing in our dressing room. Faced with this observation, and eager to fulfill the dream of a bride-to-be in need, an American from Ohio donated her wedding dress on Facebook, sparking a real movement now followed by nearly 2,000 people.
Like many women, Gwendolyn Stulgis spent weeks researching the perfect dress to accompany her on her wedding day. She left with a budget of about $1,000 and eventually fell in love with a dress three times the price. A long lace princess dress, decorated with pearls, and transparent fabric at the sleeves, which she could not let go, such was the emotion when she saw her. She says this on her Facebook account, adding that she felt “absolutely fantastic” on her wedding day, May 6.
The story could have ended at the end of this ceremony, but the young woman made a choice as radical as it is original by creating a Facebook account meant to find “THE” bride-to-be who would succeed her in that same dress. The target? Don’t leave this unique piece in a wardrobe and let a bride-to-be in need experience the same emotion, recognition and well-being in this outfit.
“After careful consideration, I decided to donate my wedding dress. I want it to go to a woman who deserves to have her dream dress but can’t afford it or has had to settle for a dress in a lower price range. I felt absolutely beautiful in it, and I want someone else to feel what I felt”said Gwendolyn Stulgis when launching this account.
However, for this gift of a new kind, the American imposed some conditions. To be the chosen one, the bride-to-be had to get married within three months and commit to having the dress cleaned after her wedding to pass it on to another woman, and so on. She also had to give in a few lines the reasons why she deserved this dress more than any other. The unique piece found a taker a few days later, and even more, as a third bride-to-be has already been selected to take it over.
In just over a week, the public Facebook group “Dream Shared Dresses” had some 300 members, with 15 dresses donated or in the process of being donated. Today, more than 1,900 people make up this community that has chosen altruism and environmental responsibility to give as many lives as possible to the traditional and coveted wedding dress. An initiative that could soon give rise to others around the world.
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