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In the townships of South Africa the graduation (or ‘Matric’) ball is a momentous occasion. So few actually graduate that those who do are treated like celebrities and attending the high school prom is a real sign of achievement. But for many – while they may have made it to the ball – their families are too poor to afford them a dress to wear.

Dress It Forward collects pre-loved dresses and suits from both the UK and South Africa and gives them for free to students in South Africa who would otherwise not have anything to wear to their own prom. This then relieves their families of the financial burden of their Graduation Ball. In turn it creates visual positive role models in the community, inspiring the next generation to stay in school.

Why is this important?

For teens in under-resourced communities outside Cape Town, the graduation ball is the most important day of their lives. And for good reason-
32%

of children starting Grade 1 will never reach their final year of high school. Many live without access to adequate housing or healthcare let alone education.  So passing your 'matric' marks a rite of passage and the chance to overcome extreme poverty.

9 murders / day

take place in Cape Town. It's a dangerous place to grow up. And even those who keep up with their studies are at risk of dropping out due to HIV, gangsterism, gender-based violence, teen pregnancy, drug addiction or they may be forced to work to support their families.

Royalty for a day

Despite living in abject poverty, the families of these teens will save and sacrifice anything for this one night - to show them how proud they are of them. These teen 'celebrities' then become very visual positive role models for the next generation of kids at risk of dropping out of school.

No strings

Dress it Forward offers dresses and suits to graduating teens for free, with no strings attached. This way, everyone has the chance to celebrate and in turn, to inspire the next generation of teens to stay in school. This is why we say "a dress is more than just a dress..."

Watch this short film to find out more about what we do....

How to Donate

If you want to get involved, have an outfit to donate or could help us with funding, read on!
What We Need:
  • Formal prom dresses
  • Men's suits & shirts
  • Accessories including handbags, jewellery, shawls, etc
  • Smart Shoes (men's & women's) but only if donating from within SA
  • Any style, size or season
  • We do accept wedding & bridesmaids' dresses
  • We cannot accept shoes from the UK (too bulky to send)
  • We are not looking for other smart clothes, e.g. blouses, day dresses
  • Funds! We're always in need of funds to run this project. If you can help, please donate below!
What We'd Love:
  • We would love to hear the stories behind your donations. Attach a parcel tag to the item with a message about it or a wish for the wearer - and include where you are sending it from.
  • Donate your time We're always in need of volunteers in both South Africa and the UK. Contact us below if you can help
Where To Donate Clothes:

UK Donors

  • Or post to:
  • Dress It Forward
  • Unit 6B, The Fortress
  • Avon Enterprise Park
  • New Broughton Rd
  • Melksham, SN12 8NB, UK

SA Donors

  • By appointment only:
  • Dress It Forward
  • 33 Kommetjie Rd
  • Fish Hoek, Cape Town
  • 7975, South Africa

USA Donors

Find a matric outfit

If you want to get involved, have an outfit to donate or could help us with funding, read on!
What we offer
  • We have a huge selection of dresses, suits, shoes and accessories for all sizes, shapes and styles
  • You don't have to return the outfit - it is yours to keep forever, or pass on to someone else
  • We only ask that you send us a picture of yourself at the ball or a note about what it meant to you, so that we can share this with our generous donors
How to qualify
  • To qualify you must be in Grade 12 in the year your choose your dress or suit
  • You will need ID and proof that you are in Matric; either your latest school report or a letter from your school confirming your attendance.
How to contact us:
  • To arrange a viewing
  • contact Sarah or Sherri
  • 074 331 0924
  • sherri@dressitforward.net
  • Boutique address: 33 Kommetjie Rd, Fish Hoek, Cape Town 7595
  • Boutique open by appointment only

Get in Touch

To find a dress or a suit to wear to your matric dance, contact: sherri@dressitforward.net / +27 74 331 0924
To donate items within South Africa, contact: sherri@dressitforward.net
To donate items from the UK, contact: hello@dressitforward.net
To talk to us about how your UK school could get involved in supporting us, contact: alexa@dressitforward.net
To talk to us about fundraising activities, contact heidi@dressitforward.net
And for all other enquiries: hello@dressitforward.net or fill in the form below

To find a dress or a suit to wear to your matric dance, contact: sherri@dressitforward.net / +27 74 331 0924

To donate items within South Africa, contact: sherri@dressitforward.net

To donate items from the UK, contact: hello@dressitforward.net

To talk to us about how your UK school could get involved in supporting us, contact: alexa@dressitforward.net

To talk to us about fundraising activities, contact heidi@dressitforward.net

And for all other enquiries: hello@dressitforward.net or fill in the form below

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