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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Oxfam's used wedding dress appeal
Benito and Louise Manfredi on their wedding day
Louise Manfredi bought her wedding dress from Oxfam for 129
Oxfam is appealing for more second-hand wedding dress donations because demand at its bridal outlets is booming.

The charity runs nine dedicated bridal stores in England, with an average wedding dress price of about 250.

It said more brides-to-be were seeking a cut-price option in order to give their big day a more "ethical slant".

The charity's need for more stock was highlighted by the month-long waiting list for appointments at Oxfam's bridal shop in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

'Tight finances'

Barbara Warmsley, the charity's bridal co-ordinator, said: "It's great that so many brides are coming to Oxfam for their dresses, but we are desperate for donations to meet this growing demand.

"If a donated dress sells for 250, this can provide 100 people with clean water, build two toilets, train one midwife and feed a family for a month."

A survey of 600 people found that 82% of brides still had their wedding dresses stashed away, prompting Oxfam to appeal for more to be given to charity.

Louise Manfredi from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, bought her dress for 129 from the charity's Heswall store, in Merseyside.

She said: "I would recommend that anyone who is getting married, especially those people with tight finances, take a look in Oxfam before spending hundreds of pounds on a dress."

Rosemary Tyndall, who donated her dress to Oxfam's bridal outlet in Shirley, Southampton, said: "I love the fact that something which was so special to me is now being used to help other people."

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