NewlyMaid: Trade in Bridesmaid Dresses for Little Black Dresses

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Photos courtesy of Dessy

Being in all those weddings just paid off: Mail an old bridesmaid dress to NewslyMaid and get a discount on a little black dress of your choosing; three current styles above.

Always the bridesmaid? Time to trade in that taffeta!

The Dessy Group, a manufacturer of bridesmaids dresses by brands like Cynthia Rowley and Lela Rose, has just launched, a site that allows women to swap their lavender pouf-shoulder dresses for 30 to 50 percent off something they might actually wear again—a little black dress.

“I realized that there are so many dresses out there with the consumer that were not going to be worn again, and that no one was reclaiming,” said Alan Dessy, CEO of Dessy Group. “Exposure to concepts like Netflix and Rent the Runway, mixed with my industry experience, gave me the idea for NewlyMaid.”

It’s as simple as it sounds: Bridesmaids can request a prepaid mailer for their dresses, which they’ll then ship to NewlyMaid. Upon receipt and inspection (dresses must be clean and in good condition, with working zippers and closures), these former bridesmaids will receive e-mail confirmation that special pricing has been “unlocked” on their NewlyMaid accounts, which will give them a generous discount on the site’s selection of LBDs. (The dresses retail between $150 to $250.)

As of now, the LBD options include six black dresses, from strapless satin to a more day-appropriate cowl-neck jersey dress, though Dessy says the selection will only grow.

“This is just a start,” he told FashionEtc. “We plan to take the concept in many different directions in the near future. We will expand the dress collection first, and then possibly offer alternatives for the trade-in such as bags, shoes and accessories.”

The selection might even get a hit of extra chic from some fashionable folks in the future. “We’ve already had some inquiries from designers who would like to create NewlyMaid styles for us,” he said.

And what of those old bridesmaid dresses? NewlyMaid will work with UNIFI, a global textile company, to recycle dresses that are made of polyester, while other dresses will be donated to Clothes4Souls, a charity that brings shoes and apparel to people in need worldwide.

“We had already donated some of our bridesmaids’ shoes that we manufacture to Soles4Souls, so I was familiar with the organization,” said Dessy. “I was truly touched by some of the videos I saw of [founder] Wayne Elsey delivering shoes to children in Haiti. When they opened the new Clothes4Souls division, we immediately sent them 500 dresses and notified them of our plans to develop NewlyMaid. They were very happy to have us as their partner on this project. We are equally thrilled to participate with them in their mission.”

Who knew something so lovely could come out of that old bridesmaid dress?

In related news, check out one particularly chic bridesmaid.