‘Swap Shop’ for formal dresses and suits to open in city

The shop aims to help young women and men who 'may not have the means to buy expensive formal wear'
The shop aims to help young women and men who 'may not have the means to buy expensive formal wear'

A ‘swap shop’ for formal dresses, suits and accessories is to be set up in Derry on a number of dates next month

‘No Formalities Here’ is the brainchild of a group of local people, who want to help out women and men ‘who may not have the means to buy expensive formal wear.’

With school formals due to be held over the next few months, the initiative is timely and will be accepting donations tomorrow, Saturday August 31 at Society Street Indoor Market from 10am-5pm.

The shop itself will then open on selected dates over the coming weeks.

They are hoping as many people as possible will donate their second hand dresses, handbags, shoes, suits and ties.

The shop will also be selling dresses from those who had their formal last year and hope anyone who is looking to sell will drop by.

The idea for the swap shop came about after one of the group members went to purchase a formal dress for her daughter.

She was shocked at the prices, which ranged at around £300-400. This didn’t include the price of shoes, accessories and hair and make up. There was also concern at the cost of suits for men.

In a bid to help other parents and the young men and women locally who were worried about the cost of dresses and suits - which also prevented some from attending their formal - a group of volunteers was set up to help run the swap shop, called ‘No Formalities Here.’

As many young women and men have also had to travel long distances to buy a second hand dress, the ‘one stop’ location at Society Street Indoor Market seemed ideal.

The shop has already received some great donations, which the group is delighted with.

It has also had support from local bridal wear businesses Amore Bridal and Communion Wear Specialist and The Bridal Showroom, who have offered to donate some of their stock.

The ‘No Formalities Here’ swap shop will be accepting donations for second hand dresses, handbags, shoes, suits, shirts and ties tomorrow, at the drop off point in Society Street Indoor Market from 10am-5pm.

The shop will open on Sept 7-8 and 14-15 between 10am and 5pm.

The group is also looking for any volunteers who can help make this special swap shop event a success by giving up their time.

If you’d like to find out more about the shop or have any enquiries, you can contact the group on the facebook page entitled ‘No Formalities Here’.