Royal King Dry Cleaners in New Paltz has recently started a “give and take” program where people in the community can donate prom and cocktail dresses that are no longer wanted and anyone who needs one of these dresses for their prom or junior prom can come in and take a dress for free.
The program was made known to the public with a Facebook post by owner Donna Murray stating, “We ask the community to ‘give’ us lightly used dresses, gowns, accessories and shoes. We will clean and press these items, free of charge. We then invite those attending prom to ‘take’ a dress.”
Prom dresses in recent times can cost over $1000 and many cannot afford this investment. Members of the community worked together to get dresses to the cleaners to allow students to attend these important events without breaking the bank.
The cleaners have received some generous donations and teamed up with the New Paltz High School Parent Teacher Student Association to ensure that every student who needs a dress will get one.
The program has had a great community reception, many community members have donated dresses. The cleaners have been very appreciative of community members on social media who are working to help young students have an enjoyable time at their proms this year.
As of March 14, high school students have been invited to come into the cleaners and look around to find the best dress for them.
“If the dress fits, it’s yours. If it needs a bit of altering, we will have our tailor take care of that for you, also for free,” the Facebook post reads.
Royal King Dry Cleaners are doing everything they can to accommodate every student’s needs to help each one find the perfect dress out of what has been donated to them.
Along with the best interest of New Paltz’s students and youth, Royal Dry Cleaners are using their “give and take” program to promote sustainability. Much like many other outlets for clothing, the dress market is riddled with poor labor practices and the side effects of fast fashion as a whole.
A lot of prom dresses are only used once or are used infrequently, so getting a used one is not only cost-effective but also environmentally healthy. Programs like the “give and take” hosted by the cleaners are great ways of keeping dresses out of landfills.
Not only will students be saving money by getting their dress in this way, they will also be keeping the earth a cleaner place one dress at a time.
“It takes a village,” Murray stated at the end of her post. While it does take a village to help students and residents, it also takes a “village” to keep our planet happy and healthy.
Royal King Dry Cleaners are located at 12 New Paltz Plaza. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday.