Priscilla of Boston Defaces Unsold Wedding Gowns With Spray Paint

Priscilla of Boston, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

Photos by Sheila Roth for Fox 9 News

Priscilla of Boston, best known for creating Grace Kelly’s yellow organdy bridesmaid dresses, is no more. But the 65-year-old bridal chain isn’t going out with a whimper. On Friday, eyewitnesses caught staffers spray-painting thousands of dollars’ worth of bridal and formal gowns in a dumpster outside a Priscilla of Boston boutique in Edina, MN, just shortly after the company announced it was shuttering all 19 of its locations. “I picked up a dress that was a Vera Wang, and the tag said $6,000 dollars,” Bessie Giannakakis, owner of Bessie’s Boutique, told Fox 9 News on Monday. “You wanted to throw up in the dumpster. You really did.”

Priscilla of Boston, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style


This isn’t the first time a retailer has been called out for destroying perfectly serviceable clothing, nor do we expect it to be the last—H&M, Walmart, and Victoria’s Secret have all received flak for choosing to mutilate rather than donate unsold or returned garments.

H&M, Walmart, and Victoria’s Secret have all received flak for choosing to mutilate rather than donate unsold garments.

As upsetting as the practice is—and it’s more common than you think—companies do this ostensibly to “preserve brand integrity,” reduce potential liability, and thwart counterfeiters, in no particular order. But labels can be cut out, particularly if it’s in service of causes that help brides in need, such as Brides Across America and Brides Against Breast Cancer. Or failing that, the gowns could have been auctioned off for charity.

Suitably chastised, David’s Bridal sent out a statement. “Like many of you, we were disheartened by imagery of a small number of unsold bridal gowns being destroyed following a Priscilla of Boston salon closure in the Midwest,” it said. “As the parent company of Priscilla of Boston, we fully understand the anger and frustration that many people are feeling about this occurrence.”

“While it has been Priscilla of Boston’s policy not to make donations of sample dresses that are in poor condition, we recognize that some of these dresses could possibly have gone to worthy causes,” the company added. “David’s Bridal has already begun bringing together all of the remaining Priscilla of Boston gowns to evaluate them and ensure that they are donated to our charitable partners wherever possible.”

Eyewitnesses noted, however, that a few dresses they salvaged did not present any visible defects. Whether David’s Bridal is as good as its word remains to be seen.

[Via Today]

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7 Responses to “Priscilla of Boston Defaces Unsold Wedding Gowns With Spray Paint”

  1. jannd23220 says:

    Okay, I’m *never* buying *anything* from Victoria’s Secret again! I don’t shop at Walmart anyway because it attracts too much white trash here in Virginia. H & M sells cheap and shoddy “clothing,” but to destroy even that without giving someone else who is in need something to wear is abominable. = /

  2. kestrelee says:

    Ruining what could be used and enjoyed by someone else. This is so disheartening and disturbing. Why not think of “sharing” these items (or food or grocery products in other cases) before destroying them!?

  3. Hustle Your Bustle says:

    The enormous amount of resources that go into a wedding dress coupled with women’s need for dresses in this economy makes this very sad… not to mention, there are so many other easy ways to handle the dresses. They could have been donated to an amazing organization, Or my business partner and I would have been more than happy to take them off their hands! (we’re launching an online bridal marketplace soon, where women would LOVE to find dresses like these). I can only hope that the negative press this has generated ensures that David’s and other vendors will take a different route in the future. TK,

  4. kathrynann says:

    Wow, David’s needs to donate to Adorned in Grace. This is a shop in Portland, Oregon, where donated wedding gowns are sold to benefit victims of sex trafficking. It is an all-volunteer operation operating in donated retail space with very low overhead, so its proceeds can truly go to the cause. It’s an amazing, sustainable, win-win situation!

  5. mad mum says:

    DIGUSTING…..shame on them, unbelievable behaviour. When times are so tough for people.God forbid that some poor humble human being should have a free designer wedding dress.Just show’s how, this is the world we’re living in, Just like the supermarkets who’d rather throw out of date food in the bin, than give it to the hungrey.

  6. Glpty says:

    Please let me have them! I will convert them into various items FAR remOved from the wedding gowns they once were and then sell or donate the final products. My concern is the wastefulness of this practice and the hundreds of years it will take frothe dresses to decompose. Let’s recycle them into something else and do something good for our planet! Where/when can I pick them up??? Thanx!

  7. desire says:

    There are so many worthwhile charities, such as Salvation Army and Goodwill, that operate thrift stores offering clothing of all types for sale. Destructive, wasteful policies such as these portrayed in this news story should not be tolerated. As a costume historian I feel angry about this.

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