To celebrate the end of Year 11, most British students now attend highly anticipated school proms.
However, increasing costs of these events - it can cost up to £200 for a new dress - mean that some young girls miss out attending their big day.
And the Mall Luton has joined up with All Dressed Up – a not-for-profit project - which believes that no teenage girl should miss their prom because they can’t afford a dress .
The organisation is helping by sourcing and providing donated dresses to teenagers.
Lara Davis, founder of All Dressed Up, says: “I was staggered to hear how much some families are spending on prom dresses with the average spend around £200! The cost doesn’t stop there with shoes, bag, nails, hair, professional make up and cars also forming part of the prom experience.
“No teenager wants to miss their school prom but increasingly many do, because the family finances just can’t cover it. Lots of people have lovely dresses sitting in their wardrobe that they will never wear again.”
The Mall Luton will be opening a closed, invite only pop-up boutique within the centre. Alongside hosting the new store, The Mall will also be launching an internal campaign with its retailers to help raise awareness of the project.
All Dressed Up is now calling out for prom dress donations and accepts new, second-hand dresses in a clean and ready to wear condition in all styles and sizes.
Lara adds: “To ensure that dresses reach those in most financial need we’re asking Luton schools, youth workers and social workers to identify young people that will most benefit. They’ll be invited to The Mall’s pop-up prom dress shop where they will hopefully find a dress they love, to wear for their prom. We’re also hoping to get hair stylists, nail technicians and make-up artists along to give the girls a bit of a pamper.”
Lavinia Douglass, Marketing Manager at The Mall Luton, said: “This is a fantastic project which The Mall are delighted to support and help in any way we can. Hopefully it will enable more teenagers to attend their prom, which has become an important milestone and part of finishing school”.
Drop off points for donated dresses:
Mall Management, The Mall Luton (Gallery Level) - Mon-Fri 08.00-17.00
Or post to All Dressed Up, c/o The Harpenden Collective, Harpenden Hall, Southdown Rd, AL5 1TE