Prom Closet Nanaimo, a non-profit seeking to remove cost-prohibitive shopping for high school formals, is taking appointments for March 5-7. (Submitted photo)

Prom Closet Nanaimo, a non-profit seeking to remove cost-prohibitive shopping for high school formals, is taking appointments for March 5-7. (Submitted photo)

‘Going green’ en vogue for Prom Closet Nanaimo

Non-profit event looking to make high school prom less cost-prohibitive goes March 5-7

An organizer of a non-profit aiming to alleviate the financial burden of shopping for high school prom says “going green” is becoming en vogue.

Prom Closet Nanaimo began in 2015 and has traditionally been offered to graduating secondary school students for whom formal-wear shopping is cost-prohibitive. While it is still offered for “financial reasons,” its scope has broadened, as it is starting to appeal to socially conscious students, says Joan Hiemstra, event coordinator.

“What’s come out of it very much is how many students are also interested in it for environmental reasons,” said Hiemstra. “Because fashion is one of the world’s biggest polluters, a lot of the gowns and the formal wear are made out of synthetic fabrics and they are nasty fabrics … reusing a prom gown is an environmental action, is a positive social action, in terms of reusing something that is perfectly fine.

“Most gowns can easily go to three or four proms before they start to look worn because people wear them carefully, people take care of them and they’re quite strong fabrics, most of them.”

Hiemstra said if people are able to afford it, Prom Closet Nanaimo volunteers will tell them subtly they are open to a donation, although it is not a requirement.

READ ALSO: SD68 aboriginal grad rate reaches all-time high

This year’s event will take place at an undisclosed location from March 5-7 by appointment only, with 50 spots available and with 25 left as of Thursday morning, according to Hiemstra.

“People do have to make an appointment. It’s not a lookie-loo,” Hiemstra said.

Hiemstra said the non-profit always welcomes donated dress wear.

“We’re always looking for dark formal suits and prom dresses in larger sizes and this year we started requesting strapless bras as well for the first time,” said Hiemstra.

An event offering tuxedos, suits and menswear will be offered in the future, but dates have not yet been determined.

For more information, including how to book an appointment, donate items or sign up as a volunteer, please go to

READ ALSO: Nanaimo teen makes it to prom days after her dress was stolen

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Charity and Donations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island University. (File photo)
Province announces funding for VIU to train mental health workers

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

The City of Nanaimo’s Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St., where the 7-10 Club is located, will host a warming centre seven days a week through March 31. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Warming centres for people experiencing homelessness open today in Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo and social agencies partnering on Wallace and Prideaux locations

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
AUDIO: Interview with broadcaster and Island resident Terry David Mulligan

PQBeat podcast asks Nanoose Bay resident about radio and TV career, wine and more

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
New executive director leading Nanaimo hospice at a time when grief counselling is greatly needed

Paige Karczynski takes over as Nanaimo Community Hospice Society begins its 40th year

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hiker among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Incident happened at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read