Formals in Australia are a rite of passage, an event that marks the end of our high school years and a foray into adulthood.
It’s one of your first times’ as a teenager you dress up in an absolutely breathtaking outfit (or tux), have your hair and makeup done and get beautiful photos taken with all of your friends.
It can also be very expensive and a financial strain at a time of year that’s already a bit much.
Which is where Gold Coast charity Full Circle Formals come in.
The organisation was created in March 2020 by local business owner Cindy Paterson who has been styling school formals for over a decade with her event styling company and noticed that each year the number of graduates attending dropped due to financial pressures.
This year, as we’ve all obviously noticed, there are a few other factors impacting the affordability of attending formals, making it impossible for some to do so.
The vision of Full Circle Formals is to help as many students as possible by accepting donated formal wear or purchasing second hand formal wear from local thrift stores and having them altered by local seamstresses including Kichi Alterations, then cleaned and presented ready to give students an opportunity to attend their formal stress free and at little or no cost.
Which is absolutely amazing. But another issue arose, in that some students were unable to visit stores due to either a lack of funds to travel to a fitting, lack of transportation or logistical reasons.
So again, Cindy came to the rescue. With a bus.
An old school bus has been purchased and will soon be converted it into a mobile fitting room and storage cupboard, so the team can visit more schools and reach the students that need their help. How good are people.
Currently Full Circle Formals have several drop off zones around the Gold Coast and plan to expand into greater South-East Queensland.
They aim to help not only disadvantaged school students, but also assist in recycling clothing and reducing the footprint fast fashion has on the planet.
There are plans in place to run online raffles, sustainable markets, host fundraising events and activities which will assist in the running of the bus and be able to assist in subsidising some of the students’ formal ticket costs as well.
If you’re in a position to help (ie a tradie that can help with the bus conversion or a dry cleaner that can assist with cleaning of the gowns/suits) this incredible charity, please reach out to Cindy and the team.
Everything helps and you’ll making the dreams of local high schoolers who, let’s face it, have had quite the year, come true.
Find out more here.