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New look for vintage clothing


Iconic fashion-for-charity bus Dulcie has been parked during COVID with many of her events cancelled due to restrictions.

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But in these times of pivot or perish she’s chosen the latter and upsized to a vintage boutique near the well-known op-shop precinct of Grange Road, Kidman Park.

This allows her to continue to raise funds for Centacare Catholic Family Services and the Hutt St Centre while continuing to dress vintage clothing lovers from her collection of threads amassed over the past seven years.

Charity founder Amanda Blair said the clothing had been stored in four warehouses at Store-Ur-Stuff in Clarence Park.

“The Saturno family have never charged me a cent to store it so I thought I’d make their Christmas dreams come true and get rid of it,” Amanda said.

“I’m also making my husband’s dreams come true by cleaning out our garage which also houses a frock or two or five or 20.”

The collection comes from many sources including the wardrobes of some of Adelaide’s most fashionable dames.

Amanda and general manager Emma Grierson are often privy to the story behind the frock, first ball gown, a dress worn to a son’s wedding, a velvet jacket worn at a 1970s university graduation, a smock made in vintage cotton by Granny.

Wherever possible they delight in handing these stories onto the new owners.

Emma said it was a real privilege to pass a photo of the new owner onto the donor, proof their precious garment once held so dear was “living on and being loved”.

“It’s often very difficult for people to pass their clothing on as there is so much emotion and memory attached to it, but we try to make it a positive thing by finding the perfect person with the perfect fit – it’s a little like Cinderella and the glass slipper.”

Each garment is laundered and repaired (if required) by some loyal volunteers before it makes it to the racks and repurposing and up-cycling is an important part of the business model. An aim of Dulcie is to reduce landfill, the reliance on fast fashion and to waste nothing.

“Even though we have a large collection, we’re always happy to take donations,” Amanda said.

Since Dulcie hit the road in 2013 she’s raised more than $215,000 for the Hutt St Centre and Centacare which use the money to fund their service delivery to survivors of domestic violence and homelessness.

With the busy Fringe season approaching, Emma urged party-goers to consider vintage.

“Firstly you’ll be almost guaranteed you won’t have the same dress as anybody else, and second, you’ll help continue the story for somebody’s precious garment, thirdly you’re doing the right thing environmentally,” she said.

As for Dulcie’s Bus, pending COVID restrictions, she’ll be back on the road bigger than ever this year, starting with the Garden of Unearthly Delights during the Fringe.

Dulcie’s, located at 326 Grange Rd, Kidman Park, is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm, except public holidays.



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