‘Boomerang dress’ on its way back for Women’s Refuge pop-up shop charity event

  • September 15, 2022
The annual women’s refuge pop-up shop is back for another year and the organisers, Shona Smith and Susan Wallworth, are hoping the famous Boomerang dress will make another appearance.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

The annual women’s refuge pop-up shop is back for another year and the organisers, Shona Smith and Susan Wallworth, are hoping the famous Boomerang dress will make another appearance.

Many will know the story of the travelling pants but Taranaki’s Women’s Refuge has its own piece of magic clothing.

A spaghetti strap maxi with orange and apricot colouring, covered in royal blue polka dots has been named the “boomerang dress”, and rightfully so.

Five years ago the dress was donated to the Taranaki Women’s Refuge pop-up shop and every year since someone has bought it then donated it back.

That was until two years ago when radio host Anna Richardson picked up the funky dress for $3 and took it home.

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“I thought it was a pretty cool dress and when I got to the counter they said ‘oh, you’ve got the boomerang dress’.

“When they said that, I thought to myself ‘not this time little dress. I’m not going to boomerang you, I’ll take you home and give you some love and wear you to barbecues with a denim jacket’.”

But with the best intentions to remove the boomerang dress label, it sat in Richardson’s wardrobe for two years and had never been worn, so it’s coming back.

The pop-up shop encourages sustainable shopping and all the <a href=money raised goes towards the refuge in Taranaki.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

The pop-up shop encourages sustainable shopping and all the money raised goes towards the refuge in Taranaki.

“Now that it’s got itself a bit of a name, and it’s getting some publicity, I think it deserves another round in someone’s wardrobe, so I think I will donate it back.”

And she plans to have it ready for the next pop-up shop in New Plymouth next month.

Shona Smith, communications and marketing manager for the September event, said the shop was back for another year, and she was hoping to see the famous dress make its appearance.

Smith isn’t annoyed to see the dress come and go because she believes it encourages a sustainable cycle of fashion and all the money raised at the event would stay local to Taranaki.

Smith and Wallworth say customers can expect to buy designer items for a fraction of the price.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Smith and Wallworth say customers can expect to buy designer items for a fraction of the price.

“It all goes to our refuge which supports the local services we have working with women.

“We also have a men’s programme which is one-on-one counselling for men who are the abusers but reach out because they want help to make that change.”

Smith and Suzanne Wallworth, co-ordinator of the event, had been part of the event for six years, and said it was always successful because “you can get designer stuff for $30 that used to be $800”.

“It’s a bit of a frenzy and that first weekend can get mad.”

Donations for the pop-up shop will be accepted until September 15th and a ticketed pre-sale night will be on September 23.

The pop-up shop is then open to the public and free entry from September 24 to October 2 at the La Mer Lounge New Plymouth Raceway.

Runway for refuge is the “sister” fundraising event and is being held at the TSB Show place September 2 with corporate tables on sale August 10 and Premium and GA tickets on sale August 12.

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