Save the belugas. Buy a dress.

Thank You charity shops and Re-Dreses are asking women in St. Petersburg to donate their wedding dress to raise money for IFAW rather than letting those dresses gather dust in their wardrobes.While attending the world premiere of the “Born to be Free” film in Moscow, I met the director of Thank You charity shops, Natalia Galechan. After we both watched and discussed the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)-supported documentary, which chronicles the story of 18 beluga whales captured in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East to be sold to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Natalia had an idea.

With summer being the traditional wedding season in Russia, Natalia has launched a charity bridal boutique in collaboration with Re-Dreses. “Save the White” asks women in St. Petersburg to donate their wedding dress for charity rather than letting them gather dust in their wardrobes.

Where do the famous “white whales” fit in? Income generated from the sale of these donated dresses will go towards saving belugas through IFAW, which has been involved in beluga whale protection and research since 1996.

The wedding dresses will be accepted by all Thank You shops (Chkalovsky pr. 5; Eighth line VO, 55; Kovensky per. 23; Gorokhovaya 50) until July 15. By the end of June, a wedding dress boutique will be opened in the Chkalovsky location to sell the dresses.

Depending on the results of the “Save the White” action, its organizers will decide whether they will open a permanent shop or seasonal outlets.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jimmiel Mandima at IFAW
Deputy Vice President of Conservation
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime