€20 Communion dresses a hit as costs rising over €700
The cost of designer Communion dresses can run to hundreds of euro - but Barnardos is selling them brand new for as little as €20.
As a new survey reveals that the cost of kitting out a child for the big day can reach as high as €750, it is little wonder that the dresses are proving a hit with mums.
Colette Miller, retail operations and development manager with Barnardos, told the Herald that the brand new communion dresses are being stocked in its shops.
"They are not second-hand. They have been donated by wholesalers, designers and manufacturers who support our work with children and families across Ireland," said Ms Miller.
The dresses are being sold in its shops in Kilbarrack, Rathmines, Dun Laoghaire, Clondalkin, Carlow, Wexford and Cork, she said.
"A new dress will cost about €40. Something with more detail on it will cost about €45. At the moment, there are dresses for sale at €20. They are clearing them now at the moment," Ms Miller explained.
"The dresses are proving very popular. We get great feedback from customers. It is a very successful part of our business."
Meanwhile, a newly released survey by MummyPages.ie, Ireland's largest community of mums, shows that an average of €703 is spent on a child's first Holy Communion in total.
The survey of 1,218 mums showed that over half (55pc) reported feeling the strain when it comes to paying for the big day.
Outfits, hair, clothes for the rest of the family, entertainment, photos and cash gifts for the child all see the costs mounting for parents.
The general consensus among the respondents was that while subtle nail varnish and having ears pierced was acceptable, wearing make-up and fake tan was "totally inappropriate".
The survey found that the amount spent on a child's outfit varied from zero to those who spend up to €750. But the majority (61pc) spend up to €199 on the outfit, which would include the shoes and the accessories.
The survey found that a growing number of mums agreed children should instead wear their school uniform on their special day.
Half of the mums surveyed are choosing to have low-key celebrations at home. A third make a reservation in a restaurant while the rest choose to visit family and friends.
Children can also receive up to €1,500 in cash gifts, the survey showed.