Media Brief


The Angel Gown Initiative

Eric Elronde, founder and owner of, The Angel Gown® Initiative, is charitably repurposing old wedding gowns and formal dresses into beautiful Angel Gown® garments for infants who do not survive their journey into this world.

The Angel Gown® Initiative (TAGI) is an Non Profit Organisation (NPO Reg. ♯203-283 NPO; PBO 930061837) that provides free, exquisite, handmade burial garments for pre-term infants.

At a time of utmost grief and sorrow, an Angel Gown® is a small but deeply meaningful way to alleviate some of a family’s difficulties and great sadness.  The Angel Gown® Initiative assists bereaved families with an important practical issue: how to provide a passed child with the greatest dignity and grace.

All Angel Gown® garments are hand-made and are a free donation. Presentations have been made to multiple hospitals across Southern Africa where grieving families have been assisted.

But it is much more than a unique, charitable effort.

As joyous, as memorable as a wedding day may have been, as beautiful as the gown the bride once wore, how many of these beautiful garments hang disused for years in cupboards or finally given away for a pittance to thrift and second-hand shops?

An average of 8 Angel Gown® garments can be repurposed from a single wedding gown.

Their real beauty, the great care and craft that went into their creation, are sometimes lost and forgotten, perhaps never to be seen again.

Imagine the comfort and solace these gowns could provide to the family of a child that has tragically passed on? Imagine the good this can do, the sorrow it can help ease.

For no charge, The Angle Gown Initiative will take on these old wedding gowns (or evening dresses), carefully deconstruct them and then use the fabrics to create perfect Angel Gown® garments. Each is hand made, lined in cotton for the softest touch and then delicately trimmed with beautiful detail. Any damaged fabric is entirely removed and the finished Angel Gown® beautifully packaged. From a forgotten dress, perhaps a dusty memory, comes new beauty, grace and dignity.

Comfort in a time of grief.

TAGI’s first donations were made to Vredendal Hospital by Eric Elronde. As a moving twist of history, this was where a former client of Erikr House, Mrs. Chrismari Elsbury worked as a nurse. She had previously donated her wedding gown and was delighted to receive it so valuably repurposed.

Of even greater surprise, was Vredendal Hospital was also the hospital where Eric himself had been born, delivered there by Dr. J. van Dyk who was on hand to receive the first collection of Angel Gown® garments.

Dr. J. van Dyk from Vredendal Hospital and Mr Eric Elronde.
Mr Eric Elronde and Ms Carla Hanekom from Mediclinic Stellenbosch.

Perhaps you’d like to help create a little bit of beauty, grace and dignity for a child.

Eric Elronde and The Angel Gown® Initiative are enormously dependent on the donation of old wedding gowns or formal dresses for the creation of Angel Gown® garments.

So think, just for a moment, the good you can do. If of course you’re saving that gown for another generation or perhaps a gift to a younger friend or family, that’s beautiful and moving and we entirely respect your decision. But if, for any reason, the dress is going to hang in a closed closet, unused for years, perhaps now’s a time to consider donating it to a truly magical cause: The Angel Gown® Initiative.

Please give it some thought. Your decision can do so much heartfelt good.

The Angel Gown® Initiative would be delighted to receive your wedding gown or formal dress. We will set about using it for several Angel Gown® garments and send you a photograph of the finished article.

You will have done an immense amount of good. You will have brought some happiness into the saddest of families, you will have provided a young child with a bereavement gown of great beauty and a passing over of immense dignity.

Please feel free to contact TAGI via email at to enquire about how to proceed further with getting your donation to The Angel Gown® Initiative.


We are truly thankful for every donation, every sponsorship and all the continued support from everyone involved with TAGI.

TAGI would like to give special thanks to Chrismari Elsbury for her input, contribution and inspiration that sparked the birth of The Angel Gown® Initiative.

Carla Hanekom was instrumental in giving us guidance and help in understanding how hospitals work and how to introduce our Angel Gown® garments to them. We would like to extend our gratitude to her for her continued support.

We would also like to thank Janet Vandermeulen from 7 Pine Design for supplying the original pattern.

Hand-made, hand-packed, hand-delivered, heart-felt.

So much goodness and comfort comes from a long-forgotten wedding gown or old formal dress once it is transformed into an Angel Gown®. So we, at The Angel Gown® Initiative, take very special care when we prepare Angel Gown® garments for donation.

Angel Gown® garments
Angel Gown® garments ready for donation.

The Angel Gown® garments are enclosed in cellophane envelopes and folded around a handwritten condolence card and tied down with a carefully tied satin ribbon.

If there is any way you may wish to contribute to this Non Profit Organisation, please contact TAGI directly at or visit our website at We truly do respect the history, care and memories threaded into every wedding gown and how very precious they are. All we ask is, for a moment, you consider the further good your most beautiful gown could be put to and the pride, comfort and dignity it will certainly provide to a family deeply bereaved.

Contact us